Last year, I was disgusted with the amount of repairs needed on my 2004 Range Rover, which was enough to exceed the current value of this once expensive luxury off-roader several times over. Salvage yards are full of these, so parts demand isn’t high either– which meant I was getting offers for slightly over scrap value. So I decided to bury this junker in a similar fashion to my lost cause Chrysler LeBaron — but unlike last year’s experiment, the Range Rover fared much worse.
To recap my brief Range Rover ownership, this was the last car I bought on my reality show, and it barely survived the episode. Like most of these early BMW powered L322 chassis Range Rovers, the engine was knocking on death’s door. In addition to suffering from BMW’s infamous VANOS issues, the timing chain was rattling violently. Unfortunately, the cost to repair these items (or replace the engine) was too expensive to justify — especially when considering the numerous other electrical and cosmetic issues plaguing this once sought after status symbol. Some may see burying this car as a waste of good used parts, but as I said earlier, salvage yards are flooded with these Range Rovers with failed engines — so there’s no shortage of spares.
Speaking of flooding, the main difference between this year’s burial and the last was the constant rainfall. The spring of 2019 became the wettest period in Kansas recorded history, breaking the record set in 1951. My LeBaron came out of the hole completely dry last year, but we suspected the Range Rover would look like it sat at the bottom of a muddy lake. Even with this information, there was still someone dumb enough to fly across the country to join us at the exhumation and try to get it running.
This stupid person is my friend (and fellow YouTuber) Freddy Hernandez — who likes to purchase a car from me about once a year. In addition to buying my 2007 Mercedes S600, he also purchased my lost cause Bentley Continental GT project — as well as the burned remains of my Ferrari F355. Clearly, each of his purchases from me have progressively gotten worse over the years, and as much as I tried to discourage him, he still wanted this horrible project.
Remarkably, the structure and glass held together under the crushing weight of the saturated earth. The digger found the rear hatch of the SUV first, which, sadly, broke the back window, but that gave us our first glimpse inside. Not surprisingly, there was lots of standing water in there — enough to fill the cabin to the middle of the steering wheel. What we didn’t expect was the horrible smell, which stemmed from decades of farmland that was fertilized with cow manure.
As the digger delicately removed the dirt around the body, the water quickly drained out of the Range Rover — and with a chain wrapped around the tow hitch, it was removed without much trouble. Given the horrible, slimy state of the interior, I didn’t dare sit inside, and it seemed pointless to try hooking up battery power to try and start anyway. I think any sane person would look at this horrible vehicle and agree that it was well beyond saving — but my friend Freddy wasn’t giving up.
He was still determined to get the car running again — but first, he needed to get all of the mud and gunk off. I was willing to help him with this for a few hours, then I happily abandoned him so I could go home and take a very long shower. Before burying it, the Range Rover would have needed 100 hours worth of work to be highway worthy again. With the flood-damaged and collapsed suspension, I don’t see how it will ever move again.
One thing’s for sure, though, this is the last time I will bury a car. It seems pointless to continue the experiment when the damage is so extreme. Aside from the mindless entertainment value, it’s pretty wasteful as well, and while I don’t think any serious amount of fluid got into the ground, it’s probably not the best for the environment either. So the next time I have another lost cause project, I’ll have to get more creative. Maybe I can ask Elon Musk to launch it into space??? Find a Land Rover Range Rover for sale
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