April, 2018: On the Value of your Series Land Rover. In the Eye of the Beholder
"Dad! You drive like an old man!" That was my youngest daughter's observation when I took her for a quick drive in my '74 Series 3. Yep... I was slouched forward, knees up close to my elbows, my hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 o'clock. I guess I did look like an "old man". The fact that I'm closer to sixty than to fifty, and that I have six grand-children, (two belonging to the youngest, and four belonging to our oldest daughter), could mean that I am an "old man". But, it's a big steering wheel, and it feels more comfortable with my hands up on top of it, and at five-foot eleven, my knees are uncomfortably high. But, I love it!.To me, my scruffy looking Series 3 just feels right as I drive country roads from home to the shop, and back at night. I can't drink coffee while driving it, (I have arrived at the shop a few times with a big wet spot - really looking like the "old man"), can't hear the cell phone ring, and I like it that way. That's value to me!
A few weeks ago, I had a call from my insurance company saying that their records show the value of my '74 to have increased significantly over the past few years. Of course, they're just after a higher premium; but I have seen the increase in the market, particularly since Jaguar Land Rover announced the end of the Defender production. So I negotiated a middle-of-the-road value for Olive, ("Olive" is the name of my '74), to keep my premiums down, and to cover the potential cost of ever having to replace her. The insurance "value" of a scruffy, old truck.
A few months back, we helped a customer sell their '55 Series 1 86". Initially, we thought their asking price might be a little on the high side. To our surprise, it wasn't. Even more surprising was who bought it, and where it went to. The Canadian contact, (we'll call him the "agent"), was quite secretive about who the buyer was, right up until the truck was loaded on a container, bound for an over-seas trip, back to where the truck was originally manufactured in Solihull. Yes, it went to Jaguar Land Rover Classic, the Heritage division that is restoring classic Land Rovers. When they are finished, according to media reports, it may sell for £60,000 to £80,000. (Nope, those aren't dollars, they're British Pounds - do the math). Wow! We didn't see that coming!
Series and Defender Land Rovers are in the unique group of cars that actually appreciate in value over time. You don't see the Ford F150, Dodge Ram or Chevy Silverado appreciating in value. For that matter, I know that my 2004 Discovery, with 275,000kms on it, is worth... well, less than Olive which is 30 years older. On the other hand, we Land Rover owners need to keep in mind that it is a Land Rover... not a Jaguar, or Lotus, or Ferrari, or Lamborghini. It's a Land Rover, a very well-engineered, ultilitarian 4x4. Built in an era where things were meant to last. And unlike the afore-mentioned classic cars, meant to be driven, on the weekends, or even daily. That's where value meets pleasure. It doesn't need to sit in a garage, with a cover over it, waiting for the mid-summer, driest day, to be started, warmed-up and then put back under shelter.
So that investment you made in that old Land Rover... probably not a bad move at all. You can have the best of both worlds; driving a Classic along a bumpy country road on the way to work, and knowing that the value of the investment is probably going up.
For me ... it's the morning drive - that's the only "Value" this "Old Man" is interested in right now.