Junkyard Classic: 1998 Land Rover Discovery V8i 4×4 LWB – It’d Be A Stretch To Say I Love This Thing

As a generally ardent supporter of the five-second rule I’m not a germaphobe by any stretch of the imagination but I do approach stretch limos with the same trepidation as I would a mattress found on the roadside.  Thinking about it, I’ve never actually ridden in one, not even for my wedding (Rolls Royce Silver Cloud for the Klein nuptials, if you please.)  Just the idea of them usually gives me the creeps but the sight of this one made me overcome my fears for you, my loyal readers.  It being a Junkyard Classic makes it alright to speak ill of the dead as well.

Mind you, I’ll spoil it for you right here and admit I did NOT actually climb inside it.  Some boundaries just shall not be crossed.  However it was a wild enough sight that it did bear some contemplation.  I’m not known as the biggest Land Rover defender (Defender?)  in these parts but generally try to hold my tongue as in the past there have been instances of vocal opposition to some of my opinions on the matter.

I will say that after some thought, there are three things I genuinely like about Land Rovers.  1. I’ll admit they usually have genuine off-road chops from the factory, and 2. When new and often well into middle age, they generally smell absolutely fantastic inside, and 3. I like a greater proportion of their styling in almost any year’s lineup than that of most other brands.  Reading that list it’s kind of surprising I have not owned (or leased) one yet.  Hmm.

That being said, using a Discovery as a base for a stretch limo would ruin the off-road capability, slathering it in acres of fiber glass, cheap vinyl (or even supposed “leather”) and crappy plastic accoutrements does not make for an improved olfactory experience, and adding a vinyl top to a Land Rover isn’t a way to further improve the aesthetics, never mind the more than doubling of the original length.

Even powered by a 4.0liter V8, a Discovery is never going to be fast, but adding the kind of weight that this conversion would involve at a mile above sea level on a good day is a recipe for a journey best known as leisurely.  But maybe that’s OK, as nobody needs to be in a hurry when sampling and savoring Rocky Mountain Oysters during a chauffeured tour of the local establishments and you can rest assured that lots of alcohol would need to be supplied to, uh, wash that down.

I couldn’t help noticing that the side of this conveyance was labeled with “Los Amos De La Sierra”.  A little googling revealed that this is apparently a local band and a little deeper diving revealed that they seem to like limos for travel; some four years ago a prior limo of theirs somehow caught on fire in Utah enroute to Los Angeles after a rear wheel fell off.  Presumably this vehicle was the replacement and now they likely need yet another one.  Los Amos De La Sierra seem to be rough on the equipment.

Speaking of safety, let me put my “Dad-hat” on for a moment.  I’ve been in the back seat of a regular Discovery and the one thing I recall vividly is how narrow the rear door aperture was.  It was difficult to get in as well as out, it’s worse than an XJ Cherokee.  I cannot imagine if this vehicle somehow caught on fire and a dozen or two passengers had to quickly get out the back doors.  Or think about if one passenger perhaps enjoys their beverages a little too much, the road gets a little curvy, it’s maybe a little warm inside and an emergency mass evacuation is needed… I don’t think I’d want myself or my kids riding in one of these.

Still, I suppose I have to be impressed that this Discovery is itself of legal drinking age here in the States.  That’s a big milestone and not many first-gen Discoverys can claim that.  The odometer, assuming it works (see, I’m being positive), shows just over 100,000 miles on it, which were no doubt hard working miles.

Where does the band put their instruments?  Could there be a chase van too?  When does an actual bus start to make sense?  At least the spare is on the back door and not using up the cargo capacity but still. This one’s interesting in that it does NOT have the “+2” seating that was available in these.  Why wouldn’t a limo operator keep that to cram two more lucky bachelorettes into the party wagon?

I also don’t understand why this yard in general removes the wheels and tires before putting the vehicles out to pasture but they often leave the (often immaculate) spare wheel/tire in place.  And they will happily sell wheels and tires.

I just have so many questions.  Check out all those places to hold your champagne flute.  And mirrors on the ceiling.  Alright, I guess there are some answers I don’t really want.  But there are likely many stories to be found in the nooks and crannies back here. Whatever happened back here is likely to stay back here, I suppose.

The air freshener is probably a good idea but after 21 years of parties in the back just having one is likely a bit optimistic.  Still, when this was in the showroom back in the day before being sliced and diced this would have been a wonderfully aromatic place.

As if this thing needed more weight, it has the full roo-bar package too for good measure.  Anyway, that’s it for now, I gotta call Brendan to see if the chaps at Solihull were involved with this LWB conversion in any way.  And below is a little sampling of “Los Amos De La Sierra” in a video just for you, mi amigos.  They aren’t bad at all!