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!
Will this thing even fit in a normal crusher? Or does some poor slob get to use a cutting torch before the big day? How could anyone expect to remove that luxurious looking couch from the passenger compartment? If you break a mirror from a salvage vehicle does that exempt you from seven years bad luck?
The questions just don’t end.
Yeah I’ve never seen a crusher that long, so I’d say it is going to have to get cut in half at least before it leaves the yard. I do suspect that a good operator can rip it in half with the claw they use to extract the engine, trans and wiring harness.
I can’t say that I’ve seen a wrecking yard that doesn’t remove the wheels and set them on their wheel stands when they hit the parts section. They don’t allow jacks in the yards around here and they want them up in the air in case someone wants something underneath the car. Once it is on the stands then you can’t really remove the wheels with hand tools and rotors/drums are a popular item to sell.
I lived in Manhattan twenty years ago. Marathon-stretched SUVs and CUVs were the rage for groups out on the town. I don’t recall seeing a Discovery, but Hummer H2s and base model BMW X5s suffered the indignity of looking like rolling wiener-dogs. I’m pretty sure the operators kept the music turned up to eleven to drown the noise of their ‘structures’ creaking and groaning over the broken streets of New York. I’m pretty surprised to see that this thing made it to a hundred thousand miles, and that it did it with a Rover V8. That’s pretty close to how long stretched Town Cars were kept in service, at least when they were replaceable.
I surprised by the good condition of the interior and body. I’m kind of surprised that the vehicle didn’t slide down the ownership chain to another level of use. I’ve seen many types of novelty stretch limos around the Bay Area. A Porsche 911 and even a ’57 Chevy. The hard working Lincoln Town car based examples are still occasionally seen earning their keep. Opinions vary, but I see any stretch limo as a huge proclamation of very bad taste. Right at the level of a “party bus”. I have, on the other hand, had a strong fascination with pre 1977 Cadillac Seventy Fives. I like how the rear quarter panels are based on the Coupe de Ville and the air craft style, cut in the roof doors. Oh and those cool jump seats! I can see how having one, with a driver, as your personal transport could be very cool. Ala Lincoln Lawyer.
How do 20 guests sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide in through the back door one after another, without ruining their clothes and knees on that table?
Looks like the bottom folds up? Fold it up, everyone gets in and walks(?) down the long isle, fold it down and have a seat?
It looks pretty clean inside all things considered. I would have been curious enough to climb in and check it out myself.
OOPS! Wrong picture.
Now, I could roll with one of these!
Love the dual alternators. And I have to wonder if the 4wd was kept operational. I have NEVER seen a limo out in the snow…
Quite a discovery here — a junkyard limo evokes (evoques?) all kinds of odd imagery. Good move not to step inside!
Come to think of it, I’ve never ridden in a limousine either; our wedding car was a rented Grand Am.
Glad to see it is retired and junked rather than being a death trap like that one in NY a couple years ago. Eighteen dead in the limo and two more bystanders.
I was remembering the Town Car limo that caught on fire on the San Mateo bridge a few years back now. That was horrible too, they weren’t able to get out in time after it finally stopped.
Was it still a 4WD or just FWD with the transfer case locked in 4?, the interior reminds me of the interior of a troop plane, everyone lined up along a wall waiting to bail out, it does have tall and roomy going for it like a real limousine unlike the mobile crawl space most stretchies resemble, I’m glad its found its natural home its awful.
I’d suspect FWD only. There’s no sign off a driveshaft to the rear, I can’t imagine someone in a junkyard disconnecting a driveshaft like that just for fun, and sure nobody would be looking for one that length!
It would have a multi-piece driveshaft for that kind of length so only the final segment would be angled down.
It showing up with out its driveshaft hooked up wouldn’t be surprising, This didn’t come on a flat bed so it is not that unsual to pull the driveshaft and tie it up. I dobut they would want to try their wheel dollies on this beast. I doubt those little tires that they have could handle it. Of course the tires on this are probably overloaded anyway.
I was back there today, it actually has a multipiece driveshaft, there are about six segments all u-jointed together. All still hooked up currently.
Do yo know if it’s available for purchase?
Ironically over here I’ve never seen a stretch limo Discovery or other Land Rover, but there are plenty of Jeep and Hummer stretch limos around.
I agree with you that LR never made a bad-looking device, which makes it even sadder that they never made a good vehicle either.
One presumes a stretch Discovery is what one orders when you really don’t want to go to the party. Or are at least a highly-committed gambler.
I still don’t get why they used a Discovery, and not anything wider. For limo standards, this thing is basically pencil-thin.
Yes, the first-gen Discovery is barely wider than a Ford Ranger.
It is a shame the owner gave up on this one so easily. I’ll bet Brendan could have found a buyer for it in a heartbeat. 🙂
I always found vehicles that are not normal candidates for the cut and stretch treatment a sort of fascinatingly odd atrocity.
Case in point–the attached photo of this utterly weird and slightly inappropriate Volvo 240 series limousine. Imagine a sensible car normally bought by stuffy college professors, stretched out and trimmed in luxury goods to schlep around VIPs. It screams “juxtaposition” quite loudly!
One of the more amazing finds, junkyard or curbside. I would never have thought anyone would pick this vehicle for this job. I bet that little 4.0 former-Buick V8 had its work cut out for it. At least it has a Low range for those steep hills!
“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.)”
35 years ago today, we rode to/from our wedding in a 1974 Ford Pinto wagon with her parents. Mine drove in a 1985 Chrysler Fifth Avenue.
Not a stretch in sight.
I got married 34 years ago yesterday. We just made our separate ways to the church, drove to the reception site in my car and then switched to her car to leave on our honeymoon. The only time I have ever ridden in any kind of limo was from the church to the graveyard at my father-in-law’s funeral. Maybe it was the seriousness of the occasion but I can’t say I was impressed.