I'm on my second white '94-'99 DI (1st a '96, 2nd and present a '95, might add a '99 to the fleet soon.)
I've always been a car/truck/motorcycle guy. Most of us probably are. I ride the flagship of ADV bikes (IMO), a black carb'd fully-farkled KTM 950. It's an awesome bike. I have a gorgeous 1979 Mercedes Benz 240, 4-speed, 100% original, paint, interior, everything, that I bought from an old Phoenix retiree. I had a pretty sweet 1972 Chevrolet C20 with a 4-speed mated to a 454. Also an Arizona truck and badass by any definition.
But when I drive the Rover I keep catching myself looking back at my truck after I park it somewhere and I keep catching myself intentionally spending a few more minutes behind the wheel than I need wherever I'm going.
Here and there I've noticed some posts from non-LR people inquiring about possible LR ownership -- reliability, models, CDL or non-CDL. Etc. It's given me pause to reflect on why this particular make and model grabs me like nothing else I've ever owned or had the pleasure of driving. I haven't come across a thread recently that had any metaphysical reflections on why we all MUST have this truck and nothing else. So I thought I'd share my impressions.
I love the seating position and the size of the windows. I love that the top of my hip is basically level with the sills -- like I could jump right out in a moment's notice. I love the stadium-seat orientation of the 2nd row... your view isn't blocked by the driver or passenger seats, instead you look down and out. The visibility is superb. There is no other truck out there that compares.
I love the thickness of the steering wheel and how close and upright it's oriented vis a vis the driver. It commands you to scoot up close and drive it like a helmsman would a schooner.
This applies to [less frequently used] rear passenger doors on D1s: I love how they Pop! open. They make a sound I can't put my finger on. You know what I'm talking about. Play me a .5 second clip of that sound and I could pick it out of a thousand different car-door sound clips.
I love how the little green trailer light illuminates every time you engage the left/right hand turn signal.
I love how excited my friends' kids get when I drive and they fight each other over who gets to ride in the jump seat. Sometimes, if we're going a long ways, I'll have to pull over at an agreed-upon time so they can switch out.
I love the ch'CHUNK! of the keyless entry, and how all 4 door locks will rarely come up or down at the same time. Usually it's like "ch'ch'ch'chunk! But sometimes they do, and I think to myself, "Attaboy Rover!"
I love how when I hit a wash a little quickly, the truck will respond by popping on the 4-way emergency flashers. I've had this happen on 3 different D1s.
I absolutely love the cabin. I mentioned the giant windows. But I love the view down the hood. I love the staggered headliner, the alpine windows, the little storage nets, the optimistic (in terms of actually working) rear A/C, and how when I lean on my left elbow, out the window, while driving, and my passenger leans on her right elbow, a HMMWV-esque chasm of delicious space separates us.
I love how when I back up, I can grab the passenger seat Oh **** handle (why the '94/'95 seats were cooler).
I love that no matter where I am in my life I will always be happier if I have a white 1994-1999 DI in my possession. Gas prices, reliability, whatever. This truck does it for me.
Why MUST you guys drive a Rover?