ETC
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
Back around the turn of the century, it had long been obvious to passenger-vehicle manufacturers that SUVs would be the key to financial survival. Big truck-based SUVs, medium-sized unibody SUVs, hatchbacks that looked sort of SUV-ish, and compact SUVs, that was the ticket! Land Rover got into the compact-SUV game with the Freelander, which was sold by that name for just the 2002 through 2005 model years. Here's a semi-rare '03, spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.



The Freelander and its LR2 successor never sold especially well in the United States, and most depreciated into scrap-value status a few years back. In spite of this, the Freelander has been declared a "heritage vehicle" by Land Rover, which means parts will remain available.



This one appears to be in good shape for a 14-year-old truck, but it wasn't worth fixing when something complex and/or expensive failed (or perhaps its owner just neglected to pay a bunch of back parking tickets and the truck got towed away and auctioned off).



Some junkyard shopper has scored the 2.5-liter, 175-horse V6, and we wish him well. You may remember this engine as the powerplant used in the early Kia Sedona.



When I went to photograph the engine compartment, I just about went crazy trying to find the hood release. Finally, I remembered that this was a right-hand-drive truck in its British homeland, and that Land Rover might not have wanted to spend the extra dosh to move the release to the left side. Sure enough, here it is, where passengers can pop the hood during periods of traffic-jam boredom.



Rear drum brakes have survived on light-duty vehicles well into our current century.



With the digital odometer, there's no telling how many miles this truck traveled during its life in California. I'm going to guess the final figure was above 100,000, but not much above.



You can drive it from Ranchos Palos Verdes all the way to the Amazon, pick up some handmade souvenirs, then see those souvenirs mocked by your date. This ad is a puzzler.



In the Old World, the Freelander was marketed as a wild African beast.

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