Sunday, January 08, 2006

Gas powered Land Rover Discovery

Last year I was fed up with not being able to go out because of the snow and our road not being gritted, also the children wanted a 7 seater car so they could take friends with them on trips. My solution was to buy a 1991 Land Rover Discovery V8. We considered various People Cariers in cluding some with "soft" four wheel drive but the Land Rover was much cheaper. Like many Land Rover Discoveries with a V8 petrol engine it has been converted to run on Liquid Petroleum Gas ) LPG, which is mainly Propane. The point is that the car wieghs well over a couple of tonnes and Land Rover designed it to be driven over deserts and across streams in severe conditions and not for economy. For example the massive engine cooling fan runs all the time and overrated for cold climates. The beast would do about 19 miles to the gallon on petrol! But instead it has two 35 litre "torpeodo" tanks under the sills, which give a cruising range of about 190 miles. Which is plenty far enough given the density of LPG stations. And with LPG at 35 - 40 pence per litre in cost terms it is more like running an ordinary car -- equivalent of 30-35 mpg. Also the exhaust emmissions are very much less. One of the reasons that the fuel is cheaper.

We havent had any serious snow yet this winter but we all enjoy driving around in the Land Rover which has a great view being high up, and some of the most comfortable front seats I have tried (including an old Saab 900 I had once).

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