The last time I’d been to Telluride, Colorado, it was with Bobby Unser and some of his pals. Flew over a jump on a dirt bike and cracked my shoulder blade when I landed, even without crashing. We went down into town where a doc took an X-ray and prescribed some pain pills. Went back up on the mountain riding shotgun in Bobby’s turbocharged buggy with his wife Lisa driving, and for the next two days slugged the pills with shots of Schnapps at 10,000 feet. Needless to say, feeling no pain.
It was just as much fun this time around, with a very cool group from Land Rover, driving 2011 Range Rovers and LR4s. The object was to prove the offroad capability of the vehicles, and mission accomplished, most notably crossing the narrow, rocky, and stepped Imogene Pass and Black Bear Pass, just over and under 13,000 feet, respectively.
Each vehicle had one driver and a Land Rover instructor. Some of the instructors were Camel Trophy veterans, and now since there’s no more Camel Trophy they’re like fighter pilots after the war is over, looking for challenges and opportunities. This Colorado Adventure was it.
It was a great couple of days. I haven’t hung with guys having that much capability and stamina since I wrote about outdoor adventurers for Sports Illustrated, and worked with SI photographers.
Here’s a photo essay with pics supplied by Land Rover, who hired the hard-working and talented photographer Gunnar Conrad to chase after the vehicles, mostly on foot, it seemed.
If you want to know about the new Range Rover and Land Rover LR4, try www.newcartestdrive.com, where I’ll be updating the reviews for 2011, after I do this fun stuff. The captions here are real quotes, although completely out of context and anonymous to spare the not-so innocent.
"It’s not about whether or not a Land Rover or Range Rover can do it. It already gets people who don’t know what they’re doing way farther than they should. It’s about how it does it, with grace and comfort."
"What you see out the windshield, you program into the car by using the modes. It’s like a 6000-pound computer. This thing will over-ride pretty much every stupid thing you can do except throttle down a hill."
“I was at an event with Paris Hilton. She’s got this white Range Rover. It has white leather upholstery, pink piping, and a bedazzled Range Rover medallion. Even the instrument panel is all bedazzled.”
“Land Rover Love is like a disease. It’s fairly incurable. The only thing that will cure it is death.”
“We have a saying: ‘The front wheels are just the first forty thousand dollars, you got to get the other 40 thousand through too.’ ”
“I love to crawl. It’s all about finesse. The easier you go, the better it looks. Any fool can hammer the throttle to get through a section.”
"When I tell people what I do at parties, they always say to me, ‘Oh, I have a Jeep.’ I say, ‘Sorry, I can’t solve your personal problems.’ I don’t have a problem with Jeeps per se, I just have a problem with the rednecks that drive them.”
“How many Camel Trophy instructors does it take to change a tire? One more.”
“Take 100 men and 100 women. The men will find 50 women that are good enough for them. The women will find 10 men. We know what we want. They don’t. That puts us at an enormous disadvantage.”
Young autojourno: “Is the elk burger vegetarian?”
Older waitress: “This boy doesn’t get out much, does he?”
|A local showed up with his own Range Rover. "Took the hard way down the mountain one time," he said. "Ever since then I've been a celebrity."
"Remember that time those guys sank the camera car? Got it back and opened the doors and 35 fish fell out. They were afraid to tell corporate about it. For the longest time, corporate thought it was at the bottom of the river."
"Sometimes you need a separate basket for your balls."
“What’s the purpose of ABS? Stop the wheels from locking up. What’s the benefit of ABS? Directional control.”
“Why do I trust you? Because you don’t want to die any more than I do. And even if you did, there’s enough time for me to climb over the hood and beat you to a f***ing pulp.”
Everybody say, "Jeeeeeeep!"
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