WHO: Harry Thuku, Range Rover fan, collector
CAR: 1979 – Range Rover
What attracted you to this car? I’m and always have been a huge Range Rover fan. When I found this one, it was doing time as an ambulance at Avenue Hospital in Nairobi. I have several of them and wanted to add to my collection.
It has a 3.5-litre V8 engine and all the off-roading bells and whistles you would expect of such a car. I travel a lot, and after I’m done, I get it repainted every year and ready for the Concours d’Elegance. What do you love most about it? It’s the best for off-roading.
There are other marques, but for me, Range Rovers set the benchmark. I have been to Turkana and it has just been reliable. Most people buy Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV’s) and never go off road, but I make good use of my cars.
The engine is powerful; allowing you to have the confidence to push it off road and the capability is impressive. Ever since I got it, I have always been off the beaten path. It has taken me to Mt Kenya, Lake Jipe (an inter-territorial lake straddling the borders of Kenya and Tanzania) and the Mara.
A proper SUV should be used off the road. Any downsides to speak of? Not really. Some parts have to be imported from the UK. They are available here, but the price is severely prohibitive and it is better to import them. It is also not the most planet-friendly in terms of efficiency and fuel consumption. Of course you cannot compare this with a Toyota Vitz, but if you compare it with its direct rivals, it’s not so bad.