A New Door Latch



My landrover was fitted with a new driver’s door latch today.

Her Name is Mathubathuba, after the first son of the second wife of King Setswayo, who was also “bashed in” by a forceps birth.

We have explored four hundred thousand kilometers together, it was the least that I could do, her door was rattling poor girl. They say that this type of vehicle tends to be a little on the dodgy side, unreliable, things break and jokes about them flow freely. I fitted a door latch today, not a head gasket, crankshaft, alternator, axle spider, half-shaft or cigar lighter, nothing visceral. No it was a R40 part and I drove 50 kms there and back to get it. Such is the respect that reigns between us. I scratch her back and she gets me home.

She got me home from the Magalliesburg with a broken half-shaft. Not her fault poor lass, I must have changed gear badly. She brought me home from Lesotho with TWO broken half shafts. Only a disgustingly bad driver could do that even if we crossed a 16 km mountain pass that took three days and sixteen river crossings.
She drove home from The Roof Of Africa Race with no clutch at all. Border crossings and all! What a darling. Last month we made it back from The Lesotho Sky MTB Race with no steering hydraulics. Home. Not stuck in a ditch somewhere far from an expresso coffee. Land Rovers do that. (Although mine has her own expresso coffee on board).

A door latch was a little luxury that she deserved. So of course was the rebuilt (to race level 1 specifications) engine at 200,000 km, the new stainless steel, free flow racing exhaust, the rebuilt gearbox at 150,000 km and at 350,000 km, the new half-shafts all around, the new hand wound custom made alternator, the new steering box and all hydraulics at 250,000 and at 390,000, the new bonnet at 395,000, wheels at 300,000, the new pneumatic locking differentials on both axles, with twin air compressors, the twin Delco 105 amp hour batteries and the 80w solar panel and on board charger. New suspension bushes everywhere, twice, new shock- absorbers and springs and new wheel bearings and seals. Upgraded head lights, Cibie spot lights and a bull bar to match with a hydraulic winch and especially imported 150 psi auxiliary pump to drive it.
Who would not disburse such minor expenses on such a reliable lady of the road?
And they say that Land Rovers are unreliable. Poppycock! All you have to do is to spoil them a little and they will always return your love. My Mathubathuba loves me.

Leave a Reply