I loved my 83 Cadillac, but I quickly ran into problems with it. I wanted to have a comfy car for 3-4 hour road trips to nearby places like LA and Palm Springs. I pretty quickly figured out that’s a bad idea in a 40-year-old Caddy, especially one with the HT4100 engine that doesn’t fare well in the desert. If I somehow had a giant warehouse garage, I’d have kept it, but I couldn’t justify keeping a car that I could only use in the fall/winter, and only around town.
When thinking about a road-trip replacement, I kept coming back to my Icelandic Land Rover Defender. I looooved it: comfortable, spacious, reliable, capable, and it looked fantastic. We used the heck out of it. Sadly, the US doesn’t allow you to import cars from other countries until they’re 25 years old, so we had to sell it in Iceland when we moved back to the US.
Land Rover just unveiled an even better version, the 130 Outbound, specifically focused on overlanding and road trips. I bought one of the first ones available in the US:
It’s big, but it doesn’t try to be a 3-row 8-person school bus. It only has 2 rows of seats, and the 2nd row folds down nicely. The result is a huuuuuge fairly-flat load floor. On our first road trip with it, we were able to bring home a ton of bags from the Cabazon outlet stores, and yet still had enough room for Yives to lay down and take a nap on the foam mattress we keep in the back.
Amping up the funkiness, the Outbound’s back sides have body-paint panels rather than glass windows. Because I bought a black one, the black panels aren’t obvious yet – they look like windows, but they’re not. Those panels will be more obvious once I wrap it. I’m still deciding between satin black like the launch press photos, or a subtle camouflage pattern done with a combination of matte and gloss black.
I leaned into the “James Bond villain goes offroading” look with 4-spoke Mondial 20″ wheels from Chelsea Truck Company. The satin black finish makes ’em look like steel wheels, but they’re actually light forged alloys.
I won’t be doing any electronics work on this one: it’s just gonna be a workhorse. It’s got wireless CarPlay, heated & cooled seats, the advanced off-road options, and a tow hitch. Like our Icelandic Defender, this one will lead an adventurous life.