Redressing the Leyland balance

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Sir,

In view of the amount of “Leyland bashing” sometimes in your editorial, but mainly in your letters column, perhaps we might be allowed to redress the balance a little.

We have been running a company Range Rover for over two years and 24,000 miles, with most of the mileage covered in the UK, but some in Western Europe.

The car has never let us down, and is extremely comfortable both for driver and Passengers (although elderly passengers find it difficult to reach the rear seats). Apart from some transmission noise it is ideal long distance transport, and will cruise comfortably on the Autobahn at 145 k.p.h. (90 m.p.h.) plus. Fuel consumption averages 15/16 m.p.g.

It is a good strong no-nonsense workhorse in all weather conditions over a variety of road and off-road surfaces, and carries over half a tonne when required.

It is serviced by Dutton-Forshaw at Maidstone, and whilst they didn’t supply the vehicle, look after it as if they had. We are most impressed with the attitude and skills of both the service and bodyshop staff, which will certainly influence where we purchase our next BL vehicle.

Parts supply has been exemplary, even during the 1977 strike, thanks to the kind assistance of Leyland Service and Parts personnel at Cowley and Coventry. No mass produced vehicle is perfect, and our Range Rover is no exception. A distance piece in the gearbox disintegrated (noticed during a service), wind whistled through the passenger door and the tailgate rusted. All three faults were rectified promptly, thoroughly, and courteously by Dutton-Forshaw at no cost to ourselves during the two year warranty period. We took out second year Supercover as a very sensible Insurance, you probably won’t need it, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

There were absolutely no arguments over the warranty claims, and Dutton-Forshaw and BL Cars are to be congratulated in their handling of what is very often a sensitive customer relations situation.

The Range Rover is very much admired and respected in West Germany, as it is throughout Europe. Whilst visiting Germany last November I was told that the West German police forces would like to have Range Rovers for autobahn police patrol work, but have had their requests refused pending the arrival of the new DaimlerBenz/Hallinger 4WD vehicle.

Patriotism seems peculiarly foreign to the British, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Unlike some of your readers who have no connections, we have some connection with BL Cars (as suppliers of service protection products) but we don’t feel that this has unduly influenced BL Cars, Dutton-Forshaw or ourselves with regard to our Range Rover. We think that it is an example of a very fine product of British Engineering.

Thank you BL Cars.

As a private motorist, like C.R. I have a 3.8 Mk. 2 (the second since 1970) and feel the same way about the car as he does (Motor Sport March 1978).

I know he once said “we are selling Jaguars not Lyons”, but when are we going to see the definitive biography of Sir Williams Lyons, and the revised history of his distinctive cars? Cars that have brought great pleasure to motorists all over the world and a not inconsiderable amount of hard currency back to Britain.

Thank you for a unique magazine, which I have been reading since 1953, Please never ,”modernise”.

Ashford, Kent COLIN W. HUMBERSTONE