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The Range Rover was the first vehicle ever I drove. Before I began driving, only recently, I didn’t really know anything about cars.
My dad had owned different ones over the years, but I would never be able to recognise them, except maybe the red Toyota he had in 1998.
I would type into Google ‘what does a Toyota/Mazda/Nissan badge look like?’, just to make sure I got into the right Uber taxi.
Then, three years ago, I moved from Russia to Orange County, California.
There is something to be said for good public transport, and in Moscow I could catch a train to anywhere in the city every three minutes, but in California it took no time to realise how important it is to have a car of your own.
I am a collector of all things ‘vintage’; I appreciate items that have been living for decades and retain their quality and condition.
The build of vintage goods is far better than that of the new stuff we consume.
Items that were made, say, 50 years ago are unique in their style and substance, so when my husband gave me a ’93 Range Rover County, I fell in love with how it looked and how it drove.
This car mirrors me, as a classic girl from Russia.
After a year of driving nothing but my Range Rover, I then had to hire a rental car while it was in the shop to have its engine changed. Driving a brand-new car was a completely different experience.
I couldn’t feel it at all, but in the Range Rover when I speed up I can sense it – intuitively, physically.
I drive across different states and in all conditions – in the snow, in the mountains, in the deserts – and the car always feels safe and is extremely comfortable.
When I came to the USA, almost everywhere I went would give me déjà vu.
I was amazed how many beautiful old cars people drive here. All the vintage and antique stores remind me of a sort of American Dream from the era of The Great Gatsby.
Similarly, from the Range Rover’s driving seat, I feel as if I’m in Pulp Fiction, pretending to be Uma Thurman.
My character definitely changes when I jump from a new car to this one; even the style of my clothing changes.
It may seem silly or unnecessarily emotional, but the car really gives me a good feeling. My confidence grows whenever I drive it.
The Range Rover is known as a car that is loved by the British Royal family.
Whether for state visits, hunting trips or to go to the races, the monarchy has long chosen to arrive by Range Rover – and so it has been since the very first version of this luxury off-roader.
There is a picture of a pregnant Diana, Princess of Wales, sitting with the Prince of Wales on the bonnet of a green Range Rover at the Grand National.
Charles today seems to prefer Audis, but it’s a Range Rover that the Prince will choose for turning up at a polo match. Because it’s classy.
Sometimes it’s hard to take care of the car, because so much of what we need for it comes in from the UK, but I appreciate it more with every year.
Nobody makes cars such as this any more, cars that feel as if they can serve you for ever.
People follow me sometimes on the road to ask if I would sell it.
It’s interesting, but it can also be a bit frightening when people come up to the door and ask me to wind down the window, just to offer to buy my car.
I tell them all the same thing: I will never sell my beautiful classic Range Rover.
Images: Anna Vostrikova
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