The young and sharp-eyed among you might recognise the unit in the picture above. It’s something more likely to be fitted in a modified Vauxhall Corsa than a Land Rover Defender – a bass box.
The Defender is so noisy in the cabin once you reach 50mph that the hi-fi system needs all the help it can get to force music into your ears. Hence the mega-watt Alpine system – what would Maurice Wilks the original Land Rover designer think of that, I wonder?
Having discovered the manual aerial, I’m now benefitting from Radio 4 in deep bass mode. Not sure that’s what this piece of kit was created for but even The Archers theme tune is ‘kicking’ with bass.
Luxuries like this, plus electric windows and heated windscreen seem a little out of place in a Defender but it’s still way off the sophisticated interior of it’s closest rival, the Jeep Wrangler Overland…
Know any good jokes about car aerials – the kind you have to manually extend from the bodywork? No, neither do I but I did have a funny moment with a Ferrari radio once.
Mention this because I’ve just discovered why the Defender’s radio reception is so crap. Because it has an aerial you need to extend in the old-fashioned way. Yes, it’s been so long since I’ve had to do this that I didn’t have an inkling this would be the reason.
Back to the Ferrari. I was once at a party in Ireland with a friend who had never sat in a Ferrari. There was one parked outside and I asked the owner if he would mind if I showed my pal over it. Not at all, here’s the key.
Off we went. I opened the boot to show him the engine, he sat in the driver’s seat and started the car. The electric aerial went up by the boot hinge and immediately broke against the lid. It dangled like something that has been abused and then dangles limply afterwards in a pathetic way.
The ‘cool’ owner turned out to be a less impressed and sent me a bill! He was a prat (you know who you are) and was the sort of bloke who walked around with his flied always half down.
You can’t do that sort of damage to the Defender aerial. At last I’ve found it now…