I knew what it was when I bought it. I'm pretty experienced buying old cars of many brands. I have owned it a while, and do not plan on getting rid of it.
It does what I need it to. But it's rarely ever not breaking. It pretty much has something wrong with it all the time. Takes up a lot of weekend time. It's old.. and it's British.
The only redeeming quality of it is that it's only got a few bolt sizes and is very rudimentary. No extra accessories to repair. It's an engine, body and wheels.
It rides horribly. If you've never driven a leaf sprung vehicle, you can't imagine. The stock springs rust together no matter what you try. They have almost no spring at all.
Horrible reliability.. which should be explained. The truck rarely leaves me unable to start it. As long as I have a few wrenches in the car. Things shake loose... wires break. Hoses crack. If you don't do your own work, These things will bleed you dry on labour.. Even relative to vehicles of similar age. I make a decent living. I don't know how the unemployed hippie types that generally go in for these things keep them going. I imagine.. with a lot of cobbling.
I've put abut 2000 dollars into the truck in the last 2 years. None of it "major" parts... like engines or axle housings. All repair and maintenance parts and such... all with my own labor. No mods or special equipment. Just the stuff above.
It has been off the road for extended times before waiting on parts etc.
Its tiny inside. Slightly more comfortable than a CJ5. Elbow hits the door. Knee hits the door. But not the dash.
Safety.. we don't need no stinking safety.
Plenty of people claim they commute in them every day.. etc. You will generally find these people to be the "hippie" type. It's not a logical thing.. they do it because of the image.
It might also be worth mentioning to the young. If you've never driven a 3 speed (first is too low to count) weighing 4000 lbs yet only having 75 (top condition on leaded gas) horse power. You're in for a surprise. Volkswagen vans laugh at the acceleration of these things.
What's some positive spin?
Well. If you like being stopped in the parking lot and having people compliment you on your truck or ask what it is. It's good for that.
It's good for lubricating your driveway.
I've taken mine apart.. well I think all of it has been removed and replaced at some point. Replaced with new style gaskets and RTV.. and it still leaks.
It's.. better than nothing, but it does what it's supposed to and a good mechanic can keep it running well. The engine will never blow up.. though it might not start. It's not powerful enough to easily break axles and drive shafts. It does.. but not that readily..
A jeep is a better vehicle.
It's a fan mobile. I like it for all its faults.
I guess it's kind of like a game. Always fighting it. Driving down the road is like a win.