Posts Tagged ‘dealership’

A touch of luxury at Cole European

11th March 2011 by Helen

We’ve spent much of the last few days relaxing in Petaluma, reading, taking the odd walk, generally chilling out.  It rained quite a bit but that was OK.  Then on Thursday (10th) we headed south a little to Walnut Creek, where we were to spend the next day with the Cole European Land Rover Dealership.   

cole european name - snipped from websiteWe were absolutely delighted with the reception we received at Cole European.  It seems everyone was waiting outside to greet us when we arrived mid-afternoon.  We were treated to a couple of nights in a local hotel and we felt a bit like royalty for a while.

After a comfy night’s sleep, Friday morning we arrived bright and early at the Dealership and set up camp in the entrance to the service area, where Cole European were holding a service clinic for their customers.  Although a long day the hours sped by as we spent the day talking to customers about Land Rovers and our expedition.  The video of our first leg was playing on the TV inside during the day and then at the end Paul added to this with a slide show late in the afternoon.

Landy gets a new power steering fluid reservoir - thanks to Cole European

Landy gets a new power steering fluid reservoir - thanks to Cole European

While we were there Cole European also very kindly replaced our power steering fluid reservoir – although Paul had repaired it with twin pack epoxy after the accident in Siberia it was leaking slightly and we’d left a little pink puddle of fluid at our last dealership visit!!  Not too clever!!

Cole European was founded by Bob Cole, racing driver from the 1950’s & 60’s.  We were impressed with his employment motto to: ‘employ people who know more than you do and give them space’.  It obviously works as they certainly have an enthusiastic and united team working there.

snake charming at Cole European

snake charming at Cole European

It was a long and exhausting day but not before I’d managed to get my photo taken with one of the snakes that had been brought along, also for the day, from a local wildlife sanctuary.

Campsite – Marriott Hotel, Walnut Creek

Face to face with a Cheetah

5th March 2011 by Helen

2011 03 05 (15) - Land Rover Marin - Landy set upWhat a fantastic day we’ve had today.  We’d arranged to take Landy along to the Land Rover Dealership at Corta Madera, between the campsite where we’ve been staying and San Francisco itself.  Doughnuts for elevenses and a buffet lunch helped keep us going as we talked to the many people who came through the doors during the day.  Paul had put together a video comprising footage and stills taken mainly from our Central Asian leg, which played in the background to the accompanying sounds of Mongolian Throat Music.  This is generally an acquired taste in music but somehow the beat and rhythm gets under your skin and is actually quite addictive.

The kids (and some moms and dads) enjoyed taking advantage of peeking into our bedroom (tent).   A few took our ‘ten tips for overlanding’ leaflets.  A few others wanted a peek under the bonnet when they read our sign about how we fixed the damage caused by the accident with the horse in Siberia (fan shroud made of baked bean cans and gaffer tape).  We demonstrated our hand operated water filtration system on some water doctored with some mud and grass from the campsite – and with a cheer for the parents who let their kids drink the (perfectly safe) filtered water.

2011 03 05 (7) - Land Rover Marin - Tango posing on tableWe took our turn to wander around the showroom and have a look at Tango the cheetah who had been brought in as the other half of the attraction for this Land Rover family day out.  This amazing big cat lounged on the table and periodically stretched as he was supervised by his handlers, completely oblivious of the flashing of camera lights and gaggle of people staring at him.  And this cheetah charmed us all with some very loud purring.  We learned how the cheetah is a shy animal more inclined to run away than attack, but is often lumped together with the more aggressive members of the big cat family and shot, leading to its numbers becoming dangerously low.  Tango is helping promote the development of a new cheetah sanctuary in Kenya, which we hope to visit when we reach that country.

By the end of the day we were exhausted and all talked out but happy.

Stationary in Stavropol

22nd June 2010 by Helen

We have taken the opportunity of the hotel in Stavropol to get our registration done (compulsory in Russia and only possible by hotels or residents).  Paul has also taken the opportunity of there being a Land Rover dealership here where we have been able to have some of the extra work done that we did not get a chance to complete before we left.  They were rather amazed by the fact that he had all the spare parts on board.  They were also puzzled by the fact that there is no computer diagnostics as they had never seen a pre-computerised engine before!!  In turn we were amazed by their workshop.  Before they would let Landy in he had to go through the washer to make sure he was nice and sparkly clean.  The showroom is one of a block of about half a dozen showrooms on the outskirts of town.  There are several of these blocks and it seems all the world’s car manufacturers have their own showroom here.  Kinda keeps it all together.  However, what amazed us was that the workshop (which can be seen through the windows at the back of the showroom) is absolutely sparkling clean.  The floor throughout all the showrooms, which interlink with doors, is cleaned by one group of cleaners throughout the day and we saw it mopped several times.  The workshops get the same treatment.  The other thing is that the workshops are open between dealerships and it appears as if there is some shared facilities there too.  Photos to follow.