Opinion

Jezza’s Range Rover L322 is our star of Clarkson’s Farm

by Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
17 February 2023 3 min read
Jezza’s Range Rover L322 is our star of Clarkson’s Farm
Photos: Amazon Studios

Clarkson’s Farm 2 is currently the number one show on Amazon’s Prime streaming service, with Jeremy sitting ahead of Jack Ryan, J.Lo and Jack Reacher in the battle of the Js. Jolly good work, Jezza and friends.

Fans of the show have been quick to heap praise on the second series, which charts the ongoing battle with red tape, bovine TB, bird flu and, most significantly, West Oxfordshire District Council, as Clarkson attempts to turn Diddly Squat farm into a profitable business.

How much is your car to insure? Find out in four easy steps.
Get a quote

You don’t have to like Clarkson – and there are plenty of people who don’t, especially following recent events – but it’s impossible not to be captivated by this entertaining and insightful look at the ins and outs of modern farming.

A recent article on the show is currently one of the most-read stories on Farmers Weekly, while The Guardian has given Clarkson’s Farm 2 a solid four-star rating.

Not everyone is impressed, with Clarkson’s apparent cavalier attitude towards farm safety coming in for criticism from the Health and Safety Executive. A spokesperson said: “We are aware of some concerns made about the programme and the image it portrays of poor risk management in farming. As a result, enquiries are being made.”

Jeremy Clarkson L322 Range Rover

Several threads run through the eight episodes of the second series. Kaleb’s invaluable assistance in keeping Clarkson on the straight and narrow (at times, quite literally). Gerald’s fast-talking jibber-jabber. Charlie’s calmness and reassurance under pressure. And Clarkson’s magnificent Range Rover (L322).

At the last MOT in September 2022, the Range Rover, a Vogue SE with a 3.6-litre TDV8 engine, had covered 85,080 miles. The front brakes and rear tyres needed replacing, but it was a generally clean pass for a Land Rover with 85k miles and 15 years of hard use behind it. 

Clarkson has owned at least two, maybe more, over the years, and he has an attachment to them that goes beyond the rational. Writing in The Sunday Times, in November – when he revealed David Cameron had borrowed his prized 1961 Massey tractor and blown a hole in the side of the engine block – Clarkson said: ‘I have similar problems with my 17-year-old Range Rover. Both its turbochargers “blew up” recently and the cost of replacing them far outweighed the total value of the car. But sending it off to be turned into pots and pans was too much of a wrench. It would be like executing your dog because the bill for mending its broken leg would be bigger than the cost of the animal in the first place.

‘Of course I could afford to replace the old Range Rover with the latest model. I’ve tried it and it’s a damn good car. But I’d have to wait 17 years for it to become “my” car. Until then it would just be a tool.’

To our eyes, the L322 somehow manages to look classy and understated, rather than vulgar and ostentatious. Clarkson’s Range Rover blends in with the Oxfordshire countryside like a wax jacket, a pair of Hunter Balmoral wellies and a Springer Spaniel. It’s the right age, spec and colour. We said something similar about The Queen’s 2009 L322 when rounding up our favourite ‘old money’ modern classics.

Episode six of Clarkson’s Farm 2 sees the L322 hit peak brilliance when Jeremy Clarkson opens it up to reveal a drinks cabinet in the boot. He calls it an “emergency first aid kit”, before pouring a couple of glasses of sloe gin. If you didn’t want an L322 before this episode, you do now.

This Top Gear video sees Clarkson introducing the drinks and gun cabinet to his former BBC colleagues, before James May attempts to do the same with his Fiat Panda. Needless to say, there are no bottles of sloe gin in the Italian city car.

Needless to say, all this talk of L322s has prompted the editor to ask for a Buying Guide to accompany those we already have for the Range Rover Classic and the later P38A model, from 1994. The L322 started off life, you’ll remember, with engines from BMW because it wasn’t until 2001, the year the L322 launched, that BMW sold Land Rover to Ford. Then came Jaguar petrol engines and a Ford-made V8 diesel, and along the way owners have relished the lofty and wafty driving experience but expressed no small amount of irritation at the repair bills. Examples cost from as little as £3000, the best £20,000 – and in between it’s a game of chance where the usual used-car buying common sense applies.

If you’ve managed to sit through an episode of Clarkson’s Farm without checking the classifieds for pre-facelift L322s let us know in the comments. In the meantime, we’re going to raise a glass to the majesty of the third-generation Range Rover.

Read more

Good news! Smash hit Clarkson’s Farm confirmed for second series
The Fast and the Farmer(ish) promises turbocharged tractor racing
What will you see at the 2022 Silverstone Classic? Diddly Squat!

You may also like

RWM-Co jaguar rear three quarter
At RWM & Co., Mechanical Sympathy Comes with the Job
Ad Break: Nothing Puts You up Front Like a Suzuki
Ad Break: Nothing Puts You up Front Like a Suzuki
2024 Morgan Plus Six 1
Morgan Plus Six: Timeless Looks, State-of-the-Art Drive
A story about

Your biweekly dose of car news from Hagerty in your inbox

Comments

  • Kent Carlson says:

    I have a black with tan ’05. It’s equipped with 740 BMW engine and in typical Range Rover form, it damaged my billfold significantly. My mechanic says the engines are bulletproof. He also said if you drive it below 32 degrees F you can blow the intake gaskets due to a vacuum bladder that freezes and raises the vacuum pressure….when he handed me the $5K repair bill. So I garage the thing for several months a year. I love driving it even though after owning a couple hundred cars in my life, this was probably my dumbest purchase. Yet I’m strangely content. Go figure.

  • Stu Cohen says:

    Fantastic reading

  • Sidney says:

    The Range Rover wouldn’t exist in any fabulous form without Ford. Not BMW, Ford. My Discovery 3, equally. Ford.

  • Basil Antoni says:

    I’ve bought and sold loads of l322’s but can’t anymore because I live in the ULEZ zone .I referred specifically to tdv6’s like Clarkson’s.
    My wife has had 2 x 2010 /2011 5.0 litre Autobiographies and these are fabulous and generally reliable with a massive presence.I used to deal and use their predecessor the P38, which are now true icons having come into their own – everyone thought I was mad!!
    Great designs .

  • Neville Amos says:

    They do have that understated quality i like to see in a car.
    I would say they do not have that shouting from the roof top vulgarity of the new ones that are commonly seen on the school run.
    And although a poor man, even i could afford to buy one.
    But i am sure i would soon become even poorer quite quickly if i took the plunge and bought one.

    I admire Clarkson’s attitude to the car, to me that puts him in the same league as the car.
    Although he could afford a new one, he has nothing to prove, and just wants to get out and use it without any bragging.

  • Graeme Wiltshire says:

    I have a 2004 4.4 v8 petrol l322. I use it for work as i am a roofer. All my tools easily fit in the massive boot. I had windows tinted for security. I only bought it as my previous 2017 Ford Ranger wildtrack broke after 4 year use and less then 40 k on the clock. I bought my l322 for £4000 in Nov 2021 and have spent around 2k on it. Mechanically it is sound now. Plus petrol is cheaper than diesel at the moment.

  • Darren Balkwill says:

    I had a 2007 3.6 TDV8 for a few years . it was magnificent . I then replaced her with a 2011 5.0 supercharged Autobiography . She may be thirsty but she drives so much batter than any 2.5 tonne lump of metal deserves to . UTTERLY FANTASTIC

  • Colin Gale says:

    I have a 2008 L322, 3.6 TDV8, HSE the same colour as Clarkson’s that started life for the first 5 years as a MET special protection car and had allready clocked up 90,000 miles when I bought it (one careful owner) I have continued on the same path and it now has 231,000 plus on the clock and is the best towing car I have ever had, what hills.

  • Jim says:

    Who cares what was done on the last MOT.. I mean really.., the reason it looks understated is because its a old car.. Jeremy is not stupid enough to drive a brand-new range rover on a show that highlights the challenges facing the farming community!.
    Clarkson Farm makes for fantastic viewing and is to my mind doing a service to the country by highlighting the struggles of modern farming and the absolute ridiculous behaviour displayed by the local authorities!, it really shows how out of touch with reality these people are and why we have so many economic problems in rural areas.., but I suppose we have to just let the countryside fall into ruin so the wealthy city slickers have somewhere to retire and play country life don’t we..

  • PORTMAN RARE BOOKS says:

    How right Jeremey is to keep his 17 year old car. It is his car and as comfortable as an old well tailored jacket. It is understated and in its natural habitat.

  • J.wentworth says:

    Clarkson has the latest Range Rover, well it’s Lisa’s his partners so no doubt he bought her it.

    I will always have a soft spot for the classic and P38s , for a living my job from 91 to 05 I was a metrology technician quality engineer for the home of the Landrover V8 West Yorkshire Foundries Hydro Aluminium which was an ex Rover Foundry.
    My job involved tooling approval and dimensional reports of the Aluminium Landrover V8 block and heads also TD5 storm Aluminium head, obviously the V8 and the TD5 were available on classic and P38 Range Rovers.

  • Richard says:

    I’ve had the RR Classic and a Defender TD5, both from new – both gone but only the Classic is missed dearly. In 2009 I bought new a manual Freelander 2 TD4. Today it has done 161k and feels like for all manner of reasons the best replacement for that RR Classic. Comfier than that Classic, more reliable (never dumped on the side of the road) more capable off-road and distinctly more economic to run and service. But what annoys today in its 13th year of ownership is how the majority of the rest of the RR/LR community turn their noses up at the mention of the Freelander 2. Undeserved arrogance. Later this year I’m taking it on another long adventure – this time to the interior of Iceland for a whole month.

  • Murray says:

    J.wentworth: How can you say Clarkson bought his partner’s Range Rover? Is a woman not capable of selecting and paying for their own car? What a patronising and misogynistic attitude. Time you realised just how many Range Rovers are chosen and paid for by women, who my friend most likely earn much more money than you do.

  • Theshed says:

    In reply to Sidney, you are correct in that Ford poured the money into Landrover when BMW split and sold Rover. But, the L322 was well under development before Ford, indeed BMW wanted to keep it on which to base an X7.
    No RangeRover or Discovery without Landrover Engineers.
    And Richard, Freelander is a great all round vehicle. But more capable off road than an original RangeRover ? Nope !

  • Gavin Davies says:

    I have a lovely Black L322 2007 with a Ford V8, Bought it cheap and spent a fortune on it with, re-built Gearbox, re-built air conditioning, tons of electrical repairs and both the Turbo oil seals replaced. I knew it needed work and was happy to save it from the scrap yard. lovely car!!

  • David Blathis says:

    So you searched the reg to see the MOT details but somehow missed that the car was sold late last year lol.

  • Lucy says:

    It’s actually not a pre-facelift. It’s 3.6 tdv8 which is 2006 facelift. You can see it on the grille, which is no longer rectanglish, but fits around xenon headlights.

  • Lucty says:

    Also, rear pillar is different after 2006 MY.

  • Daryl Crittenden says:

    Well done Murray you tell I’m👍

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More on this topic
Hagerty Newsletter
Get your weekly dose of car news from Hagerty UK in your inbox
Share

Thanks for signing up!

Your request will be handled as soon as possible