This 1,000-euro Range Rover is a Native American dreamcatcher
“It all started when we removed the floor mats,” says former marketing exec Kindler, now a part-time student and blogger, and full-time mother-of-two. “To cut a long story short, it was a sorry state of affairs. Substantial work was required, so it was sent to a workshop for six weeks for some remedial treatment; meanwhile, my family and I went on road trip throughout the American Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. We decided, on our way back to Seattle, to take a little detour to Pendleton, Oregon.”
The city is famous for being the long-time home of Pendleton Woolen Mills, a producer of Native American blankets founded in the late 19th century by an English immigrant weaver. In the decades that followed, their wares became symbolic of American heritage and craftsmanship, and some of the original blankets are now valuable collector’s items. “I have always been a big fan of the traditional, Native American Pendleton fabric designs,” says Kindler. “Each design represents a story, and they have been around for ages. We saw the big rolls of fabric displayed at the mill, and the idea came to combine their traditional iconic American design with the traditional iconic British design of the Range Rover Classic.” Somehow, Kindler flew home to Germany with seven square metres of the heavy material in tow.
The Range Rover returned home soon afterwards, outwardly resplendent in its new tasteful shade of Hunter Green, but inwardly crying out for some attention. “The t-shirt-thin fabric of the roof lining and door cards was sagging, so we asked the local saddler to see if was feasible to replace it with the thick, heavy blanket material. We were only cautiously optimistic about the outcome, but the result was amazing, better than we could ever have hoped for.” All that was left was to apply the finishing Anglo-Indian interior details, including a dreamcatcher, vintage Pendleton Round Up stickers, and – of course – a picture of The Queen mounted to the dashboard.
“It is all about the sentimental value with this car, nothing else,” says Kindler. “It is truly beautiful, especially after extensive remodelling both inside and outside. We would never sell it. Our kids adore the car and if I plan to drive them to kindergarten in our modern Range Rover, they refuse and cry. They only wish to be taken in the ‘Brown Bear’ – our code name for the car, because it used to be metallic brown and it feels like a big friendly bear to them.” This Anglo-American Range Rover has, quite literally, been transformed into a dyed-in-the-wool family heirloom.
Photos: Thomas and Eva Kindler