PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 February, 2004, 12:00am

We invite Discovery Bay readers and lovers of four-wheel drives to help us establish the history and restoration potential of this vintage Land-Rover (right) - we think it's a Mark I - spotted outside Cheung Sha Lan, on the picturesque walk between Twins City and Mui Wo, on Lantau. An off-road fanatic tells us the old Land-Rover was used for years by the Trappist monastic community at Tai Shui Hang before it suddenly went 'phut' and was left to become a hikers' talking point. Foot Down would be interested to locate the car's owner, learn whether he or she is happy with the old vehicle's current state, and invites readers to decide whether or not the old 'crate' could be restored. We are told the Land-Rover's bodywork is aluminium and can see that its axles look shot. But, we wonder, could the off-roader be restored for a possible return to monastic service, or a diorama in the Classic Car Club of Hong Kong's proposed Classic Car Museum? We fear for the preservation of the old crock. At Luk Tei Tong village, near Mui Wo, vandals last week trampled-in the roof of an old Mazda 323, tweaked the back bumpers of a glorious old Jaguar XJ and caved in the back window of an unused but perfectly restorable Audi 2.0.

Foot Down would hate to see this classic Land-Rover suffer a similar fate. We look forward to your comments.

We see the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the 2003 South China Morning Post Car of the Year, is as popular in the next life as it is in this one. The quality of this example (left) at the Outlying Islands ferry pier last Saturday reminded Foot Down that perhaps we should dwell less on your motoring in the here and now and think ahead a little to your future needs in the Great Airport Expressway in the sky. The kind people at the Hong Kong Funeral Home say an E-Class Benzi or Pohshi and driver for eternity would cost about $1,800, which we reckon is a pretty good deal for a top-marque model with unlimited mileage. But if car ownership on the other side sounds easy, we have yet to learn whether there is a heavenly first registration tax, whether you can double park outside the Pearly Gates, or if the gridlock and traffic wardens in hell really are modelled on Pedder Street, as some people might think. So psychics, if you are having a seance this weekend, please put a word in for Foot Down.

We presented the 2003 South China Morning Post Car of the Year awards in winners' showrooms last week.