It was April, 2006. I had finally found an Inti roof rack for my 1989 Range Rover. However, it was for sale only attached to another 1989 Range Rover. And the owner was unwilling to sell it separately from the vehicle. But then their Rover began to have transmission problems. The owner emailed me to see if I was still interested in the rack by itself. I could have it for $200 over the highest of my earlier offers. With a 24 hour deadline for a response, I called my significant other to let her know I intended to spend a decent chunk of our cash. She answered the phone quickly, said she was busy and hung up. Wonderful. So I thought, what are the chances I'll be able to find another one? It's an Inti! Light weight, strong, mostly aluminum, has all the features I've wanted in a roof rack. I'll take it. Cashier's Check purchased and sent overnight. I'll figure out how to take possession later.
I started getting freight quotes. Prices ranged from $175 to over $400 to ship it from Tampa Bay to Phoenix. However EVERYONE wanted it crated or put onto pallets. Not something easily or cheaply done and then the size would be too large unless custom pallets were made, all increasing the cost of shipping and creating additional problems for the seller. So I made a few posts on Craigslist indicating my need for a roof rack rideshare from Tampa Bay to Phoenix. Someone, Tom, replied with a perfect plan of sharing space in their moving truck for the rack with a price on the lower end of the range and no pallets needed, just pop it into the truck and meet in Flagstaff instead of Phoenix. However, He wanted half the funds sent via PayPal upfront to make sure I was serious. So, I thought to myself, I'm about to send money to someone I've never met and entrust them with the roof rack I've already paid for. I noticed on one if his email replies a Realtor tag line so I at least had the Realtor Code of Ethics to rely on. So I sent the money.
Contact information was sent to them via email for where to pick up the rack. They could work out a pickup time that was suitable to both parties. The date was set for May 22nd for pickup. May 22nd came and went and no phone call or email from the seller indicating it was picked up. I almost began to think I made a mistake until I received a phone call early the next morning where I was told Tom would be picking up the rack up on the 23rd due to getting the moving truck late. Another phone call that evening let me know it was picked up and on the way. Time passes.
Friday the 26th around 5:30PM I get a call from Tom letting me know he's in Amarillo, TX and will be driving straight through to Flagstaff. I told Tom to call me when he hit Gallup, NM and we'd meet in Flagstaff shortly thereafter. Tom called at 2:30AM Saturday morning letting me know he was just outside of Gallup and heading on to Flagstaff. We got up, gassed up ol' Rover and headed north. A nice smooth trip to Flagstaff on nearly empty highways of a holiday weekend. Tom and I both arrived at the meeting place in Flagstaff within 3 minutes of each other. The roof rack was well packed on top of everything else in the truck and slid right out and on to the top of the Rover. I paid the other half of the agreed amount and thanked them and they continued on to California while we attached the rack feet. A perfect fit, all hardware present and accounted for.
We got back in ol' Rover and headed south. We decided to detour to Sedona to have breakfast. We were enjoying the cooler temperature as we made our way through beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. And as we rounded the bend of a soft turn Rover’s 3.9L V8 went silent and we coasted to a stop on a narrow shoulder of 89A.
I did the usual checks and determined it was probably the fuel pump. Unable to keep the engine running for more than a minute and with a sporadic one notch of cellular phone reception I was able to get the phone number for Automotive Services in Sedona, a AAA towing contractor. They sent a man out right away. Willie arrived with the flat bed and expertly loaded up ol' Rover. He asked us where we wanted to take it. We were not sure. He recommended a quality shop and we headed there. Closed. On to the next one, a Big O tire center. Open, but they would not touch an in the tank fuel pump. They recommend another shop. We go there. Sure, they'll do it, but as you can expect with Rover parts, they won't have the part until Wednesday and weren't willing to try a quick fix, only install the correct factory part. So the decision is made to tow it all the way back to Phoenix. We arrived home safe with the Rover and newly mounted and slightly more expensive INTI roof rack.
Sadly, the INTI roof rack was damaged in my roll over accident on October 31st, 2008. I looked for replacement parts and never found any. I eventually sold it as it was for $250 to my friend Mark who took the time and expense to have it repaired and last I heard had it on one of his Range Rover Classics.
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