It was a hot day in summer 2019, and Giuseppe Rositani had taken ownership of his family’s run-down 2003 Land Rover Discovery, a car just as old as he.
“I was looking for a car for a while, and then this was an old family car that was kind of beat up. I needed a car, and wasn’t sure if I wanted this because it was in horrible condition,” Rositani says.
Rositani, a freshman anthropology major, then got down to work. He laid down beneath the vehicle sanding down the rust with just a block and a piece of sandpaper. The vehicle is nicknamed “Disco” because of its Discovery series moniker. The process was time consuming. It had to be done, or else the car’s frame would begin to rot.
Throughout his car project, Rositani removed all the rust, put in a new battery, fixed up some other body issues and added a ladder.
It was during this process that Rositani realized how much he appreciated the art of refurbishing and working on cars.
After Rositani’s mom saw the hard work he put into removing the rust from the exterior, she felt he deserved something to make this process go quicker. She treated him to an electric sander to help encourage him to continue his efforts.
Rositani’s mom not only encouraged him to continue by giving him tools, but also by sharing her knowledge of cars.
“My mom and dad taught me a lot. I was especially surprised with my mom’s car knowledge. She knows it by the back of her hand,” Rositani says.
His mom had always wanted to bring the car back into commission but never had the opportunity.
“It was my mom who really wanted the car but then she couldn’t do much with it because we had to worry about a lot of other things, financially. I wanted to pick it up as a fixer-upper,” says Rositani.
So, when the time came that Rositani was looking for his car, the offer of taking on this project was there, and it seemed like the most sensible thing for him to do.
A theme present in Rositani’s life is that he values not only his family, but his family’s heritage. The Rositanis spent a few years living in Italy, where he indulged in Italian culture.
While Rositani and his family were living in Italy, they owned an older version of the Land Rover Discovery, the same car that he now drives. To acknowledge their Italian heritage while driving his current car, he added some stickers on the exterior that show his appreciation of the culture as well as to show off some of his own personality.
He has stickers on his car that read: “Boom Boom Ciao,” “Bella Ciao.” And there are an Italian flag, an American flag and a British flag stickers. The rest of the stickers are all inklings to either the “Disco,” the off-roading that he participates in and from shows and movies he likes, including one from “Supernatural:” “Driver picks the music… shotgun shuts his cakehole.”
Rositani, compared his “Disco” to an Indiana-Jones “safari-esque” car. His car exhibits his own personality and interests. He often takes the “Disco” on off-roading trips with friends. One place he enjoys doing this is at Rausch Creek Trail in Pennsylvania.
He enjoys seeing the contrast of mud from his most recent trip against the white-painted exterior. He also enjoys watching the sunsets with friends on the rooftop, using the ladder that he installed.
He hopes to add a bull bar on the front for hauling, a basket-style roof, as well as
a few other off-roading gadgets.
With his recently found enjoyment for modifying and refurbishing cars, Rositani hopes to continue this hobby in the future with other cars as well. His dream project is a ’69 Mustang, in which he’d love to take it from bad condition and transform it into a hot-rod car.
By: Kaitlyn Gerckens