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CONTENTS SPRING 2017 Series 1 / Issue 2


2017 RANGE ROVER SVAUTOBIOGRAPHY Out and about in the most powerful Range Rover yet 32 ADVENTURE

THE INAUGURAL REBELLE RALLY Ten days in the desert with this new all-women’s event 45 PERSONA

BOB BURNS The man tasked with convincing you to take it off-road




2003 LONGITUDE EXPEDITION DISCOVERY The lead vehicle on a nearly forgotten world odyssey 56 CLASSIC

1964 SERIES IIA DORMOBILE SPECIAL A veteran expedition vehicle that refuses to call it quits 62 BESPOKE

1993 DEFENDER 110 NAS A weathered beach runner gets a whole new lease on life 73 SERIES GUIDE



A comprehensive guide to the original Range Rover







Allow us to get philosophical

Products for a life of adventure

Breaking down complex matters







Land Rover world news

Land Rover fans around the planet

A look at what’s in our garages







North American club reports

Build your mastery on the trail

History told through vintage ads

North America’s Independent Land Rover Magazine

SPRING 2017 Series 1 / Issue 2

Publisher Bryan Joslin

Creative Director Daniel Marcello

Editor in Chief Stephen Hoare

Art Director Christopher Holewski

Copy Editor Greg N. Brown

Contributors Nicholas Bratton

Contact Alloy+Grit Magazine PO Box 5043 New Britain, PA 18901

Photographers Clint Davis Sam Dobbins Brett Gottdener Jonathan Heisler Matthew Jones Andrew Ling

Cover Photo Rebel Off Road

This magazine is enhanced with Augmented Reality

We encourage responsible off-highway driving

Use your mobile device to unlock additional content whenever you see this logo. Simply download the free AURASMA app from your app store, subscribe to the official Alloy+Grit channel (AlloyandGrit), and scan the tagged images throughout the magazine to access exclusive features like videos, photo galleries, sound clips and more.

Maintaining access to natural areas by vehicle requires cooperation between drivers and landowners. Please respect natural resources and wildlife by driving on existing trails, moderating speed on loose surfaces, being mindful of the environment when crossing water, and leaving behind no litter or waste.

Proudly printed in the United States by

Alloy+Grit is a trademark of Alloy Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions in whole or in part without written consent is prohibited. Alloy+Grit is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alloy Publishing Group, Inc.


THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN Look who’s back for another issue! That we actually produced the first installment of Alloy+Grit was no small miracle, but the issue you’re holding now would not have been possible if not for the support of our early readers and subscribers. We know all too well how your money could have gone toward fixing a leaky throttle body heater or maybe on a down payment for a good roof rack. So, to everyone who came along for the ride on that first issue, thank you. Sincerely. We mean it. If you were among the early adopters, we probably hit you up for some feedback on our freshman effort. The results of that survey were at once encouraging and humbling. Oh, we realized all too late there were a few warts on that first issue, and we knew they wouldn’t go completely unnoticed by you, either. There will always be room for improvement. But we were also thrilled to read that so many of you really appreciate what we are trying to accomplish with Alloy+Grit: Connecting and inspiring Land Rover enthusiasts from all over the vast American continent. To be frank, trying to gather the Land Rover world under one tent is no small undertaking. North American Land Rover enthusiasts are cut from a different cloth — or, more accurately, from many different cloths. In a land this large and diverse, there is no single kind of Land Rover enthusiast. There are countless ways to celebrate the marque, and we’re doing our best to make sure that, no matter where you fall on the spectrum, there will always be something

here for you—even if that something might not rouse everyone. For example, we heard loud and clear (from an overwhelming majority of you, in fact) that most would be quite happy if there were never another story about an Evoque Convertible on our pages. We get it. You don’t have to explain. Really. But hear us out… As a magazine written exclusively for Land Rover enthusiasts, part of our mission is to tell the story of every Land Rover model, even with the full knowledge that not every new model will resonate with every reader. The Evoque Convertible, for its part, was absolutely the newest, freshest model to wear the Green Oval as we went to print with Issue 1, and with that article we hoped at the very least to put a Land Rover enthusiast’s perspective on the newest member of the family. That unique point of view will always be paramount to the way we cover new models, and it’s something you simply won’t get from traditional consumer publications. Besides, today’s ugly baby just may grow up to be tomorrow’s next darling. I started writing professionally just before the LR3 was launched, and I remember the vitriol for this new “soft-roader” with its independent suspension, refrigerated center console, and complicated electronics. Traditionalists hated it before they’d ever driven it. Now, a dozen years on, the LR3 (along with its successor, the LR4) has earned the respect of many serious enthusiasts and is one of the most


“As a magazine written exclusively for Land Rover enthusiasts, part of our mission is to tell the story of every Land Rover model, even with the full knowledge that not every new model will resonate with every reader.” popular gateway models for first-time Land Rover owners. In fact, together those models represent the third-most popular series owned by our readers, behind the Defender and the Discovery II. That’s saying something. As we continue to build issue upon issue of Alloy+Grit, we can’t promise you’ll love everything we do, but we’re confident you’ll appreciate our incisive and inclusive coverage of Land Rover vehicles, and the enthusiasts who own and use them for a variety of activities. Above all, know this: We’re one with you — and one of you. If you’ll excuse me, I have a Disco project in need of some serious attention.

THE BRIT Steve Hoare

START FILLING THAT BUCKET As last year drew to a close, I lost a dear friend, and the Land Rover community a fellow enthusiast, when Fred Bremier suddenly passed away. Fred was famous for picking up partially finished projects and vehicles with issues that others had given up trying to fix, and then somehow finding a way to bring them back into service. His home garage was a loosely organized cache of Land Rover parts, categorized into various piles and assemblies, all of it tucked into whatever corner or crevice were available. Some parts were truly unobtainable assets, golden nuggets of Solihull’s best days that would go into long-term storage for projects yet to come. Whatever bits weren’t saved for the future or fitted to existing projects, he filtered back out to the community through club forums and eBay. So now I’m helping to sort out Fred’s estate. Many of those partially finished projects and parts will need to find new homes, and I’m sure that many fellow Land Rover enthusiasts will join me in sharing Fred’s vision. Since spring is traditionally the season for new beginnings and transformations, I’ve also set a goal to sort out my own fleet and associated parts. My wife certainly wouldn’t know where to start if I were to depart unexpectedly for the Pearly Gates. My 1949 Series One 80” has been in dry dock for several years awaiting some attention to

the left rear quarter. Its rear tub needs some serious straightening after I proved, not once but twice, that 50 hp was not quite enough grunt to get it over a slippery grass bank and slid it backwards (twice, I said) into an unforgiving tree. My creampuff, the 1973 Series III 88” Station Wagon, needs to find a new home. Absolutely original down to the books and tools, it has only 7,000 miles on it. Others have used it as a reference piece for fitments and finishes. It really deserves to either be driven and enjoyed in its pure state or cocooned in a museum for others to enjoy. Finally, I think it’s also time to bid adieu to my 2003 Discovery II SE7. I’ve had my fun with the 4.6L V8. Purchased new when the house was full of kids, the Disco has shared some very memorable adventures. The best was undoubtedly a winter trip to Baie James, Canada, where temperatures hovered around minus 35° F, and even with all available heat on full blast, ice was still forming on the inside! Those extreme temperatures probably caused it to drop a cylinder liner, earning it a full engine replacement while still under warranty. Fred left us too early. I know he still had a lot left on his bucket list—driving the Trans America Trail and attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally come to mind—and his passing got me thinking of my own bucket list. Despite my current fleet, a Series One 107”


“Live a little bit more, as if there’s no tomorrow. Get that project moving sooner rather than later. Work on ticking something off your bucket list.” Station Wagon still eludes me. I hope one day to drive across a Middle Eastern desert in a Series One—any Series One. I want to return to explore more of India. And I still dream of driving the USA coast to coast in an Aston Martin V12 convertible. As the season gives us a few additional minutes of sunshine each day, I’m recommending you put them to good use. Live a little bit more, as if there’s no tomorrow. Get that project moving sooner rather than later. Work on ticking something off your bucket list. In the meantime, if you see me chugging across a desert in a 107 station wagon or fording a river with the elephants in southern India, you’ll know that I’ve taken my own advice.

CentreSteer Podcast Hand made prints of classic cars & trucks

The only Land Rover podcast on the planet. Subscribe or support our Patreon and we will send you a sticker!



Celebrate 30 Years of Range Rover in America with Alloy+Grit

from each generation (Classic, P38, L322, L405) as well as Best Modified, Highest Mileage, Best Tailgate Display, and Most Deranged Rover.

The Range Rover first went on sale in America on March 16, 1987 following its debut at the Chicago Auto Show one month earlier. With that single model, Land Rover once again had an official footing in North America.

All Land Rover owners showing their vehicles will receive an Alloy+Grit gift bag, and there will be other prizes for spectators to win as well.

Jaguar Land Rover North America will provide a new Range Rover to help raise money for charity. For a donation of $5, $10, or $20 to the charity of your choice—ASPCA, Wounded Warrior Fund, or Make a Wish—you can write your birthday wishes directly on the vehicle for all to see.

The Carlisle Import and Performance Nationals is one of the largest gatherings of English, German, French, Italian, and Swedish enthusiast cars on the East Coast. The event weekend, running from May 19–21 this year, also includes a swap meet, making it the perfect chance to unload all those spare project parts or shop for one you’re missing. For more information and to register for the show, visit

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of that iconic model, Alloy+Grit will host a birthday celebration at the Carlisle Import and Performance Nationals show in Carlisle, PA, on Saturday, May 20. The event will include a special Range Rover birthday cake as well as other free refreshments. The Alloy+Grit team will award special prizes to the best Range Rover 9


One World Overland Launches A new online resource for overland and adventure travel enthusiasts is now live. The mission of One World Overland, or 1WO, is to connect fellow enthusiasts with the experts, gear companies, and off-road vehicle manufacturers that make up this popular and growing segment of the off-road hobby. To kick off the launch over the course of the next year, One World Overland will hold a photo and video contest. Prizes will be awarded at several different stages of the contest, with the grand prize being a Land Rover Defender 110. The Defender will be restored by 1WO staff, the whole restoration process being documented in what the team describes as an “online TV build show.” While 1WO will feature vehicles from a variety of manufacturers, the staff is deeply involved with Land Rovers; co-founder Brian Williams is a certified Land Rover technician. Check out what they’re working on at

Social & Driving Events A selection of upcoming Land Rover enthusiast event in North America. June 3, 2017

April 8, 2017

April 22-23, 2017

Back Way to Crown King

Spring Robesonia Trial

Crown King, AZ

Robesonia, PA

April 10, 2017

April 29, 2017

Maple Syrup Rally

Coke Ovens Trail Ride

Shawville, QC

Cochran, AZ

April 14-16, 2017

May 12-14, 2017

Rovers at Wintergreen

Overland Expo West

Afton, VA

Flagstaff, AZ

April 15-23, 2017

May 13, 2017

Death Valley Trip

Bartlett Area Trail Ride


Scottsdale, AZ

April 19-23, 2017

May 20, 2017

South Central Area Rover Rally (SCARR) 2017

Alloy+Grit 30th Anniversary Range Rover Celebration

Gilmer, TX

Carlisle, PA

April 22-23, 2017

May 20, 2017

Desert Night Run

Santiago Peak Trail Ride

San Diego, CA

San Diego, CA

Desoto Mine Trail Ride Phoenix, AZ June 10, 2017

ROAV Summer Swap Meet Arvonia, VA June 24-25, 2017

Big Bear Trail ride San Diego, CA

Arizona Land Rover Owners



Alloy+Grit is the only independent North American magazine dedicated exclusively to Land Rover vehicles and the people who love them. Published quarterly, Alloy+Grit covers the spectrum of Land Rover interests, from the earliest Series vehicles to the latest from Solihull, plus all the interesting personalities, products, and experiences that make owning a Land Rover such a unique way of life. Don’t miss a single issue. Order today to receive the next four issues and save 25% off the single issue price. Order online at

CLUB SCENE For a lot of us, winter is a favorite season, one in which you can get out and take full advantage of your Land Rover’s abilities. But for clubs, the cold season often makes it tough to gather a group for an outing. Between holidays, shorter daylight hours, and the unpredictability of conditions, it’s just a bigger challenge to round up a crew for an outing. Despite these obstacles, a few clubs embrace the season and its unique conditions to make the best of what nature offers up. In the Southwest, that means milder-than-usual weather. In the Northeast, it could mean a foot of snow on the ground. Either way, here is what some of the clubs were up to while you were hibernating.




Members of the Pennsylvania-based ROVERS Club made the annual trek to Spruce Creek Cabin, a private hunting retreat in the Poconos, for a weekend of winter off-roading in the woods. Member Evan Price opens up his family’s rustic 1940’s cabin to the club for this perennial club event, typically held in mid February. With hopes for catching a more serious snowfall, however, this year’s event was moved up to the last weekend in January. There was, in fact, snow on the ground, if only a dusting in most areas. Nevertheless, it made the normally rocky and muddy trails a bit more challenging. More than a dozen Land Rovers, from Series II to LR3, drove the various trails cut into the hills of the vast property, with two groups dividing up to cover different routes based on vehicle preparation.




Winter is the perfect time for wheeling in the Southwest, as the Arizona Land Rover Owners (AZLRO) club demonstrated with a full slate of trail events throughout the season. One of numerous sunny and warm trail rides the club enjoyed while half the country was shoveling snow was a trip to the former mining town of Superior, AZ in December. This trail, commonly referred to as Walnut Canyon, features some wonderful desert scenery and moderate off-roading, making it an easy one for most owners to take part in. The crew of five vehicles had a great day among the rocks and cacti, enjoying some natural water play time as well, always a welcome treat in the desert. 16



© 2017 MacNeil IP LLC

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24" Hitch Mounted Bumper Protection



Stalking Geraldine

Crossing the Congo

By Ray Wood

By Mike Martin, Chloe Baker, and Charlie Hatch-Barnwell

Even in England, it’s not every day you pick up a novel with an illustrated cover depicting a Land Rover. But, a Canadian novel about a Land Rover? That’s about as likely as a bad spark plug on a diesel engine. What a delightful surprise to read Stalking Geraldine, written and published in Canada by Ray Wood. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Ray also heads up Roamerdrive, manufacturer of overdrive units for Series and Defender Land Rovers.

So many stories of Land Rovers crossing Africa originate from the 1950s and 1960s, often with a nondescript Series Land Rover heading off into the unknown. Expedition travel was so popular in that era that most people assume Land Rovers have already “been there and done that” on every corner of the continent. It was an absolute delight then to see a new book come out late last year about a small group of individuals intent on crossing a virgin piece of jungle in the Congo. Their idea was initially dismissed as crazy, but, undeterred and persistent, they embarked on the crossing in a beat-up Land Rover 90.

The novel is a fictional work based on the classic 1960s expedition route from London to Cape Town, South Africa. Central to the story is a Series IIA 109inch; the account draws on Ray’s extensive knowledge of the geography and customs of Africa, having spent his childhood in South Africa. The story is based around “Geraldine,” a 42-year-old Land Rover and its owner/driver Sarah Oakes, who both go missing. Journalist Giles Jackson heads up the search, tracing Sarah and the Land Rover through Africa and beyond. The narrative paints a colorful picture of exotic places and high adventure, balanced with a smattering of Land Rover trivialities.

The journey would cover some 2,500 miles of the most inhospitable conditions the planet has to offer—few roads, multiple river crossings, and jungles infested with hostile insects. The three authors glibly classified themselves as tourists, relying on the support of local tribes who helped these intrepid friends make the impossible possible.

If you’re not normally a fiction reader, this might be your chance to switch gears a bit.

This is a highly inspirational read that reminds us to press on regardless.

Price: $24.00 Book available through: or directly at

Price: $29.95 Book available through: or directly at



L.T. Wright Overland Machete Spend a little time in the woods, and you’ll soon discover why a machete is such a great multi-tool. From clearing brush on the trail to lighting your evening campfire, a machete is often the perfect tool for the job. LT Wright Knives has developed a compact yet durable Overland Machete that’s perfect for a number of tasks on the trail. Made from high-carbon 1075 steel alloy, the blade is designed for easy sharpening while resisting rust thanks to its blackened two-stage patina process. The handle, available in either Micarta or G10 composite, is both riveted and epoxy-bonded to the blade for strength as well as corrosion resistance. Available is a front-loading breakaway sheath made of Kydex, a thermoplastic material that can be hosed off and doesn’t hold moisture. Properly sharpened, the Overland Machete will devour everything from mixed undergrowth to small trees in just a couple swings. It stores easily in door pockets or under the seats for quick access without opening additional doors, and, unlike a chainsaw, it never needs batteries or fuel.

From $115.00 at

Waylens Horizon Action Dashcam Finally, a dash cam that does more than just capture fits of road rage and questionable Eastern European driving habits. The Waylens Horizon features a compact hi-res video camera for recording your driving moves and pairs it with a performance overlay crafted from data pulled from your OBD-II port. The camera itself features a seven-element lens assembly for sharp, crystal-clear video capture at 1080p/60fps. A circular retina display shows real-time capture in 266 ppi resolution. Videos record to a MicroSD card and can display a full data overlay with speed, rpm, lateral acceleration, vehicle pitch and roll in both numerical and graphical formats, as well as atmospheric conditions, all taken directly from your vehicle’s built-in sensors and transmitted via a Bluetooth dongle attached to your OBD-II port. A proprietary app allows for quick editing of videos to show off your best driving footage directly to YouTube, Facebook, or your device. Now you can share your wildest trail rides and show the data to back up the stories.

$499 at



Evo Corse Alloy Wheels Main Line Overland is now importing Evo Corse DAKARCorse alloy wheels for Defender, Discovery I and Range Rover Classic fitments. Built for competition use, these lightweight aluminum wheels are heat treated for strength. The Land Rover application measures 16 x 7-inch with a 25mm offset and weighs in at 22.2 pounds in standard spec (28.6 pounds in FIA T1/T2 spec). Available in silver, gold, anthracite, matte black, and white paint finish, the attractive 12-spoke design uses steel inserts where the wheel nuts fasten. The deep design also protects the valve stem from off-road hazards.

From $299/wheel at

Dometic Coolers For as long as any of us can remember, when we saw a refrigerator in a camper or RV, it was from Dometic. The company wisely has now moved into the portable fridge and freezer market with its CoolFreeze line, giving car campers and overlanders another option for keeping cool on the move. The range includes several models ranging from 18 to 59 liters of internal capacity and with different power options. We’re currently testing two models, the CFX-28 that runs on either 120V AC or 12V/24V DC power, and the DC-only CF-25. Both models are compact enough to fit on a back seat or cargo area for day trips and are removable when not in use. With programmable temperature settings, each is capable of keeping contents chilled from 50ºF to -8ºF with an ambient temperature up to 90ºF. They also feature a “turbo chill” mode for quick cooling. Each one features a freezer zone and a removable wire basket. The CF-25 has an actual capacity of 23 liters (0.82 cubic feet), enough for 27 12-ounce cans, while the CFX-28 holds 28 liters (0.9 cubic feet). Look for full reviews of both models in future articles on

From $450.00 at



Jack Cover Your Hi-Lift jack likely spends more time on display than in action, which means it’s probably rusted up when you really need it. One solution is to cover the jack’s critical parts to keep them out of the elements. Most covers are made of vinyl, however, which tends to disintegrate from continuous exposure to UV rays, moisture, and changes in temperature. Improving on the basic concept is the Jack Cover from California-based Manufactured from a dual layer of marine-grade neoprene with a UV-resistant vinyl shell material and a marine-grade zipper, the Jack Cover is available in two sizes. The standard 11-inch cover fits the main jacking mechanism, while the extended 15-inch offers even more protection for the jack. The Jack Cover, available in a variety of colors from hi-vis orange to discreet black, can be installed or removed with the jack either on or off the vehicle. It’s easy to fit, and the high-quality zipper creates a tight, accurate closure. Should you encounter rain, the Jack Cover is equipped with a drain hole to allow moisture to escape, preventing corrosion on the jack head.

From $49.95 at

The Grabber by Bubba Rope If you’ve ever tried to mount new synthetic winch line to a drum winch, you’ve probably become frustrated as the line bunches when you try to thread it through the drummounting hole. Synthetic line manufacturer Bubba Rope has developed The Grabber to deal with this common problem. A flat nylon strap measuring 1.0 x 3.75 inches, it has loops at both ends, stitched together in the middle to form what looks like a flat bow tie. The Grabber mounts to the winch drum with double-sided industrial adhesive tape on one side. The winch line slips under the drum and through The Grabber’s inner loop, then wraps around on top of the strap five times (typically about three feet of winch line), and finishes by threading the end through the outermost loop. Simply pull the line tight around the drum and roll the rest of the winch line onto the drum. It’s such a simple solution, you wonder why it hadn’t been done before.

$9.99 at



Fast Fid by Factor 55 Breaking your winch line in the field usually means one thing: You’re using your winch to get unstuck. The quicker you can make a field repair, the sooner you’ll be back on the road and the less frustrated you’ll be. Factor 55 has come up with a brilliant solution in its Fast Fid, a compact tool that fits into your recovery gear bag. Resembling a fat knitting needle at one end with a wire cage at the other, the Fast Fid is made from anodized aluminum and requires no tape or clamps to use. Simply compress the wire cage to open it up, then insert the damaged free end of the line into it. Use the laser-engraved scale on the shaft to determine how far into the rope to “bury” the repair, then feed the needle down the length of the rope and extract it, releasing the frayed end from the caged end. A firm pull of the rope will finish the splice and put you back to work winching.

Woodcraft Defender 3D Puzzle

The Fast Fid is a two-piece assembly and comes in its own storage case, making it easy to stash in your glove box or center console. It’s practically guaranteed to be the most effective tool by weight in your kit.

Something for the kids or for you? Why not both? This Woodcraft puzzle makes a challenging project for your little garage buddies, and the completed piece makes a nice addition to your desk or bookshelf.

$44.95 at

Die-cut from 1/8-inch plywood, this 3D puzzle—in the iconic shape of the Defender 90 Hardtop—requires only a bit of wood glue to assemble its approximately 60 pieces. It’s more challenging than it might at first appear, as the instructions couldn’t be more minimalist even if they were from Ikea, and the parts aren’t labeled with any indentifying numbers. The completed piece measures about 7.5 inches long (approximately 1/18 scale) and can be painted or varnished for a keepsake. Made by Woodcraft for Bearmach Parts, the 3D Defender is available from Safari Heritage Parts.

$14.99 at


Maintain, Restore, Create Your Ultimate Land Rover. 1 800 403-7591


Global Lens Daniel Marcello Like many of us, Josh Rowe’s day job allows him to pursue his true passions on his own time. The South African studies geology during the week, and he’s a film director and photographer on the weekends. Josh’s weekend excursions led him to seek out a classic, reliable, no-frills Land Rover—the type of vehicle any young photojournalist might require while living in a remote part of the world. After all, it doesn’t take much to fix a vintage Land Rover as long as you have floss, a handful of bananas, and some tape. Josh should know; he grew up around his father’s single-cab 110 in Knysna and had always dreamed of having his own Land Rover.

A year later, almost to the day, Josh got a message from the owner who had kept the note the whole time. He figured if someone loved the truck enough to leave a note, perhaps it was time to pass it on. Josh was the first one to be contacted and quickly sold his old pickup truck, found some extra cash, and ran down to Woodstock to meet the owner. With a handshake and a cash exchange, the sale was done. Josh now owned his dream car—an old box on wheels. Josh stuck the funny little key into the ignition and click... click-click-click. It refused to start on the first try, a common initiation into first-time Series ownership. After some fixing, some wiring and a blown carb lid, he was soon driving it back home.

Josh was out shooting in Woodstock one weekend, a suburb of Cape Town undergoing heavy gentrification. It’s typically a gorgeous area, but on this day it was cold and raining, the kind of conditions that make for a waiting game if you’re a photographer. The weather relentless, Josh decided to call it a day and head home. He took a shortcut down the hill and spotted an old white crew-cab Series III sitting all alone on the street. He scratched out a short note on a scrap piece of paper and placed the rain-soaked message on the windscreen: “If you ever want to sell this vehicle, please contact me...” He expected nothing to come of it, but snapped the day’s only photo and uploaded it to Instagram, with the caption, “You say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. One day I will drive one of these.”

Josh has owned his Series III for a couple of years now. Some weekends he wakes up bright and early, packs his camera and grabs his espresso for the drive up the mountains to capture the fog rising over Lion’s Head. Other times he heads to the ocean to film with his surf friends. Just like Josh himself, his Series III is a versatile workhorse—a multi-tool equally at home in city use or in the rough stuff. It’s his daily driver and his weekend warrior. Sure, it needs a little work, but that’s what makes it a Land Rover. This kind of perfect imperfection makes us owners smarter and more creative, builds character, and tests our patience. And when another young kid comes along in 20 years and leaves a note on the Series III, he’ll know who to pass it along to.



“You say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. One day I will drive one of these.” @tigerfire_films


Spen King had no idea it would ever come to this.


h, how the times have changed. When Charles Spencer King and his band of merry visionaries first set out to create a more civilized Land Rover (see page 73), the brief was pretty simple: Make the driving experience more refined and car-like without compromising the off-road prowess for which Land Rover was already legendary. More power, better suspension, weather-tight bodywork — these were the priorities. What passed for luxury features on those earliest models — full-coverage rubber carpets, crank windows, and finished door trims — are laughable by today’s standards, but the Range Rover was considered worldclass when it debuted in 1970.

Old Spen passed away in 2010, by which time he had already witnessed the Range Rover’s ascension to heights of luxury never envisioned by his penniless development team in the late Sixties. Those days are well in the past, and true luxury presumably knows no limits, a hypothesis the current-generation Range Rover seems determined to prove. The reach for the next echelon of exclusivity really started with the return of the long-wheelbase Range Rover for 2015, which saw the already ample 115inch platform of the standard L405 model stretched another 7.8 inches between the axles and a 510-horsepower supercharged V8 fitted as standard. Add the four-up executive 27

seating package with its aircraft-inspired reclining rear seats, power-operated tray tables and built-in drinks chiller, and you have an earthbound personal jet, perhaps the first regular-production Range Rover to truly rationalize the hiring of a chauffeur. But why stop there? Since there is no greater luxury than power itself, the next logical progression was to upgrade the LWB model with the most potent engine in the Land Rover inventory, the 550-horsepower version of the supercharged V8 cribbed from the Range Rover Sport SVR. Developed by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team, the 5.0-liter engine’s ECU and Roots-style twinscrew supercharger both have been optimized


“...the Range Rover will certainly remain the undisputed off-road king, but that’s not what moves the metal at the highest end of the market.” to squeeze more boost out of the blower. Put all of that together, add some exclusive trim, and you have the Range Rover SVAutobiography you see here. But the SVA is more than the sum of its hardware. It’s Land Rover’s best effort yet at keeping a new field of hyper-luxe competitors at bay, particularly home-grown threats from the likes of Bentley and, soon, both Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin. Against a growing list of imitators, the Range Rover will certainly remain the undisputed offroad king, but that’s not what moves the metal at the highest end of the market. Priorities in the

high-rent district come down to exclusivity and what may seem the most absurd of details. And that’s where the SVAutobiography literally shines. From the outside, the big Rangie is undeniably, well, a Range Rover. The genuine article. Pedigreed stock. No one else so far has dared to imitate its signature silhouette. Styled neither as pretentiously as the coupe-like DBX proposal from Aston nor as grotesquely as Bentley’s Bentayga, it draws only on four and a half decades of its own history. It remains a very pure design, a tasteful presentation of minimalist lines and uncluttered surfaces, 28

structurally classical but with a modern veneer. The added length from stretching the wheelbase endows the SVAutobiography with a further air of self-importance. Its only real embellishments are those chrome scallop accents on the front doors, worn like a proud admiral displays his stripes on his epaulets. Given its presence, nothing smaller than the standard 21-inch alloys would look right, yet anything larger might appear as little more than braggadocio. While the exterior is clearly intended for the rest of the world to enjoy, the interior is a much more exclusive space, designed for the lucky owner and his—or, just as likely, her—inner circle. Land Rover has applied the Autobiography label to well-appointed Range Rovers since 1993, originally as a program to allow owners to personalize their vehicles from the factory. As the luxury market has evolved, so has Land Rover’s game, as the interior of the SVAutobiography clearly shows. Let’s start with the leather because, let’s face it, it cannot be avoided. The interior smells like a Milanese shoe boutique, heady


with the aroma of semi-aniline hides. Leather seats? Naturally, and on every surface. Leather dash? Of course. The headliner, too. And don’t forget the edges of the mohair floor mats. Even the loadspace cover is trimmed in soft hide. There are enough skins in here to redecorate a country club men’s lounge, all of it buttery soft, drum dyed, and hand stitched. Our test vehicle was finished in Dark Cherry and Ivory, one of three available two-tone interior schemes exclusive to the SVA. Real aluminum replaces numerous touch points throughout the SVAutobiography’s cabin that normally are mass-produced in plastic. Knurled alloy knobs greet your fingertips on most of the driver controls, for instance. Even the outer edges of the pedals are of machined aluminum, with a smaller rubber footpad inset. There are so many other little details to keep discovering, we could go on about the interior forever. Despite packing the full arsenal of Land Rover off-road technologies, the SVAutobiography is probably the least likely Range Rover ever to leave the pavement, short of a polo field or graveled driveway. Between its long wheelbase and high-performance 21inch wheels, it really has no business on the trails. Should the road suddenly disappear

beneath you, however, know that this Rover is probably going to get you out alive. Land Rover quotes a 0-to-60 time of 5.5 seconds for the 5,562-pound cruiser, which is quick enough. More important may be its towing capacity of 7,716 pounds, enough to haul a new Chris Craft Corsair 25, which will set you back just a tick more than the SVA’s $199,950 base price. That’s a steep entry price and more than double that of a standard Range Rover, but everything mentioned above is included. The options list is ridiculously short but no less spectacular on its own. You can upgrade to a wood and aluminum cargo area floor that extends out to the edge of the tailgate for a mere $5,100. Or perhaps take full advantage of the Range Rover’s split tailgate with the leather trimmed “event seating” (that’s oldmoney speak for tailgating) option for another $5,700. The Range Rover SVAutobiography is, for now anyway, the pinnacle of Range Rover development, at least in terms of performance and luxury. It’s hard to imagine how the company might top this, but, based on its recent history, there’s a development team already working on it. And to think that Spen King had to fight for an automatic transmission.

RANGE ROVER SV AUTOBIOGRAPHY Dimensions and Capacities Wheelbase (in.) 122.8 Overall Length (in.) 204.7 Overall Height (in.) 72.4 Overall Width (in.) 81.6 Construction Aluminum Unibody Curb Weight (lbs.) 5,562 Turning Circle (ft.) 44.0 Approach Angle (deg) 34.7 Breakover Angle (deg) 26.1 Departure Angle (deg) 29.6 Ground Clearance (in.) 8.7 Max Wading Depth (in.) 35.4 Engine Type 5.0L S/C V8 Displacement (cc) 5000 Valvetrain DOHC Valves/Cylinder 4 Power (hp@rpm) 550@6000 Torque (lb-ft@rpm) 502@2500 EPA Economy (Cty/Hwy) 13/19 Fuel Capacity (Gal) 27.7 Transmission Type 8-Speed Automatic Transfer Case Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) Interior Seating Capacity Cargo Space (cu. ft.) Pricing Base Price Waitomo Grey Duo Tone paint 22-in. 6-spoke Style 601 alloy wheels Delivery and Destination

$199,950 $14,000 $0 $599

Total price as shown


A special thanks to Issac Ashwal and Land Rover Manhattan


4 Passenger 32


Ten days, 1200 miles, 36 SUVs, 72 strong women — and two tough mothers in an LR4. WORDS Bryan Joslin PHOTOGRAPHY Rebel Off Road



and Mongolia; and Morocco’s Carta Rally, which has a women’s cup. As much as Miller loved traveling to other parts of the world to compete, she knew the time and distance required just to get to such events was holding a lot of women back. On top of that, there’s the insecurity of negotiating exotic locales with no local knowledge or support system. About four years ago, Emily started to brainstorm a plan for a worldclass rally right in her backyard. A Southern California native, she knew that the desert between Tahoe and San Diego is basically Ground Zero for incredible off-roading. Out there, the landscape changes by the mile. There’s seemingly boundless exotic scenery to take in, and it doesn’t require a passport to take advantage of it. “I’ve done a lot of driving and pre-running in these locations,” explains Emily. “California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah — I knew we could do this course. I knew it would be challenging, but knew we could do it.” The challenges were real. Twelve counties, eight Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices, three national parks and two different states were involved in the initial conversations. By the time the flag dropped to start the event, those figures were worked down a bit to just five BLM offices and two national parks though still the same number of counties and states. Incredibly, the whole thing came together in just 15 months from the first BLM meeting to the start of competition. “As a driver I wanted some challenging moments, but I didn’t want [the competitors] to worry about damaging their vehicles. I didn’t want them to have to run race cars but street-legal vehicles with little or no modifications,” recalls Emily. “It needed to be accessible to women, and it needed to be affordable. It’s also a true test of the driver; the Rebelle is a driver’s event. It’s not about just building something, running it as hard as you can and then fabricating something when you break it.” Of course, creating a route is only part of the planning for an event like this. It’s a competition after all, which means rules and scoring.

t’s 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday near Lake Tahoe, and Deborah Najm sits patiently at the wheel of her Land Rover, the air conditioner humming away in the warm, early autumn sun. The business owner, PTA mom and dance-class chauffeur inches forward at a predictable but painstakingly slow pace. Her nerves are shot. This is taking forever, but she isn’t idling along the school drop-off line, nor is she caught in Tahoe’s usual weekend traffic jam. Today brings something entirely new, totally different, to Deborah’s life. Perhaps it’s the helmet she’s wearing, unfamiliar, isolating. She can’t even dull the wait by checking her phone, normally within hand’s reach but now in the glove box, sealed in a tamper-proof bag. Julia Pickslay in the co-pilot’s seat studies the large paper map spread across her lap. The LR4’s navigation screen is blank, but not from some electronics glitch; it’s been deactivated. In a matter of moments, none of this will matter. The starting flag will drop, and everything will become blurred by the rush of adrenaline. Suddenly, finally, the time has come to test the months of planning and preparation, validate the untold hours driving desert dunes, and hopefully display the newly learned reckoning skills of map and compass. The week ahead will be the most extreme challenge these two women ever have endured, and, like the other 70 entrants they’ll be competing against, don’t quite know what to expect. This is the first time the Rebelle Rally has ever been run.

FOUR YEARS EARLIER The Rebelle Rally, America’s first all-women’s off-road navigation rally, is the brainchild of off-road racer and sports marketing promoter Emily Miller. The Rebelle, though, was hardly the effort of a freshman to the sport. Emily has competed in countless off-road races and rally raid events around the world. She was the first American to compete in the Moroccan all-women’s Gazelle rally back in 2009, she won her class in that year’s Baja 1000, and she has long helped other women train for off-road racing and rallying. The idea for an all-women’s off-road competition isn’t new. Aside from the Gazelle, there is the Trophée Roses des Sables in South America; the Aventura Cup that rotates through countries in North Africa plus Oman

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Julia Pickslay enters her position on the handheld tracking unit; Deborah Najm scans the landscape before heading back onto the course; the LR4 on one of the more civilized sections of Rebelle Rally route that also includes dunes and more challenging rocky trails.





scoring, with no knowledge of their accuracy until they returned to base camp at the end of the day. In addition to the navigation sections, there were three time-speeddistance (TSD) legs, each with two or three scoring opportunities. The goal was to maintain an overall average speed while navigating, with no prior knowledge of where they’d be checked for accuracy along the way. The competition phase of the ten-day Rebelle Rally would encompass seven full days of driving through the desert, complete with heat, drought, dust, and elevation changes, covering more than 1,200 miles. Base camp would change four times, the teams essentially packing up

and moving every other night. They slept in their own tents out on the desert floor, if they slept at all.

I CAN CHANGE TIRES AND READ MAPS… Deborah and Julia were mutual acquaintances. Their husbands worked together on occasion, so they had casually crossed paths over the years. When the Rebelle popped up on their respective radars, it didn’t take long for the two adventuresome women to realize they might make a good team. Deborah recalls that her future teammate had tagged her in a Facebook 37


post with this seductive pitch: “Let’s do this, Deborah Najm. I can change tires and read a map.” Despite having driven her LR4 extensively off-road in the southwestern states and through Baja, Deborah realized she wasn’t even sure if she could change a tire herself. “I felt confident doing the trails, and I’ve been a competitor all my life; I knew I needed to train for more difficult situations.” Julia grew up riding motorcycles and driving buggies on the California dunes. She spends a lot of time with her husband off-roading and backpacking, and knew that her experience reading maps and terrain would be valuable. At a Super Bowl party last year, the two decided to check out one of Emily’s training events in Glamis. After two days playing together in the dunes, they knew the Rebelle was their calling. Their motivations for competing were similar but not identical. For Deb, the deciding factor was that this was an all-women’s event; she’s not sure she would have jumped in on a mixed event. She also really embraced the idea that for seven straight days she could entirely disconnect from her hectic daily routine and the always-on nature of modern life to do something just for her own. Julia, on the other hand, wasn’t swayed by the male-exclusive nature of the event but instead looked at the Rebelle as yet another opportunity to grow personally and to do something outside of the ordinary. Once they made the commitment to each other, the pair turned to training for the rally as spring rolled up. With Deborah in Orange County and Julia several hours away up the Central Coast, finding time to actually get together proved to be the first of their challenges. Both women are by nature active and engaged. With her husband Nizar, Deb runs Off the Grid Rentals, an expedition equipment business. She’s also the classic Type A mom: president of her kid’s PTA, and taxi driver to her daughter’s dance lessons and son’s football practice. That she ever found the time to train for, let alone compete in, the rally is a testament to her drive. Julia is self-employed as a private running coach and owns a fitness studio, and though her school-run days are behind her, her personal life

is still just as full. Given such demanding calendars, their joint training exercises would amount to just a few weekends before the big event. Driving the desert was the easy part, though Deborah managed to get an extensive day of one-on-one training with Emily. Learning to navigate by compass and plotter was a new challenge, and one that’s harder to train for realistically when you already know your endpoints. Tougher still was combining these skills, maintaining a precise heading while piloting three tons of off-road vehicle through the rocks and sand. And then there was the task finding sponsors to make it all happen. The choice of vehicle came down to the need for the team driver, Deb, to be intimately familiar with and totally confident in the truck she’d be commanding. It only made sense for her to train and compete in her personal Land Rover. Since the rally was designed for stock 4x4 and crossover vehicles, the LR4 seemed more than adequate for the task at hand, and she had already proven handy at wheeling it masterfully at the 2015 Western National Land Rover Rally. In a field dominated by Jeeps, theirs wasn’t the only Land Rover; three other LR4s and two LR3s also showed up. Vehicle preparations were minimal, amounting to basic recovery gear. Fearing most tire damage, Deborah acquired two full spare wheels and tires for the rally and secured them to the Rhino Rack on the roof. Otherwise, a set of MAXTRAX recovery plates was the extent of her offroad gear. Her local dealership, Land Rover Anaheim Hills, set her up with a kit of replacement parts should something fail on the drive: spare air suspension pump, front air spring assembly, serpentine belts, water pump, and spare wiper blades. With the date on the calendar and the vehicle preparations figured out, the two needed a team name. Omada Adventure emerged as the logical choice; omada is Greek for “team.” Deb and Julia knew that in order to finish this event they would have to find a way to come together as a team. And that was something they’d really only get the chance to do once they were underway.


tough to hold a heading at times or to see the course, but they found all but one of their checkpoints, a black one late in the day. Team Omada Adventure in the #116 Land Rover rolled into base camp at the end of the day tired but confident. Their first-day standing was an impressive sixth place with a 95-percent score. The second day kicked their asses a bit. After an opening day that featured almost equal numbers of green, blue, and black checkpoints, they met the challenge of six black checkpoints out of 14 total. They blanked on several, including a couple of blue ones, but hit all their mandatory checks, turning in a 26th-place finish for the day. This was clearly not a typical Sunday drive in the desert. And so it went. The days were long, both physically and mentally grueling for the two teammates. It was the little things that challenged them most, like communicating on the go with helmets on and nerves afire. Julia explains, “The road books given to us each morning had up to 23 lines of checkpoint coordinates, which basically looked like a page full of lines and columns filled with numbers; it was easy at 5:00 a.m. to read a latitude from one line and a longitude from the next, putting you way off a checkpoint.” The morning of the fourth day was even more nerve-racking; the duo failed to hit any of their checkpoints in the allotted time. Deborah confesses that the dismay of not scoring a single checkpoint left her feeling defeated; she pushed back the overwhelming urge to just quit on the spot. Their position at the end of the day was 31 out of the 33 teams in the 4x4 class.

But things change in the heat of competition. Sometimes it’s others’ misfortune that works to your advantage. Other times, you pick yourself up and find a way to carry on. The following day was a good one for #116, making a strong turnaround to finish in fifth place. For the rest of the event, Deb and Julia turned in strong results, finishing near the top of the order in the more difficult later stages



FINAL RESULTS Congratulations to all the teams who completed in — and completed, as each team did — the first Rebelle Rally. Here are the final results after the full seven days of competition.

4X4 CLASS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

125 Charlene Bower / Kaleigh Hotchkiss 119 Taylor Pawley / Micaela Windham 129 Nena Barlow / Kande Jacobsen 134 Shelby Hall / Amy Lerner 104 Cora Jokinen / Melissa Fischer 128 Angela Terry / Sarah Saxten 118 Bailey Campbell / Kendra Miller 115 Michelle Laframbroise / Jen Horsey 105 Rachel Micander / Julianne Zotter 131 Chris Mayne / Helene Becour 110 Naomi Grebe / Amy Cronin 140 Emme Hall / Rebecca Donaghe 117 Tory Capezza / Jen Magli 109 Jo Hannah Hoehn / Susie Saxten 122 Amanda Brown / Tana White 137 Rhonda Cahill / Rachelle Croft 106 Sedona Blinson / Maria Clay (Parker) 103 Rachel Ridenour / Cindy Cantrell 116 Deborah Najm / Julia Pickslay

20 124 JoMarie Fecci / Tracey Ristow 21 132 Holly Freeman / Coralee Lack 22 101 Marty Hopkins / Pixie Hopkins 23 141 Laurie Van Dyke / Pam Jongert 24 142 Pamela Hall / Keri Boyer 25 120 Valerie Crockett / Ashley Lee 26 107 Thuy Davis / Darlene Peck 27 114 Mary Jo Johns / Samantha Johns-Mumford 28 108 Dana Saxten / Karen Hoehn 29 112 Julie Covert / Jennifer Peine 30 133 Whitney Joiner / Jaclyn Trop 31 130 Sally Gallice / Trish Lewis 32 126 Michelle Davis / Andrea Shaffer 33 111 Jenn Zipp-Richmond / Nick Bloom

Jeep Rubicon 815 (80%) Jeep Wrangler 785 (77%) Ram 1500 Rebel 772 (76%) Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 763 (75%) Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 762 (75%) Land Rover LR4 753 (74%) Jeep Wrangler 745 (73%) Jeep Wrangler 736 (72%) Toyota Tacoma 735 (72%) Jeep Wrangler 733 (72%) Toyota Land Cruiser 723 (71%) Chevy Colorado 723 (71%) Jeep Wrangler 707 (70%) Land Rover LR4 700 (69%) Lexus GX 470 697 (69%) Toyota Land Cruiser 692 (68%) Nissan Titan 678 (67%) Toyota 4Runner 660 (65%) Land Rover LR4 650 (64%)

Jeep Wrangler 638 (63%) Jeep Wrangler TJ 636 (63%) Land Rover LR3 633 (62%) Land Rover LR3 632 (62%) Jeep Wrangler 629 (62%) Toyota 4Runner 622 (61%) Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 613 (60%) GMC Sierra 590 (58%) Land Rover LR4 576 (57%) Jeep Scrambler 549 (54%) Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 549 (54%) Mercedes-Benz G Wagon 550 525 (52%) Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 462 (45%) Jeep Wrangler 420 (41%)

X-OVER CLASS 1 204 Meli Barrett / Sabrina Howells 2 202 Lisa Wolford / Sandy Conner 3 203 Josan Badillo / Jaimy Grigsby


Honda Ridgeline 770 (79%) Porsche Cayenne 627 (64%) Jaguar F-Pace 514 (53%)


Bob Burns

If you think of Land Rovers as adventure vehicles and not just status symbols, you can thank the man who has helped reinforce that image for 30 years. WORDS Bryan Joslin PHOTOGRAPHY Land Rover



and Rover’s history in North America is something of a diptych: one story told over two separate volumes. The first half is best read with a thick British accent; the U.S. was, after all, a fairly insignificant and subordinate sales territory for Solihull all the way up until the company left the market in 1974. But the second half, which picks up in 1987 with the introduction of the Range Rover, has a much more American twang to it. When Land Rover re-launched in the American market, it had a lot of ground to make up. And with only a single model in the lineup — the parent company’s flagship, nonetheless — there was little room for mistakes. Bill Baker, a creative visionary in his own right, was selected to head up communications for the nascent Range Rover North America, and he understood the company’s future success would hinge in some part on its past — specifically its association with exotic adventure travel. Baker knew better than anyone that it would be a delicate act to balance the brand’s long-standing reputation for unsurpassed capability in the toughest conditions with its new positioning — at least in America — as a luxury carmaker: The Range Rover would be a lifestyle choice for buyers with countless other choices within easy reach of their deep pockets. To make that vision tangible, however, he needed a convincing soul for its implementation. Enter Bob Burns, a mechanical engineering student in his final year of college, two steps away from taking a desk job in Detroit with one of the Big Three. Baker recruits Burns, who had originally considered coming aboard in an engineering capacity, to stick around and help launch the new Range Rover to America’s press. He’s gritty and eager, but he also has an off-roading background on dirt bikes that gives him an edge in preparing for the type of unconventional experiences into which Baker plans to immerse the unsuspecting motoring press and even its own dealers. With the blessing of CEO Charlie Hughes, the duo of Baker and Burns starts to shape Land Rover into the brand we know today — well before the first new model ever hits U.S. shores.

Burns recalls those early days. “When my boss hired me on November 1, 1986, he asked, ‘So what are you doing tomorrow?’ And I answered, ‘I don’t know, coming to work?’ He quickly corrected me; said I was going to England to spend some time with Roger Crathorne and his team to see what they do over there. I spent a bunch of time in the UK trying to understand the brand. I mean, I knew a little bit about Land Rover, but until you’re immersed in it with guys like Crathorne, you don’t really get bitten as hard. It was like, holy smokes, this is the real deal!” Inspired by the Range Rover’s duality, the Burns and Baker duo set about establishing new ways of building the reputation of this new model. “People knew about Land Rovers, but they didn’t really know Range Rover. We wanted to show off both sides of the vehicle. Yes, it’s shiny and it’s got wood and air conditioning, but it’ll also go anywhere. So we wanted to go to some really cool places, do some great offroading, and then stay in a really nice hotel. Just to prove you don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle just because you took a dirt road. “But we didn’t have a big budget when we launched, so we had to do it a little different. In fact, the first dealer event we did, we piggybacked onto the [National Automobile Dealers Association] dealer conference in Las Vegas and introduced the Range Rover to all thirty-six of our dealers, letting them drive the vehicles for the first time just before they went on sale. “The journalists back in the day were used to being flown to Italy to drive Ferraris or to the Nürburgring to drive whatever, and they’d stay in nice hotels and be wined and dined. That bar was already set. But for our first big media introduction, we flew Automobile Magazine’s David E. Davis and Car and Driver’s Tony Assenza to the floor of the Grand Canyon by helicopter. We flew them fifty feet above the water, and parked in the Colorado River below were two Range Rovers. We dropped them off, and they drove the Range Rovers out of the river and took them back to Detroit, and they started the conversation about what Range Rovers were really all about. 45




“And that’s where it started. Not a lot changed on the vehicles for all those years, but to Bill’s credit he always found a way, no matter what time of year it was, to come up with a trip to put journalists in the vehicles and drive them some place iconic. It might be the UK, or Belize, or who knows where? “On the very first press launch I attended in the fall of ’86, they handed all the journalists a Barbour field coat, a pair of Wellies and a flat cap and sent them driving up a drover’s road in the Welsh countryside. We’ve always tried to provide a lifestyle experience that is in line with that of our owners, to put the journalists in their shoes for a day or so to get a better sense of how they use their Land Rovers. That’s the legacy we started, and we still do that today.”

year. That first school we ran Range Rovers, Discoverys, and Defender 90s. We still have some of the cars that were used at the first school. Never give those Defenders away! “Today the schools remain a popular option, especially for first-time Land Rover owners. People are always so amazed when you take them out in a brand-new stock vehicle and show them what it can really do. “We all feel pretty lucky to do what we do. I always tell people, ‘Hi, I’m Bob Burns. I have the easiest job in the world. I get you in Land Rovers, take you off road, and try to convince you that they’re awesome. How tough is that?’”

ON THE CAMEL TROPHY TEAMS One of the most iconic marketing partnerships of the late ’80s and early ’90s was the Land Rover-exclusive Camel Trophy Challenge, though it was a bit of a strange thing for North America. Camel’s big motivation, other than promoting its cigarettes, was selling branded merchandise — watches, T-shirts, patches, and so on. As popular as the Camel Trophy boutique shops were throughout the world, they didn’t exist in America. Nor did many of the Land Rover vehicles being driven in the competition. “There was a U.S. team in 1986, but there was no real payoff for [Camel’s parent company] RJR. In 1987, RJR put a team together, mostly on the basis of an Olympics mentality: You can’t have the Olympics without the United States, right? Land Rover wasn’t really behind it, but the Range Rover had just come out in America, and Bill Baker was smart enough to take advantage of the fact that Range Rovers were running in the ’87 Camel Trophy. “So we pulled Tom [Collins] and Don [Floyd] and took them out to the big auto shows with a Camel Trophy Range Rover, all muddy from the event still for the sake of authenticity, and parked it next to a new model on the show floor. One was shiny with leather and a cassette player, and the other just got back from Africa. And they were one and the same. “So ’87 happened, but there was no ’88 team, no ’89 team. There was a push from RJR to put together a 1990 team though. I worked with Tom Collins on this, and so we kind of snuck cars out and did our trials under the radar. It was kind of a skunkworks thing; corporate wasn’t really paying attention to it. We needed to have a team, so we’d just go out to Grand Junction and round up drivers and say ‘Let’s see who’s the best driver,’ and turn them loose. And most of those guys are still with me. They’re an incredibly loyal bunch.” Many of Burns’ Land Rover Experience team members came out of the Camel Trophy off-road expedition series. Half jokingly, he recalls, “Camel practically was my HR department. The funny thing is we’d get guys that weren’t even into Land Rovers, but once they got on board, they’d get the bug and became Land Rover enthusiasts. They’d pick up a Range Rover or a Discovery, and then it became like a disease. We’ve never done a formal count, but if we have 20 guys at any given time, we’ve probably owned 120 Land Rovers among ourselves.”

ON LAND ROVER DRIVING SCHOOLS Journalists weren’t the only subjects of the adventure lifestyle treatment. The Land Rover Driving Schools started with Chris Marchand, who was in marketing at Land Rover North America at the time. “In 1996 we were approached by the Equinox in Vermont,” recalls Burns, “who had connections to a driving school at the Gleneagles resort in Scotland. They said, ‘Hey, we’d like to have you come in and do this here.’ So Chris and I considered it and agreed to give it a try. “Up to this point we’d been selling mostly Range Rovers, and those owners claimed they actually used them off-road quite a bit, which surprised us. They were high earners, usually self-employed and typically had multiple cars. They could easily afford to take off and do what were called Land Rover Adventures, these extensive three- or fourday off-road drives. “But here comes the Discovery, with a totally different kind of owner. It might be their only family vehicle, and they may have stretched to afford it, but they still wanted to learn to drive off-road. So the driving school seemed like a smart approach. They might not have a spare, say, $4,000 to go to Colorado for four or five days, but they could spend $150 to come learn for an hour more about their truck and how to safely drive off-road. So it made sense to offer an easy pay-n-play option. “We met with the folks in Vermont, and within about a week we had a pilot program running and were cutting trails. I trained all the staff, built the trails and built the infrastructure to make it work for us. Then we hopscotched from one location to the next, opening additional schools in different locations. “We did a soft launch of the program in the summer of ’96, and had a fully functioning school in 1997. So I guess we’re celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Land Rover Experience Driving Schools this

“He’s gritty and eager, but he also has an off-roading background on dirt bikes that gives him an edge”.

OPPOSITE PAGE Bob Burns working the trail on the LR3 press launch in Belize in 2004.



showpiece for the Discovery’s origins at the recent dealer training. After 30 years as the Land Rover event manager, he’s spent extensive seat time behind the wheel of every Land Rover model offered here, but it’s the Range Rover Classic that still grabs his heart. “I’ve always had Range Rover Classics since I started with the company. I had an ‘88 that I had forever; I sold it to a guy begrudgingly.

ON HIS LOVE OF RANGE ROVER CLASSICS If Land Rover had never come calling, Burns likely still would have become a fan. He still takes to the northern California hills for offroading whenever time allows, though more often than not it’s on bikes these days. His personal fleet of fun vehicles includes about twenty motorcycles, a ’47 Jeep Willy’s Jeep, a variety of American pickups, a Volvo, and a Miata. His current fleet of Land Rovers includes a 1991 Range Rover Classic, a 1994 Defender 90 — the one that’s on the cover of the ’94 brochure — and his daughter’s 1996 Discovery, which was recently used as a

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Bob explains throttle modulation to an attentive student; a muddy road in the rain forest beats a desk job any day of the week; directing a brand new Range Rover into headlights-deep water is par for the course.



I had two in the driveway at the time — an ’88 and a ’91 — and I sold them both. Figured I’d just get by with the Defender 90. And then for the twenty-fifth anniversary of Land Rover North America, [Marketing VP] Kim McCullough called up and said, ‘We need a 1987 Range Rover; we need to find one and restore it and have it in the fleet’. And of course the ‘87s are like hen’s teeth. We only sold like 1,300 of them. “So I started hunting, and of course it was last minute. We needed to have it for the New York auto show in April, and this is probably January or early February when I’m told to go find this car. So my driveway had no Range Rover Classics on it, and I’m calling around every day looking for an ’87 to buy, and I got the bug all over again. I found the ’87 for the auto show, but in my search I also came across this ’91 nearby. “It was the pry bar for a divorce. But the guy wanted big money, so I passed. I was working on the ’87 on my driveway when I got a call from the guy with the ’91 asking if I still wanted it. I told him yeah, but not for what he’s asking. He goes, ‘Come get it, I’ll give it away. I’m not sure it even runs, but take it away from here. My wife is killing me over it.’ “I got right back in the truck to get it. It fired up, I drove it onto the trailer, and paid him pennies for it. It’s the first non-perfect Range Rover I’ve ever had. My other ones have always been really nice. And I kind of like having a beater Classic. I just don’t worry about it. It’s on a salvage title. I’ve had it four years, and it just gets better every time I drive it. “If I were to sell this ’91, I’d look for another ’87, but I’d probably go find an ’88. To me, that’s a Range Rover: 3.5-liter, diff lock, LT230, simple interior. I love that car. I’m not a fan of the long wheelbase;

that’s probably my least favorite Range Rover ever. To me, it’s like stretching a Porsche 911. How do you even do that? “But people love them. I’m probably the only guy that doesn’t like a long wheelbase. And no doubt they’re great to drive. Maybe because when I had one as a company car, my dog used to sit in back, and he couldn’t rest his head on the center armrest anymore. He couldn’t reach, and he’s a big dog. “When we were doing the new [2013] Range Rover launch, I had a new Range Rover in the driveway all the time. And I’d get out of that and have to drive the Classic, and there was always that walk across the driveway. It was like, ‘Oh god, I’m going to get in this old thing and it’s going to suck.’ And then I’d get in and I’d be like, ‘This car is awesome; I love it.’ And that’s pretty cool, because think about moving back almost thirty years in terms of cars. It could be a bummer. But it never is. I was just thinking last night, I wish I could take this to the launch event in Tucson. Not that there’s anything wrong with the LR4 I’m taking…”

DEDICATED TO BILL BAKER Just as we were preparing to go to press with this issue, we learned of the passing of Bill Baker on February 16, 2017. He was a wonderful human being who connected with everyone he met. His passion for Land Rover and the legacy he created will forever be remembered. Rest in peace, Sir. 49


T h e w o r l d i s w a i ti n g.

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fo r g o t t e n expedition A perfectly preserved around-the-world traveler from an adventure that no one seems to remember. WORDS Bryan Joslin PHOTOGRAPHY Sam Dobbins



Mobil 1 to advertise the durability of its synthetic oil. The plan was to run the entire trip on a single supply of oil, changing neither the oil nor the oil filter until the journey was completed. Only top-ups were to be allowed, as needed. That plan fell apart in Australia, however, as a routine underhood inspection revealed evidence of sludge forming inside the crankcase. Upon completion of more than 500 miles of dusty roads crossing the country’s Gibson Desert, some finer particles were making their way past the air filter and into the combustion chamber, accumulating in the oil. Mobil’s engineering team gave the go-ahead for oil and filter changes on the vehicles, deftly switching the message to “Around the world on one oil change.” All four of the Discoverys made it home safely, but suffice to say it’s not a great idea to put 40,000 miles on your oil no matter how good it may be. As mentioned earlier, 2003 was a bad year for Discovery engines.

The drivetrain is still a completely stock 2003 configuration — meaning no center differential lock. According to Shayne, “Land Rover really wanted to highlight the functionality of its traction control system. Theoretically, if everything’s working right, you don’t need CDL. Of course, Land Rover also added a CDL back to the ’04 Discovery, so what’s that tell you?” Nevertheless, he has resisted the urge to upgrade the transfer case with a CDL so as to keep the truck as original as possible. The only additional traction benefit bestowed upon each expedition truck was a set of BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A tires in a slightly taller 245/75-16 fitment. Shayne still runs the same tire setup today, mounted to the original Pro Comp steel off-road wheels that feature a custom offset for a wider track to balance the narrower tires. Other than the intake snorkel, no changes were made to the engine. In fact, the expedition was supposed to serve as a platform for sponsor



One for the Road Even with 275,000 miles under its belt, one unique feature makes this old-timer the life of the party.

WORDS Steve Hoare PHOTOGRAPHY Bryan Joslin 57




he directions were dead on. “Make a left at the gravel road. Drive past the two houses on your left, and keep going about a quarter mile through the two open fields. The house will be at the end.” It’s an imperfect driveway of loose stone, ruts and puddles, the kind that reminds visitors they’re better off if they’ve arrived by Land Rover. Sure enough, through the fields and just behind a mature tree line sits a bucolic stone farmhouse. On the driveway a spotless 1964 Series IIa awaits us. A quick scan of the property reveals perhaps another dozen Land Rovers, mostly vintage Series and Defender models. No doubt we’ve found the spot. In a matter of minutes, we’re seated in front of the cast iron stove in Bob Raffensperger’s living room, listening with ears pinned back as he recounts all the adventures he and his wife Jodie have taken in the 109” station wagon, a uniquely outfitted Dormobile Special. Before long, the maps and photo albums came out, backing up the bold claims. Bob and Jodie have documented everything. Bob kept the roadmaps and later charted their journeys on atlases and maps at home. The red and green marker trails spider out across paper depictions of North America, including remote areas of Alaska and Canada. Jodie kept a daily journal of their experiences, sometimes even crafting a poem on the fly. Bob confides in us that her entries recently brought him to tears as he relived past trips while thumbing through the journals in anticipation of our visit. Of all the Land Rovers on the rustic Raffensperger estate, it’s clear the ‘64 Dormobile is the family favorite.

This Series IIa hasn’t always been the Raffenspergers’ pride and joy. Back in 1964, another American couple, Richard and Sandra Bergman, walked into Frank Miller Ford in Darien, Connecticut, with a very special order in hand. There was no Land Rover “showroom” to speak of, but Miller Ford was an authorized agent for the relatively unknown English brand, one of maybe 140 in the country back then, most of which sold other types of vehicles including farm implements. The Bergmans knew exactly what they wanted, having ticked off most of the available boxes for original equipment accessories. These included dual fuel tanks, a reinforced front axle, a hood-mounted spare wheel, lockable fuel caps, a capstan winch, and Michelin XY 16-inch tires. A special order sent the completed vehicle — minus the factory seating — down the road to the M. Walters Company to be outfitted with front and rear Dormobile fold-flat seats, bumper-mounted jerry cans, and a chemical toilet. The Bergmans’ tally was an astonishing $3,137.10 for the fully equipped Land Rover. Considered lofty at the time, it works out to a little over $24,000 in today’s money, which arguably now makes the vehicle a bargain at twice the price. The Bergmans planned to take delivery of their new vehicle at the Solihull factory in September, 1964, but arrived to discover their Land Rover was not yet ready. They were told it would take another three to four weeks to see the Dormobile to completion. Land Rover, however, very kindly lent the couple another Land Rover so they could tour the UK while theirs was readied, an act we can hardly imagine Land Rover performing today.





BEACH BUM TO BEACH BURNER There once was a truck on Nantucket Over time it became a rust bucket Safari cleaned up the mess Then dropped in an LS And now it’s one hell of a rocket

WORDS Bryan Joslin PHOTOGRAPHY Matthew Jones



here are countless ways to build the perfect Defender 110; starting with a crusty beach runner isn’t usually one of them. Every once in a while, though, a bad idea makes good sense, especially when you’re effectively starting over anyway. Stephen Peters knows the pitfalls of restoring old Land Rovers all too well. As the owner of Safari Heritage Parts in Orlando, Florida, he’s seen his fair share of ill-advised purchases and shortcut restos gone wrong, and his shop ends up on the receiving end of someone else’s shoddy work and is tasked to fix the unfixable. So when the phone rang a little more than a year ago, and the gentleman on the other line described his ideal Defender to Peters, he found it refreshing to be speaking with someone interested in doing a proper build. With the deal done, the customer let the Safari crew find the perfect donor vehicle and turn them loose to do what they do best. There was only one hitch: It would have to be a North American-spec 110 station wagon — no personal imports with worrisome paperwork, just a straight-up, one-of-500 collector’s item as a starting point. No big deal. The truck was going to live in New England, and the buyer wanted to make sure it would have a clean registration that would allow him to eventually sell it should his interests change. Of all the Defender variants Land Rover has produced, the 110 station wagons are almost universally coveted for their relatively accommodating interiors, capable of carrying up to nine people, uncomfortably, if necessary. They came to the States only in 1993, and

in a very limited run of just 500 units, all of them finished in Alpine White. It’s understandable why clean, original examples command more than their original MSRP today, which made it all the more challenging for Peters to come up with a suitable donor. The islands of Nantucket and neighboring Martha’s Vineyard may be the most Defender-rich locales in all of North America. They’re apparently the trucks best suited for getting the family from the summer cottage to the beach or for bombing around between social events. They evidently look good on ferries, as well, like set dressing for a Wes Anderson film or a J. Crew catalog shoot. Needless to say, it didn’t take long to find one for sale on the islands. The candidate was a bit of a washed-up waste. The truck had been off the road for more than a year when it was discovered. The salty and humid maritime climate had taken its toll on the vulnerable chassis as well as on the other usual suspects: the brake pipes, firewall, and footwells were all crusty. All of it would need to be replaced, but that was just fine for the project envisioned by Safari and the Defender’s new owner. Once the truck arrived in Florida, it was assessed for salvageable parts, which were then thoroughly stripped and catalogued for later reconditioning and reassembly. The frame was a write-off, so a new galvanized unit from Marsland was ordered up, offering the assurance of a longer life the second time around. The same approach was taken for the bulkhead, which had more holes in it than the U.S. tax code. A new




factory piece from a late-generation “Puma” model would replace it, at the same time eliminating the less-than-watertight cowl vents below the windshield. In fact, as long as new parts were being ordered, Safari went ahead and arranged for a bunch of new exterior panels including doors and hinges — both victims of bimetallic corrosion — plus a Puma bonnet. While that was underway, the mechanical team got busy on the hardware. The buyer decided to ditch the tired 3.5-liter Rover V8 in favor of something more potent and serviceable. Safari HP selected a new Chevy LS3 V8, its 6.2 liters offering close to double the displacement and nearly triple the horsepower of the old 150-hp lump. The Chevy V8 has become a popular option among Land Rover customizers because of its lightweight aluminum construction (just like factory) and ease of tuning, maintenance, and parts availability. A mildly tuned 420-hp version of the LS3 made the most sense for this project; no sense overtaxing the mechanicals downstream. The new engine mates up to a General Motors four-speed 4L80E automatic, which feeds power to the original LT230 transfer case with the help of an adapter from Marks 4WD from Australia. By choosing the fourspeed box instead of the available six-speed GM transmission, Safari was able to adapt an original Land Rover shifter without sacrificing any gearing options. The engine and transmission run on stand-alone control modules but communicate to each other natively. Three wires from the ECU feed the factory Land Rover wiring harness — in this case a brandnew full harness from a 2016 Puma model — to make the engine and vehicle electronics fully compatible. As a point of pride, Peters tells us

every wire in the engine loom is color coded to the original Land Rover wiring loom, component for component, making it possible for an experienced Land Rover technician to diagnose and repair the hybrid. The LS3 uses all GM components for such accessories as power steering, alternator, and air conditioning, all driven by a single serpentine belt for simplicity. The radiator has been upgraded to a thicker unit to help dissipate all the heat created by the bigger engine. Safari fabricated a custom exhaust Y-pipe to help clear the frame rails, integrating a pair of high-performance catalytic converters to make sure the old Defender still plays nice with its annual emissions inspection. An aftermarket cat-back exhaust system opens up the breathing, delivering a dramatic bark at the tailpipe. The factory axles, fully reconditioned inside and out, house the original differentials, although the half-shafts and CV joints are now beefier Ashcroft units. Heavy-duty Tom Woods driveshafts replace the Land Rover components, adding durability. Brakes are late-model factory Defender 110/130-spec vented front and rear discs. Safari chose all the engine and drivetrain hardware based on the buyer’s plans to use the Defender as a light-duty beach runner; had he prioritized rock crawling or more severe off-road driving, differentials would have been upgraded as well. Rolling stock on the freshened Defender is a set of 265/75-16 Goodyear Wrangler Duraterac mud terrain tires. A mild lift comes courtesy of TerraFirma springs and heavy-duty shocks. Inside, the Puma theme continues with a fully modern—for a Defender anyway—late-model dashboard. It is hand-trimmed in black leather, but that’s not the real gem in its crown. The fully electronic instrumentation







communicates seamlessly with the GM engine control harness thanks to a custom CAN-to-CAN “translator,” an electronic interpreter that takes the signals from the ECU output and converts them to Land Rover’s electro-dialect. This Defender represents the first known successful pairing of the two, allowing everything to function just as Solihull intended. Creature comforts are sprinkled conservatively inside, staying fairly true to the vehicle’s roots. The air conditioning blows surprisingly cold air (something Americans have always done right), and there’s a modern Alpine digital receiver in the dash. Otherwise, luxury gadgets are limited to power windows for the front- and second-row passengers. The utility-grade seating is gone, replaced up front with leathertrimmed factory Autobiography seats. The second row employs original-style Defender seats trimmed in the matching leather that also covers the pair of inward-facing benches in the rear compartment. The outside is bound to get more attention than the interior, however. The perfect new sheetmetal abandons the de rigueur white paint in favor of a more sophisticated Stornoway Grey with Zambezi Silver on the roof and bonnet. The Safety Devices exoskeleton roll cage is a brand-new item, of the same type originally fitted to all North American-spec Defender 110s, though the internal cage has been omitted to save space in the already tight interior. An ARB front bumper with bull bars houses a Warn M8000-S electric

winch should the Defender sink in the sand. A pair of Auxbeam 7.0inch round LED driving lights are perched inboard of the headlights, which also feature full LED arrays for both high and low beams. On the roof rack a quartet of 7.0-inch round LED flood lights pierce the night sky like a rolling lighthouse. All the way around, in fact, LEDs have replaced incandescent and halogen bulbs, placing less stress on the electrical system while providing more than ample visibility. The resurrected Defender won’t spend its second life entirely confined to the island. The new owner plans to use it on the mainland as well, justifying all the changes, particularly under the hood. On the road, the added punch from the bigger V8 comes through immediately. While the big tires and additional equipment do their best to tamp down the fun, the Safari HP Defender gets up and moves. Power comes on strong and smooth from the naturally aspirated lump; the whine of a supercharger is not missed. All of the high-end mechanical hardware plays well together, giving this 110 station wagon a more athletic attitude all around. If anything, it could use a bit more brake, though it doesn’t present an issue in regular traffic. In the end, more of the Defender is new than original, but that hardly matters. A once dormant legend has come out of retirement, if only to enjoy the good life once again near the ocean. Will life be longer for the rejuvenated Defender this time around? We don’t know for sure, but there’s no question it will live that life much faster.


Adventure is worthwhile. S U B S C R I B E T O D AY AT W W W. O U T D O O R X 4 . C O M




RANGE ROVER CLASSIC 1 9 8 7—1 9 9 5

Better late than never, the original Range Rover’s stateside arrival 30 years ago set the stage for Land Rover as we know it today. WORDS Bryan Joslin PHOTOS Bryan Joslin and Sinuhe Xavier




or the first two decades of Land Rover’s existence, the mission was pretty straightforward: build simple, rugged vehicles that can go anywhere and do the dirty jobs that keep civilization moving ahead. Land Rover was the do-all vehicle of choice for militaries, farmers, utility crews, civil engineers, and safari teams. Devoid of virtually anything that could be described as a luxury, those early Series I and Series II vehicles were renowned for their versatility, if not for their comfort. By the mid ‘60s, one forward-thinking member of the Rover Company’s newly formed market research team, Graham Bannock, had recognized that 4x4 vehicles were being purchased primarily for recreational use. A growing leisure class suddenly had the time and resources to use these “work vehicles” on the weekends and for family excursions. A trip to the United States reinforced Bannock’s belief that in order for Land Rover to grow sales — especially in the important American market — it should develop a more refined, car-like model aimed at recreational users. Sound familiar? Upon returning from his stateside visit in the summer of 1965, Bannock shared his findings with Spencer King, Rover’s head of new vehicle development. King recognized the potential for such a concept, and by the spring of the following year he and development engineer Gordon Bashford had ordered a Ford Bronco, International Scout, and Jeep Wagoneer to fully investigate the more successful models already on the market. Early on King established the basic specifications of this proposed new model:

coil springs to deliver a vast improvement in ride quality compared to existing Land Rovers’ leaf-sprung suspensions; disc brakes for improved performance and reliability over the traditional drums, particularly in deep water; and a closed station wagon body for improved protection from the elements as well as a quieter environment. With no formal initial budget, King and his team scoured the Rover development warehouses for bits and pieces to nudge the project along. The group grabbed a V8 engine that was already floating around in an 88-inch Series II, and they resurrected a full-time fourwheel-drive system that had been developed for a Rover sedan concept. Over the course of the next couple years, the new Land Rover 100-inch Station Wagon, or “Road Rover” as it was sometimes called, came together both mechanically and stylistically. Development mules hit the public roads in 1969 wearing “VELAR” badges. The following March, at the 1970 Geneva Auto Salon, the production version debuted to the public as the Range Rover. It featured a 3.5-liter carbureted V8, a four-speed manual gearbox, and a spacious two-door body with a split tailgate. It was an instant hit when it went on sale later in Britain that year, quickly selling out at dealerships. Demand was so high that many early owners sold their barely used examples for a profit as Land Rover tried to catch up with orders. Despite the fact that so much attention was paid to whims of the American market during its development, Land Rover had no choice but to initially keep the Range Rover from our shores. The first six months of production 74

was exclusively for the UK market — while the company worked out countless newmodel teething issues — but for 1971 sales expanded to Europe where demand continued to outpace manufacturing capacity. Adding yet another sales region would only have made the model’s growing pains worse. Before Land Rover had a chance to build up enough surplus to introduce the Range Rover to America, however, in 1974 the company decided to leave the U.S. market altogether, citing an inability to properly service its dealer network. Tougher emissions and safety standards were more likely to blame. The cash-poor parent company simply was unable to afford the needed fixes for such a small market. The Range Rover, Solihull’s first model designed specifically with the American buyer in mind, would be in production for some 17 years before making its official entrée into the world’s most important car market. After many lean years, in the early ‘80s the company finally found funding to develop the aging Range Rover thanks to the British government’s takeover of parent company British Leyland. At last there would be money for the first big round of improvements to the flagship 4x4 since its launch, including a much-anticipated four-door body and an automatic transmission. Already a veteran, the Range Rover received numerous updates before making its longawaited U.S. debut. A new grille with horizontal slats replaced the vertical arrangement that had long been its face. Concealed hood hinges replaced the former external pieces, and the fuel filler received a hinged cover, both giving the Range Rover a more finished appearance. On the inside, a new two-spoke steering


MODEL PROGRESSION The original Range Rover evolved continuously after arriving on American soil. In fact, most of the major improvements were the result of expectations from its very affluent buyers here, who pushed for ever greater luxury and exclusivity. In fact, many times Land Rover sold itself short, often underestimating what customers were willing to pay for such a unique vehicle.

1988 Aside from the addition of an optional power tilt-and-slide sunroof, no major changes occurred for the sophomore year. This addition, however, prompted a minor detail change in the roof stamping, which no longer featured full-length ribbing. Range Rover of North America (as the company was then known) also upped its allocation of leather interiors, as it couldn’t keep up with demand originally. The torque converter lockup on the ZF automatic was refined for better around-town performance, and the braking system was revised for better pedal feel with a new servo and different pad material. A Beluga Black special edition featured burled walnut trim in place of the linear grain. The base price went up to $33,400, and a total of 3,953 units were sold in North America.

1989 The venerable 3.5-liter V8 got a bump in displacement to 3.9 liters, taking output to 178 hp and 227 lb-ft. A quieter Borg-Warner chain-driven transfer case replaced the geardriven Rover unit for further refinement, and with it the mechanical center differential lock gave way to a viscous coupling. Revised A/C ducting allowed heated air to be blended with the drier, conditioned supply for better demisting. Power seats now adjusted eight ways with separate height adjustments for the front and rear sections of the seat bottoms. Cloth interiors were now brown, the optional leather could be ordered in either Sorrell Brown or Pembroke Gray, and the rear seats now released with a push-button to fold down in place of the original pull-type operation. On the exterior, the front door hinges were now completely concealed behind the door skins. A heated windscreen with a glassmounted rearview mirror became standard

along with programmable-delay wipers, and the central locking system now included the rear tailgate. The model lineup grew to include the standard Range Rover, which offered leather interior and sunroof as individual options; a fully optioned Range Rover County with leather and sunroof standard, plus bodycolor wheels, a premium stereo system, and chrome bumpers; and a Hunter model finished in Cypress Green with a brown cloth interior and special wood console. Base prices were $35,800 for the standard model, $38,350 for the Hunter, and $43,100 for the County. A total of 4,323 units were sold.

“Four-wheel anti-lock brakes were introduced for 1990 — the first SUV with such a feature.”



Four-wheel anti-lock brakes were introduced for 1990 — the first SUV with such a feature — which also included ventilated front rotors for the first time. A number of minor technical changes improved the driving experience, while the seats were given a new stitch pattern. Two models comprised the lineup: the standard Range Rover and the fully loaded County. The Hunter model disappeared for 1990, but late in the model year Land Rover issued the special Great Divide Edition; only 410 were produced. Base prices for the standard model ticked up to $38,025, but the County came in a bit cheaper than before at $40,125. The Great Divide Edition sold for $44,500, but its late arrival meant it was sold alongside 1991 models. It was a good year for Range Rovers, with 4,860 vehicles sold in the U.S. and an additional 66 units from the newly formed Land Rover Canada.

Refinements continued with additional sound insulation in the firewall and floor, plus the addition of PVC coating on the underbody. Full paintwork extended to include under the hood, and heated door locks were added as standard equipment. A larger fuel tank made of plastic instead of steel was fitted, slightly extending the driving range. The fuel door became smaller, was moved to a position higher on the right rear fender, and added a power unlocking actuator. A new steering gear assembly resulted in smoother turning. Anti-roll bars were added to both the front and rear axles, except for Hunter models, which also deleted ABS brakes and the front spoiler. A leather interior was



Photo by Sinuhe Xavier

1995 The final year of the original Range Rover saw a massive overhaul of the interior as the old veteran borrowed from the Discovery parts bin. A substantially updated new dashboard featured vastly improved ergonomics with fully integrated switchgear, a radio in the dashboard instead of on the floor, a proper glovebox, and an improved center console with real drink holders. There were also airbags for the first time — one for the driver in the new four-spoke steering wheel (which was now adjustable for height) and one for the front passenger built into the dashboard. The new fascia (finally finished in black) was padded and used a more leather-like grain texture, earning the late model its “soft-dash” nickname. The 3.9 and 4.2 engines continued on in County and County LWB models, respectively, but the belt-driven accessories moved from the multiple-pulley drive to a new single serpentine belt. A new plastic air filter box replaced the old steel can as well. Externally the front bumpers were comprised of “crush cans” beneath black plastic covers, a configuration necessitated by the addition of the airbags.

This was the Range Rover’s 25th anniversary, and Land Rover commemorated it with a long-wheelbase special edition consisting of 250 examples, all painted in Aspen Silver and trimmed in Ash Gray leather with Graphite piping and 25th Anniversary embroidery on the front seat headrests. Another LWB-only special model, the Aspen Silver Edition, was essentially a continuation of the anniversary model but without the embroidery and contrasting piping. The final special edition to roll out was a short-wheelbase version equipped with the TWR bumpers from the European Brooklands model, along with the five-spoke TWR alloys that were now standard on the SWB Range Rover. Only a handful were believed to have been sold. The soft-dash Range Rover Classic model was popular despite the fact that it sold alongside its replacement, the completely modernized “P38” Range Rover 4.0. In total, some 5,655 final edition Range Rover Classics left U.S. showrooms, plus another 146 from Canada, making 1995 the best year to that point for Range Rovers in North America. List prices came in at $45,000 for the County SWB, $52,500 for the County LWB, and $54,000 for 79

the 25th Anniversary edition. The Aspen Silver option package added $750 to a County LWB, and the TWR styling package was priced at $1,995 on top of the County.

SPECIAL EDITIONS While Land Rover did its best to make every Range Rover owner feel special, even unique, only a handful of true “special editions” were created. Otherwise, most of the models we might consider desirable today were effectively distinctive option packages with special paint or trim. Others, however, were genuinely unique or noteworthy, as outlined below. 1988 40th Anniversary Edition To commemorate Land Rover’s 40th anniversary, a special package was developed for the Range Rover, the company’s only model in the U.S. at the time. Originally limited to Cypress Green or Chamonix White, the anniversary model was fitted with the power sunroof and Pembroke Gray leather as standard. The wood trim was lacquered burl walnut, an upgrade over the standard veneers. The three-spoke alloys were finished in silver instead of charcoal paint.


Bookends: A Pair of Perfect White Classics The two vehicles photographed here represent both ends of the run for the Range Rover Classic in America, a 1987 and a 1995. Both are part of Jaguar Land Rover North America’s heritage fleet, and regularly make public appearances at auto shows and other public events as a reminder of the company’s glorious past. The 1987 example was purchased from a private seller in 2012. Finding a clean first-year model was no easy challenge, but Land Rover’s own Bob Burns jumped when this original one-owner vehicle came up for sale in California. Equipped with the standard cloth interior and without a sunroof, this Chamonix White survivor represents the cautious expectations of the American market in those early days. Immediately after acquiring the Range Rover, Burns sent it east to Maryland where it was stripped down and overhauled to like-new condition by Chris Tefke, another member of the Land Rover events team, who also operates a body shop when not teaching owners how to drive. Numerous repairs were made to the body. Something about engine. New brakes, etc. The interior proved one of the biggest challenges in the restoration, particularly the front seats. Fortunately, thanks to close connections in Solihull, a bolt of the original gray velour for the front seat inserts showed up on Tefke’s doorstep one day, and a local upholsterer went to

work carefully replicating the original stitch patterns and spacing. Today the ’87 looks almost exactly as it would have when Range Rovers first started rolling into American dealers thirty years ago. The only telltales of its age and prior service are in the little things, like worn graphics on certain switchgear and the discoloration of the gray steering wheel rim. On the day of our shoot, its odometer read 86,782 miles, not that you’d believe it by looking. The 1995 model is 100-percent original, and notable for being the very last example of the Range Rover Classic to come off the assembly line with a 1995 VIN. It was never retailed and has been in Land Rover’s company collection since its arrival stateside. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s a short-wheelbase model, but as a final edition it’s fully equipped to County specification with leather interior, glass sunroof and walnut trim. The wheels are the correct TRW-style five-spokes, and its air suspension is still wonderfully functional. The odometer shows an unfathomable but absolutely correct 768 miles. Though it is started and driven on a regular basis, and its fluids changed regularly to prevent them from aging in situ, it is for all intents and purposes still fresh out of the wrapper. You simply won’t find a finer example today.



1987 - 1995 RANGE ROVER CLASSIC Dimensions and Capacities Wheelbase (in.) Overall Length (in.) Overall Height (in.) Overall Width (in.) Front Track (in.) Rear Track (in.) Body Type Construction Curb Weight (lbs.) Turning Circle (ft.) Approach Angle (deg) Breakover Angle (deg) Departure Angle (deg) Ground Clearance (in.) Max Wading Depth (in.) Wheels Wheel Size Std. Tire Size Engine Type Displacement (cc) Valvetrain Valves/Cylinder Power (hp@rpm) Torque (lb-ft@rpm) EPA Economy (Cty/Hwy) Fuel Capacity (Gal) Towing Capacity (lbs.) Transmission Type

SWB 3.5 (1987-88) 100.0 176.0 70.1 71.4 58.5 58.5 Aluminum/Steel Body on Frame 4303 39.4 30 29 30 8.0 20

SWB 3.9 (1989-95) 100.0 176.0 70.1 71.4 58.5 58.5 Aluminum/Steel Body on Frame 4372-4628 39.4 30 (33 EAS hi) 29 (33 EAS hi) 30 (33 EAS hi) 8.0 20 (21.6 EAS hi)

LWB 4.2 (1993-95) 108.0 183.0 70.1 71.4 58.5 58.5 Aluminum/Steel Body on Frame 4574-4807 44.9 30 (33 EAS hi) 30 (33 EAS hi) 30 (33 EAS hi) 8.0 20 (21.6 EAS hi)

16x7” Alloy 205R16

16x7” Alloy 205R16

16x7” Alloy 205R16

V8 Gasoline 3528 OHV Pushrod 2 150@4000 195@3200 13/15 20.0 5500

V8 Gasoline 3947 OHV Pushrod 2 178@4750 thru 1992 / 182@4750 from 1993 227@3500 thru 1992 / 232@3100 from 1993 12/15 20.0 (21.6 from 1991) 5500

V8 Gasoline 4278 OHV Pushrod 2 200@4850 250@32350 13/16 21.6 6500




Hi/Lo, CDL

Hi/Lo, Viscous Coupling

Hi/Lo, Viscous Coupling

Suspension Front

Coil Springs, Radius Arms

Air Springs, Radius Arms


Coil Springs, Trailing Arms

Coil Springs, Radius Arms - 93 Air Springs, Radius Arms 94 - 95 Coil Springs, Trailing Arms - 93 Air Springs, Trailing Arms 94 - 95

Transfer Case

Brakes Type ABS Interior Seating Capacity Cargo Space Behind Second Row (cu. ft.)

Air Springs, Trailing Arms

4-wheel disc

4-wheel disc Wabco ABS (most models)

4-wheel disc Wabco ABS + rear TCS

5 76.0

5 76.0

5 76.0



DRIVING ON SAND Sometimes it’s not the mountain ahead that wears you out, it’s the sand beneath your tires. WORDS Steve Hoare PHOTOS Bryan Joslin 86



f all the places you might drive your vehicle off road, taking to the sand can be one of the most extraordinary. The ability to cruise a remote beach, traverse a sandy riverbed or cross a desert can deliver views of the world others can only imagine. Driving on the sand can also be daunting. Wet or dry, loose or packed, visible or submerged, those finely ground remnants of rocks and shells can stop even the most prepared vehicle in its own tracks if not approached correctly. Getting through the stuff without making a dog’s dinner of it is a matter of being prepared and patient. No matter where you travel in the world, there’s a chance you could encounter sand. On nearly every continent, sandy beaches define many of the shorelines. Inland lakes often feature sandy shores, too. Rivers and tributaries carry all kinds of small rocks and sandy particles downstream, depositing them where the water calms to create silty riverbeds and sandbars. In fact, anywhere moving water interacts with the land, there’s a possibility you may experience sand. Water isn’t the only force of nature to rearrange these small grains. Wind does the same job in areas where the land is arid and there is nothing to keep the sand from moving. Great expanses of desert are constantly changing as winds rearrange the landscape. Even near water, dunes often form along shorelines as the sand dries out and is swept inland by sea breezes. Each one of these situations requires a slightly different approach in order to navigate without getting stuck. Here’s what you need to know to get you through whatever grainy ground you may cover.

COME PREPARED Sandy conditions can range from a light dusting on top of a hard-packed roadbed, to deep and loose dunes, to an almost concrete-

like surface when damp and packed. By its nature, though, any of these conditions can change while you’re driving, so you’ll want to be prepared for any one of them. Except for the first scenario described above, a key to navigating sand without getting stuck is to get as big a footprint on the ground as possible by reducing tire air pressure (see sidebar “Airing Down”). This will prevent the tires from sinking in as you spread your vehicle’s weight over the largest area possible. It’s the reason why elephants don’t sink in the mud and high heels make lousy golf shoes. Your choice of tire will also affect your success in crossing sand. While we’ve seen plenty of drivers cross the beach on bald street tires, few of them have successfully become unstuck without calling for backup. A good set of M/T tires with deep treads and good lateral grooves can bite into even the loosest ground, giving you perhaps enough purchase to get out of a hole. Finally, you should be prepared for the possibility of becoming stuck. At the very least, you should have a shovel in your vehicle. A good recovery strap, an extended-range jack, a solid jacking platform, and a traction device of some sort are even better insurance. Having friends along never hurts either.

AS FAST AS NECESSARY, AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE An old adage in the off-roading community is to drive “as fast as necessary, but as slow as possible.” Driving too fast can obviously be unsafe, especially on a loose surface, but too slow can actually be the bigger threat, because you run the risk of losing momentum and becoming stuck. That ideal speed will depend entirely on the specifics of your conditions. Sudden changes in speed or direction are the surest way to get stuck in the sand. Maintaining an even pace is key. Smooth inputs of throttle, brakes and steering will keep you 87

“Sudden changes in speed or direction are the surest way to get stuck in the sand. Maintaining an even pace is key. Smooth inputs of throttle, brakes and steering will keep you from churning at the surface and creating ruts.”


Dual Battery Installations When it comes to storing energy, more is always more.


he battery in your vehicle serves one purpose: to store electricity so it can be used to operate an electrical accessory. Batteries in older vehicles had to hold on to just enough juice to excite the starter, and maybe the lights, until the engine was turning and generating enough of its own voltage to stay running. Today’s cars and trucks, however, require constant power to maintain the readiness of computer modules and to run other accessories like keyless entry, making that 40-pound brick of lead and acid under your hood more than just a convenient way to start the engine. Off-road driving and adventure travel — with accessories like electric winches, refrigerators, and auxiliary lighting — only add to the demand for a healthy supply of electrons. And while you can certainly fit a larger-capacity alternator to make more power, that solution only helps when the engine is running. At some point you may need to store more energy, and the solution will be a second battery. The advantages to running a dual-battery setup in your rig go well beyond simply having more storage capacity to run vehicle accessories. A second battery, for instance, adds redundancy to the electrical system in the event one battery should fail, whether in your truck or in that of a fellow traveler. In a pinch, a fully charged battery and a set of jumper cables can even be used as a crude but effective stick welder to make critical field repairs. Depending on your intended use, there are different ways to set up a dual-battery system, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. And while added capacity is always the goal, how you configure your system and what type of batteries you’ll need really come down to how the additional energy will be put to use.

from the stereo to seat heaters without disrupting the engine’s electrical supply. Depending on how it’s controlled, adding a second starting battery can offer redundancy in the event the main battery should fail. This type of setup also works well to power other high-capacity, short-burst accessories like electric winches. But what if you’re looking to run other accessories for an extended period? That’s where a deep-cycle battery, more commonly used in marine and RV settings, offers an advantage. Unlike a starting battery, a deepcycle unit is built to discharge a much smaller current but over a longer interval. As the name implies, they can be drawn down significantly before requiring a full recharge. This makes them ideal for running small appliances like campsite lighting, refrigerators, TVs and other such comforts of home. It’s no surprise that these are often referred to as “house” batteries. There are also dual-purpose batteries that split the differences between the two conventional types if you’re ambiguous about how you’ll actually use a second battery. A dual-purpose battery can withstand short, strong discharges like a standard starting battery, such as for jump starting or winching, while still operating fairly reliably as a house battery. Like a set of all-season tires, however, a dual-purpose battery isn’t really optimized for either condition, so you can expect longer, more reliable service out of your system if you can equip it properly with an auxiliary battery for its expected duty. Another consideration is battery chemistry – either conventional lead-acid or the newer gel or AGM (absorbed glass mat) type. The leadacid option will be the least expensive for a given capacity, but they don’t always withstand extreme conditions. The AGM batteries won’t leak in the event of an overturn, for instance, but can cost twice as much as an old-school lead box. Regardless of what you choose, both of your batteries need to be of the same type, as differences in internal chemistry can cause troubles as they charge differently. Once you know how you’re going to use all the extra electrons you’ll be storing, you can set about configuring the control system.

Battery Types Your vehicle battery is primarily designed to deliver a quick, strong burst of energy to the starter. These batteries, often simply referred to as “starting” batteries, are most reliable when they are kept at or near a full charge. They discharge quickly when cranking but also recharge rapidly once under way, providing a steady reserve to run everything 92


Simple Parallel

Automatic battery isolator

The first is a simple double-capacity configuration, wherein the two batteries are connected in parallel and split the storage and discharge capacities equally. This setup requires very little in terms of hardware, just cables to connect the two sets of battery terminals, positive-topositive and negative-to-negative. The advantage is having twice the capacity for repeated starting attempts or extended periods running accessories with the engine off. It’s also cheap, as no special switches or controllers are needed. However, when the power runs out, there is no reserve capacity to speak of. This system works best for ensuring adequate power supply when running numerous ravenous accessories on the go, like a whole rack full of traditional halogen lights. It can also be a convenient way to have a fully charged backup battery on hand in the event someone else on the trail kills his own battery.

A third configuration uses a battery isolator to control current flow between the two batteries, meaning the alternator can charge both batteries but each can run its own appliances without affecting the discharge of the other. This again works well in combination with a deep-cycle battery wired to run house accessories. With the two batteries separated electronically, there’s no need to manually switch between power sources. Older-style isolators used a diode circuit to prevent current from flowing between batteries, but these were inefficient and generated significant heat while working. Newer battery isolators use a digital voltage-sensing relay (DVSR) to accomplish the same results without the drawbacks. Prices range from about $100 to over $300. Keep in mind, as with any electronic device, should it fail in the field you may be left without your backup battery. A quick field repair may be needed to physically separate the two batteries electrically to avoid any further issues.

Manually battery isolator

Intelligent split charging

The second is a manually switchable system, which allows you to chose which battery you draw power from. This setup works well when the auxiliary battery is a deep-cycle battery, letting you run your camp accessories off the house battery when parked, preserving the starting battery for its primary function. A mechanical switch, usually located under the hood near the batteries, allows you to choose either of the batteries independently, both batteries simultaneously such as for charging, or neither of the batteries at all such as for long-term storage. The same configuration can be used with a pair of starting batteries for redundancy or to run high-draw accessories like a winch independently. The main drawback to this setup is the need to go to the switch and manually select your power source. Moreover, bringing the switch to a more convenient location inside the cabin will require running a considerable length of expensive 4-gauge cable as well as finding a suitable location to mount such hardware.

The final option builds on the DVSR hardware but adds the redundancy of a mechanical switch in the event the automatic relay should fail. Often referred to as an intelligent split-charging system, this type of setup also includes a cockpit-mounted monitor with an override switch. An installation kit with cables, relay and controller, like the one made by National Luna, will run about $400. Other than cost, the drawbacks are few, and the installation is fairly straightforward.




British Car Service

J. White’s Automotive

15455 N. 83rd Way Scottsdale, AZ 85260

644 S. Isis Ave Los Angeles, CA 90301

1800 Worcester Road Framingham, MA 01702

480.998.6617 M-F 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

310.216.3400 M-F 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

508-872-4752 M-F 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Independent British 5200 River Road, Bldg 1 Bethesda, MD 20816

Hillside Garage

Authorized Imported Cars

NH-31 Washington, NH 03280

22 Junction Rd Flemington, NJ 08822

301.656.2106 M-F 8:00 am – 5:50 pm

603-495-1357 M-F 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

908.788.1982 M-F 9:00 am – 6:30 pm

E & G Autorepair

British 4X4 Specialists

Lanny Clark

264 S Broad Street Ridgewood, NJ 07450

2477 Old Hershey Rd Elizabethtown, PA 17022

1257 East Rd Colchester, VT 05446

201.857.5017 M-F 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

410.227.2523 M-F 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

802.872.5710 Hours By Appointment

The 4X4 Center

Sarek Autowerke

Lamorna Garage

63 Ethan Allen Dr South Burlington, VT 05403

8401 Brook Rd Glen Allen, VA 23060

10501 Greenwood Ave N Seattle, WA 98133

802.864.8565 M-F 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

804.292.2931 M-Th 7:00 am – 6:00 pm F 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

206.361.7002 M-F 7:00 am – 5:00 pm



MAYBE YOU CAN RELATE 1959 Series II 88” + ToyLander 2 Christopher Holewski So, things haven’t gone exactly to plan. Maybe you can relate. In our premier issue I described my journey of purchasing my first Land Rover. With a great amount of enthusiasm, I started dreaming and planning about my truck’s restoration and all of the places I’d go with it — weekend camping trips, Land Rover club off-road events, and road trips to visit remote locations only accessible in my soon-to-becapable adventure vehicle. I even spent a few hours on Google Maps creating a route that would take me around the

perimeter of North America: North from New Jersey to Newfoundland, then west to Juneau, Alaska, to see the crown jewel of the United States; down the west coast of North America all the way to San Diego; then the trek east, hitting New Orleans before finally heading north again to wind up right back where we started — a total of 12,694 miles. As if by stroke of fate, I have a Land Rover brochure sitting next to me, just delivered in the mail. On the opening page is a quote from T.S. Eliot, “We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.” So, what does all of this have to do with my Series II? Well, for now, absolutely nothing. Since writing the first article, I haven’t turned a wrench on the truck, which still is sitting covered on my parents’ driveway while my new house continues to come together. I’m now thankful that within weeks I’ll have a warm, dry garage in which to work on my truck, so 97

in the next issue you’ll be reading (I hope) about the amazing transformation it will have undergone in three short months. But as long as you’re going to procrastinate working on one project truck, why not add a second? I’m sure you can relate. This second project truck is yet another Series II Land Rover — of sorts. It’s called a ToyLander 2, it runs on battery power, and it’s technically for the kids. The ToyLander is a home-built project, arriving as a hardware kit with a thoroughly written instruction manual and step-by-step assembly instructions. We opted to go for the basic kit without the pre-cut body panels, which means the first order of business will be tracing the 52 body patterns onto half-inch plywood, cutting them out, painting them, and then assembling the body. We’ll be documenting the build of the ToyLander, as well as my Series II, on our website as well as in this column. Stay tuned, and while you’re waiting, be sure to follow us on Instagram and also check out ToyLander’s website at to learn more and purchase your own kit.


1989 – The V8 Grows to 3.9 Liters The Range Rover’s first increase in displacement boosted output from 150 hp to 178hp. “Rather faster” it may have been, but it hadn’t exactly reached sports car territory with a 0-to-60 time still hovering over 11 seconds. 98

Everything you ever wanted in a Defender.

At Safari Heritage Parts, we’re dedicated to providing Florida and the Southeast with the best quality parts and service at a fair price. We specialize in Land Rovers from 1949-1999. Call or Email us today to see how we can help give you the Defender of your dreams. Get Social

2450 N. Forsyth Rd. Orlando, FL 32807 (407) 517-4983

Alloy+Grit Magazine - Spring 2017 Preview  

A free preview of the Spring 2017 issue of Alloy+Grit, North America's Independent Land Rover Magazine. Not all content is visible. Full dig...

Alloy+Grit Magazine - Spring 2017 Preview  

A free preview of the Spring 2017 issue of Alloy+Grit, North America's Independent Land Rover Magazine. Not all content is visible. Full dig...