4 x 4 - Winter 2023

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FREE INSIDE PREPARE FOR THE NEW YEAR WITH OUR 2023 CALENDAR IT’S BACK! Gargantuan 1000bhp Hummer EV Pickup arrives in Britain



The off-road toy you choose when you don’t want it to break


Glorious roadbook on the lesser known Salisbury Plain trails


Uncovering the gory legend of Dead Man’s Hill WITH SARAH 4x4 Cover Winter 23.indd 1

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Made to conquer From £23,610* ex VAT ssangyonggb.co.uk/musso Fuel consumption figures in mpg: Combined 30.2-33.8. CO2 emissions in g/km: 220-245. *Model featured is a Musso Saracen priced at £32,585 ex. VAT inc. optional metallic paint priced at £575 ex. VAT. Musso EX including delivery charge, Road Fund Licence & first registration charge and excluding VAT. Prices are correct at the time of going to print but may be modified or changed at any time. Warranty covers 7 years or 150,000 miles.

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19785 Allmakes Ltd 4x4 Magazine - 3 page advert - Discovery.indd 1

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21/08/2020 10:43

Winter 2023



‘At the workhorse and premium ends of the market sense of anticipation among pick-up buyers’


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4x4 22/11/2022 17:21

42 BIG SAVINGS WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE! Get 13 issues of 4x4 for just £22 – that’s less than £1.70 each. And we’ll send you a FREE Ring RRL660 inspection lamp into the bargain! 4x4 Scene: News, Products and More… 6 6 8 10 11 12 14 18 18 20 21 22 23 23

Jeep Avenger 4x4 Concept paves the way for a future Trailhawk model Dacia Extreme SE model returns to Duster range Hummer 1000bhp electric pickup comes to Britain priced at £320,000 Kia Off-road themes for new models Tembo Major initiative to electrify Kenya’s ageing Land Cruisers Lunaz Range Rover EV converter announces huge expansion Odyssey Challenge Penultimate event of an action-packed year’s winching Britpart Intelliride kits launched for converting Defenders to air suspension AlliSport Swirl pots fight fuel starvation in extreme off-road situations Truckman ARB Base Rack now in stock Lanoguard Spray-on defence against a winter of grime and road salt Bowler Motors New 20” performance wheel for current Defender Britpart Hardcore shock towers for Discovery 2 LOF Clutches Heavy-duty rear brakes for pre-Td5 era Defenders

30 Pick-Up of the Year 2023 32 34 36 38 40

Ford Ranger Last knockings before the all-new model arrives Isuzu D-Max Range updates for what’s still the newest truck on the market SsangYong Musso Revised engine and now better value than ever Toyota Hilux Reigning champion is still as good as ever PICK-UP OF THE YEAR 2023 The winner is unveiled!

Every Month 4 42 64 80

Alan Kidd Forget groundhog day, this has turned into groundhog yeart Subscribe Get your year’s 4x4s, plus a Ring LED inspection lamp, for just £22 Roadbook Exploring the permissive byways on Salisbury Plain Next Month Time to find out the winners in 4x4 of the Year

Features 26 44 48 54

Restified 107 A classic Land Rover rebuilt to be a modern work truck Unbreakable Hilux A Land Rover man’s answer to his customers’ woes Mental Chevy A modified pick-up but not the kind you’re expecting… Dead Man’s Hill The grisly tale of a green lane with a dark history

64 Wiltshire Roadbook are sharp rock Caution – there as you climb the steps to negotiate hillside


Step 40: Turn left off the main embankment track, dropping then plunging down the straight into a water trough (right)





12.3 41

Abbey Strata Florida


track Take the rocky track the main Cat A




38 13.1

to the left of

alike, there’s a real

More rock steps, water trough


followed by a long




There’s a couple of huge water troughs after the junction

13.1 Step


11.7 Step

16 11.8 Step

17 12.8 Step

18 12.8 88 | JANUARY 2020

It’s a steep, sharp climb up and over a bigger track – you can’t see ahead over your bonnet to start with

Caution over a steps as you short set of rocky drop down the hill







Look out for you cross the the waymarker as ford


13.4 Step

Join the Cat A



You may find yourself driving a river bed along for a while…

13.65 Step


track Drop off the main the gate and immediately before trough water into yet another

14.7 Step

to clear these axleneed a bit of momentum right is much bigger to the Step 37: You might warned, the drop-off twisters – but be than it looks here


46 14.9 4x4 JANUARY

2020 | 89


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4x4 Tel: 01283 553243 Email: enquiries@assignment-media.co.uk

Alan Kidd Editor


very now and again when I sit down to write this column, I get the feeling that I’ve been here before. And this month, the groundhog day feeling is stronger than ever. Though it’s more like groundhog year. Twelve months ago, as Christmas approached and the time came to wrap our Pick-Up of the Year issue, the whole of Britain was fretting about the tough year we were all being told lay in wait. If you need me to explain why I’m getting déjà vu from that, welcome home from outer space. Let’s leave that whole subject to one side for as long as we can, though. There’s another way in which Pick-Up of the Year 2023 is taking me back to last year, too. Last December, I went on a press event organised by Ford to promote the special editions it was using to keep the heat turned up under the Ranger. It was a cracking gig with some great green laning and extreme off-roading, and they sent us home with a Christmas tree in a pot. Mainly, though, us hacks all wanted to know about the all-new Ranger. As in, when can I get behind the wheel. ‘We’re seeing this mainly as a 2023 story’ was the slightly enigmatic response. With car makers’ model years tending to start in the middle of summer, I felt relatively safe in assuming that by the time this issue came around, I’d have driven one and we’d be in a position to consider it as a contender for Pick-Up of the Year. So this time last year, there was a bit of a bear-with-us-while-we-mark-time theme going on. And this year? Guess what. Which means that it’s still the old Ranger in this year’s awards, even though it’s basically already been replaced. Still, we’ve been saying for years now that even though it’s the oldest truck on the market, it’s never stopped being able to show newer vehicles a thing or two, so you could see this as the opportunity for the ultimate swansong. I’ve not even mentioned the new VW Amarok yet, which is is based on the same platform as the new Ranger and will also be arriving in the UK during 2023. That will take the one-tonne market back up to five, which it where it was this time last year before the Nissan Navara dropped out.

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The Ranger can still show newer trucks a thing or two Changed days indeed from when there were twice as many models to choose from and every manufacturer with an LCV department was desperate to badgeengineer their way into the pick-up market. That’s down to external factors rather than any drop-off in demand, of course. And the Amarok won’t be the only new model to join (or in this case rejoin) the market. Nissan has left the door open for a return, for one, and Ineos intends to do a double-cab version of the Grenadier. The idea of the Mitsubishi L200 coming back under a different nameplate hasn’t gone away completely. As long as people still want them (and they do), pick-ups will continue to thrive. On the subject of Rangers, and pick-ups, as I write this I’ve just arrived home from a photoshoot during which I had a very interesting encounter with a National Trust ranger on a green lane in Derbyshire. We had a vehicle parked up at a wild angle on a ridge at the side of the trail when she turned up in her D-Max and, rather sadly, I automatically assumed we were going to get an ear-bashing for existing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She knew we were doing nothing out of order and mainly, she thought it was fairly hilarious that the vehicle perched there on three wheels was a Bentley. She told us that her other half is a green laner and that, in her words, ‘we’re all on the same side.’ And what side is that? Well, she also mentioned that the Trust is currently fighting a TRO on the lane, which other bodies are after because of 4x4-driving vandals using the SSSI alongside it as their personal playground. It’s a part of the country where opportunistic antis have wreaked havoc in the past, and the criminal element give them the perfect excuse. So the side we’re all on is Decent Folk. The enemy is, in a word, selfishness – whether that of hooligans on huge mud-plugging tyres or greedy haters don’t want to share. The countryside is a wonderful place – and it’s big enough for all of us.

Web: www.totaloffroad.co.uk www.4x4i.com Online Shop: www.toronline.co.uk Facebook: www.facebook.com/totaloffroad www.facebook.com/4x4Mag Editor Alan Kidd Art Editor Samantha D’Souza Contributors Graham Scott, Olly Sack, Gary Noskill, Dan Fenn, Paul Looe, Tom Alderney Photographers Harry Hamm, Steve Taylor, Richard Hair, Vic Peel Group Advertising Manager Ian Argent Tel: 01283 553242 Advertising Manager Colin Ashworth Tel: 01283 553244 Advertising Production Sarah Moss Tel: 01283 553242 Subscriptions Sarah Moss Tel: 01283 553242 Publisher and Head of Marketing Sarah Moss Email: sarah.moss@assignment-media.co.uk To subscribe to 4x4, or renew a subscription, call 01283 553242. Prices for 12 issues: UK £42 (24 issues £76); Europe Airmail/ROW Surface £54; ROW Airmail £78 Distributed by Marketforce; www.marketforce.co.uk Every effort is made to ensure the contents of 4x4 are accurate, but Assignment Media accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions nor the consequences of actions made as a result of these. When responding to any advert in 4x4, you should make appropriate enquiries before sending money or entering into a contract. The publishers take reasonable care to ensure advertisers’ probity, but will not be liable for loss or damage incurred from responding to adverts Where a photo credit includes the note ‘CC BY 2.0’ or similar, the image is made available under that Creative Commons licence: details at www.creativecommons.org 4x4 is published by Assignment Media Ltd, Repton House 1.08, Bretby Business Park, Ashby Road, Bretby, Derbyshire DE15 0YZ

© Assignment Media Ltd, 2022

4x4 22/11/2022 16:27

Tyre Balancing Beads What are MAGNUM+ Beads & How Do They Work? Beads are dispersed evenly around the inner wall of the tyre through centrifugal force. Based on Newton’s law that every force creates an equal and opposite reaction, MAGNUM+ beads reposition themselves to offset the heavy spots, neutralizing the imbalance and eliminating vibration. Made of tempered glass, MAGNUM+ beads are 98% round and carefully calibrated for consistent size and maximum precision.

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Inflate When you’re ready, inflate the tyres as usual. Adapt To Any Road Condition There’s nothing else to do. No spinning, waiting, If you like to play in the mud, drive in the snow or calibrating or weight fixing. The whole process go from one messy job site to another, heavy spots takes a fraction of the time as a traditional fixed on your tyre may change leaving your wheels weight balance! unbalanced. Wheel weight balancing can often be ineffective on a vehicle experiencing various Drive Then get on the road! As you drive, the bag will conditions. With MAGNUM+ the beads simply reposition themselves according to the new force break open and set the beads free to do their job, providing a high-precision balance every time! created by the heavy spot.

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Jeep takes the world by surprise… by building an off-roader


hile launching its all-new Avenger at the recent Paris show, Jeep provided its audience with what the company calls ‘an extra thrill and surprise.’ The surprise being that the Avenger is a Jeep. If that doesn’t appear to make sense, what you need to know is that the Avenger you’ll soon be able

to buy only has two-wheel drive. And it won’t have escaped your notice that Jeep makes 4x4s. So, you might be wondering, what would the vehicle be like if it was a proper Jeep. Seems you wouldn’t be the only one asking that question. Here’s Jeep CEO Christian Meunier:: ‘We couldn’t help but wonder, what would happen if we injected the Jeep brand’s four-wheel drive electri-

fied capabilities into a compact package, while retaining the brand’s unique design language, capability and personality?’ The Avenger 4x4 Concept is what would happen. This has larger, more aggressive and more exposed tyres whose size helps push the Avenger’s ground clearance past the 200mm mark. The result is approach, departure

and breakover angles of 21, 34 and 20 degrees respectively. The concept model also has thicker front-end cladding with extra lights built in to it. More protection comes from an anti-scratch grille, and in another sense from an anti-reflective bonnet sticker. Its heavy-duty tow hooks are a bit of a Jeep signature, as if to say ‘we know what an off-roader REALLY needs,’ and its extra height is balanced out by extra width in both its track and its bumpers. Up top is a new lightweight roof cargo system with a special belt system to compress your luggage. Probably best not to carry a case of Dartington Crystal up there, then. Recognising that roof racks are often the part of a vehicle most likely to get clobbered, this too is covered in scratch-proof protection along its entire length. Jeep says the Avenger 4x4 Concept ‘blends design, capability and innovation in a compact body’ which is ‘eye-catching, fun and distinctive.’ The company says a production version will be added to its existing 4xe range in the future, presumably with the Trailhawk badge that delineates all its hardcore models.

Dacia brings Extreme SE model back to Duster range ‘EXTREME’ IS A PRETTY, WELL, EXTREME WORD, ISN’T IT? We’d be looking for something really out there, on the edge, but what we have is the latest version of the Dacia Duster Extreme in SE trim. It’s extreme in the sense that it takes the spec of the Journey model, which is at the top of the range, then adds a bit more on top. Okay so ‘a bit more’ isn’t exactly much of a description is it? To be more specific, they’ve added orange and black. This isn’t a chocolate, it’s gloss black 17” alloys and orange accenting to the mirrors, roof bars and stuff. Inside there’s more orange on the air vents and door trim inserts and upholstery stitching. The effect is actually quite pleasing, and it lifts the general coolness quotient a touch. However, it also lifts the pricing as well. If you want the four-wheel drive version – of course you do – then the only option is the Blue dCi 115 model, and that puts you firmly at the top of the price list. Whether you like orange enough to pay £22,445 for this Extreme SE version is a question between you and the Duster’s competitors.

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Specialist importer Clive Sutton brings new-generation Hummer EV Pickup to UK – with 1000bhp, 1200lbf.ft and £320,000 price tag

FOR SOME PEOPLE the thought of being seen in this vehicle will make them smile. For others it will make them hide under the sofa in cringe-inducing horror. It’s the ultimate Marmite vehicle, except of course that is an allusion completely lost on the makers and indeed owners across The Pond. However, this over-large monster electric vehicle is now over here, thanks to Clive Sutton importing them. They’re not going to be able to have many sitting around are they, given that each one is about the size of a forecourt. This electric supertruck is the GMC Hummer EV Pickup, to give it its full name, which is almost as long as the 5.5m long vehicle. It seats five and the swimming-pool-sized loadbed should be able to accommodate a couple of overnight bags as well. You definitely wouldn’t want the loadbed as a paddling pool though because the first time you pressed the loud pedal hard you’d lose most of the water and occupants. It may not be that loud but this EV is fast. There’s the equivalent of 1000bhp there, and 1200lbf.ft of torque, so you can go from sitting there at a standstill to going 60mph in just 3.3 seconds. That’s supercar performance from something the size of a supercar showroom. And yet, where a Lambo will struggle to get over a modest

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speed bump, the Hummer can use its optional Extract mode to raise the entire truck by 15cm, making it very suitable indeed off-road. With independent suspension front and rear (just like the original Humvee), full underbody armour, rock sliders and optional 18-camera system (e-i-g-h-t-e-e-n!), the Hummer is well equipped to clamber around town or country with a clear view of all it is crushing beneath its mighty wheels. And speaking of wheels, you can add the optional Crabwalk function which brings in rear-wheel steering so you can actually move diagonally at low speeds. But you’re still not going to fit into that NCP parking bay.

Clive Sutton has brought one example to the UK, but they think they’ll need more. Which might be a problem. Over in the US, there is already an order book with 80,000 names in it, amazing as that may sound. Guess what is happening to prices. Even in the US, they’re selling new for more than $200,000. By the time they’re brought over here, had VAT, shipping, fees, testing etc all added on, you’re looking at a price tag to match the vehicle: about £320,000 on the road. However, the people at Clive Sutton do all the admin from start to finish and offer a two-year/50,000-mile warranty. To find out more check out clivesutton.co.uk. Once you’ve come out from under the sofa.

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Off-road themes from three additions to Kia Sportage range


ia’s Sportage is now in its fifth generation, and as yet it shows no signs of giving in to old age or corpulence. Kia appears to be putting this down to that dreaded phrase: the ‘active lifestyle’. Kia may be right. After all, we know as we get older that we need to keep exercising, keep going outdoors and keep doing some re-

sistance training. Kia’s solution is a trio of models that each exemplifies one of the terrain modes found on the new hybrid. Thus we have Mud, Snow and Sand, three materials that can be either enormous fun or a serious threat to life. Kia seems to be erring on the side of fun, although there might be a market for models focused on getting stranded for days in thick mud,

dying of hypothermia in the snow or drowning in quicksand. That’s a niche Kia doesn’t seem willing to fill, so there’s a gap if anyone wants to go with it. You’re welcome. The centre console allows you to fiddle with the dial on any new model to call up not mud or snow or sand, but a suitable response to them from the electronic drivetrain. The three models shown all use

standard accessories but are focused very much on just one mode each. Snow. Winter is coming, as he famously said, and using snow mode keeps everything gentle, from acceleration to braking, as well as equalising things across the four wheels. It’s slower but safer and better than calling it ‘annoying old person driving in hat’ mode. Add in ski and snowboard carrier, roof bars and sidesteps, plus cabin elements to help keep it free of snow and you’re off to the piste. Mud. Similar to snow, in that it makes everything more gentle, whether you’re trying to get down a muddy lane or get out of a field at Glasto. We all know what mud is like so there are mudflaps, bumper flap to keep the boot clean, which itself has a liner, and more. Nature is lovely isn’t it, but outside, not inside. Except you get a bike rack too to get out there. Sand. The engine and transmission’s response is calibrated to generate higher levels of torque matched with delayed upshifts. Other tweaks help keep you moving although it’s obviously aimed more at the beach than the Grand Ergs in Morocco. Add in a carrier for the obligatory surfboard and a boot set up to manage your wet, sand-laden wetsuit and sewage-soaked trunks, and you may even enjoy your day at the English beach. Apparently it’s technically possible. Kia dealers are taking orders now, with prices from £27,800.

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22/11/2022 16:25

Kenyan initiative means 4000 of Africa’s time-served Land Cruisers and Hi-Luxes set to be convered to electric power A LANDMARK AGREEMENT HAS JUST BEEN REACHED that means a huge number of old Toyota Land Cruisers and Hi-Luxes in Kenya are no longer going to be running around belching out diesel fumes. Instead they’re going to be converted to run with an electric motor. It’s the result of an initiative between VivoPower, which owns the brand Tembo (which makes the conversion kits), and ETC Mauritius which will sell, distribute and manage the e-LV kits. The idea is to help decarbonise some of the industry sectors in Kenya, such as mining, agriculture, public sector and tourism. We’re seeing in this issue how going electric is quite often a first-world signalling exercise. But with this programme, something else we’re seeing is how it can get right down to the literal grassroots of organisations and industries that need to move people and material around all the time, often in remote areas and in challenging conditions. Tembo has a commitment to implement at least 4000 kits over the next few years in Kenya, and the company is hoping to cover not just the main industries but also the private sector too. We all know that Toyotas go on for ever, and at least in Kenya they’re not going to be suffering from so much rain and snow and general gloomy damp as here in the UK, so it makes sense to help keep them motoring on rather than heading off to the knacker’s yard. Knowing what Hi-Luxes are like, these electric versions will probably be the recipients of whatever new clean energy comes along in 20 years time and the electric motors will be replaced with something else.



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22/11/2022 16:25


More original Range Rovers turn electric as Lunaz creates ‘world’s largest upcycling campus’ Words: Graham Scott Pictures: Lunaz


ritain is nothing if not entrepreneurial, and capable of reinvention. Despite what the state can throw at its people, they consistently show why this little island has such a strong place in the world. In this particular instance, we invented the Range Rover and sold it around the world. More than half a century later, we’re now turning some of the remaining originals into transport trendy for the 2020s. Lunaz, for those who don’t know, convert classic prestige vehicles into classic prestige electric vehicles. They’re based near Silverstone

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and their workforce has recently doubled, with 250 experts in various fields joining what is described as ‘the largest upcycling campus in the world’. Upcycling is of course very on trend, and I recently joined in by upcycling a pair of old jeans – I had a large patch sewn on a hole and therefore upcycled what would have been recycled. But, no, I don’t expect reward or thanks, it’s just something I do quietly and without fanfare apart from announcing it publicly. Naturally if you’re keen to show how little material toys mean to you then you’ll have a classic Range Rover. And of course to show

that you care, you’ll want to convert it to run on electricity. That way you can say, as Lunaz does, that your vehicle is a ‘clean-air expression of an off-road vehicle’. And, okay, just for once I won’t point out the obvious flaw in this preening self-regard, which is that the pollution and emissions are simply transferred to a power station somewhere else, and the elements for the batteries are dug out of the ground with massive pollution effects and much death and suffering on children, animals, birds and the environment. That last bit was implied rather than said out loud.

4x4 22/11/2022 16:25


However, we are where we are, and where we are is with two vehicles demonstrating variations on the theme of rich owners wanting to look good. One on a shooting estate in the Scottish Highlands (although the finished vehicle will mostly be chauffeur-driven in Monaco), the other in a marina in Long Island, New York. Each reflects either the background or the end location – the blue of the ocean with the open top and open rear seating configuration that best suits a yacht tender, the other with the interior featuring wool and leather and the more muted browns and greens of Scotland. Both have of course lost their charismatic growling V8s, now replaced by some whining. This comes from electric motors generating around 360bhp and 450lbf.ft of torque, so rather up on what the original V8 could aspire to. The power packs must be massive, as obviously this is not a light vehicle to start with and they added reinforced box-section steel to help with all that’s needed for the all-wheel powertrains. There is regenerative braking which will also help but there will also be quite a lot of elements that will drain the power. Naturally connectivity is high on the list, with the Town-configured version (that’s the one in coral, a colour the owner came up with herself) featuring Apple CarPlay and a 1300-watt amplifier among other goodies. But we couldn’t leave the cabin without nosing around in the centre console area. What do we find there? Well, apparently not the used tissue, old sweet wrapper and a discarded face mask from 2020 that every car has to carry by law. Instead you’ll find drinks carriers to either heat or cool, a water fridge and, I’ve saved the best till last, a watch winder for four timepieces. Some may have to go and look up what one of those actually is. I know someone who has one for six watches, so that their manual winding mechanisms never wind down because they’re difficult to set up again with date and time and tides and stuff. Yeah, and they say we in the first world have things easy. Overall, Lunaz reckons this one vehicle will have 50,000 man-hours (not being binary) in it to reach completion and perfection. The other vehicle, which is in Country configuration, probably won’t be much quicker. It’s been converted

4x4 Scene News Winter 23.indd 13

rather obviously by taking the roof away. Add in the considerable weight of the electric motors and battery pack, and you can see why one of the first tasks was to add in quite a bit of triangular steel section just to make sure it all stayed relatively rigid. It’s not like it’s going to have to be thrown around racetracks or tough off-road courses, but this thing must weigh a considerable amount and need a lot of juice. However it should live a fairly easy life, mostly whirring between the owner’s property and yacht in Long Island, New York. As such, the emphasis is not on performance but ambience and luxury in the open cabin. Notice how it has a rear passenger deck, with seating for six – guests or crew presumably. While the leatherwork looks cool, perhaps the most eye-catching element is the woodwork. This is all Mocca Walnut and it flows everywhere from the fascia to the rear deck. It’s all been carefully done so it renders in a chevron pattern but, to our eyes, the effect is

like something out of Thunderbirds, very 1960s. Perhaps that was the intended vibe; it depends on what or who the owner is. If you’re looking at that Range Rover Classic in your yard, with the sapling growing up through the rusted floor, you may be thinking you should be giving Lunaz a call. Maybe you should. But first off check whether you have at least £250,000 as that’s the minimum you’ll need to keep your watch wound. But you can rest assured you will be totally on-trend and you’ll be having a clean-air experience until you whine past the chippy.

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22/11/2022 16:26


Traction at a premium as heavens open to mark Odyssey Challenge’s return to Wormhaugh Words: James Watts Pictures: Tomasz Jarecki


ummer gave way to autumn, the Viking 4x4 Club returned to Wormhaugh for the first time in several years for the penultimate round of the 2022 Odyssey Winch Challenge series. The fifth of six rounds in the championship, the event was sponsored by Damar Webbing solutions, which for more than 28 years has been manufacturing lifting slings, ratchet straps, vehicle transport straps and 4×4 recovery straps right here in the UK. A perennial problem for event organisers is that the calendar is very full, with events on just about every weekend. This round came just after the Peterborough show and clashed with another event in the south of the country – but that was no problem, as the club had its biggest entry of the year to date. Wormhaugh is famous for its incredibly steep and tight gulleys, as well as huge drops down to the river that borders the site, and all the Odyssey teams were keen to take it on. The club has been lucky this year, with dry weather for every event prior to this one. Step forward the law of averages, bringing forth a series of thunderstorms in the week leading up to the event. Come the day, rain showers refreshed the wet surface, making it as slippery as ice. It’s the same for everyone, though, and you certainly won’t hear a challenge competitor moaning about a bit of mud. So come 10am, the whole field of vehicles got torn into the punches laid out around the site – as well of course as the special section, which this time took advan-

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tage of the fact that Wormhaugh has a giant seesaw on site. How could the club pass up an opportunity like that? The special stage involved a quick lap of the main field and over the seesaw, getting a punch while on it, then back round to finish where you started. Also, if you could balance on the seesaw there was an extra 500 bonus points on offer. This is where strategy came into it. Teams had to decide whether it was worth the time to get balanced, or leave it and get a quick time. About half the teams managed to balance their trucks, which was great to see. Everyone was going really well for the first part of the day. Slipping and sliding around in the rain showers, it really was like an episode of Dancing on Ice. The co-drivers were getting a real workout as they were having to winch the trucks much more than usual due to the combination of steep terrain and wet ground. Not many of the punches were really drivable, meaning the winches were getting a lot of use. The axles and driveline components of the trucks not as much, though – the lack of traction made it very easy to spin your tyres, thus reducing the load on the parts connecting them to the engine. So instead of breaking driveline parts, which is what you get when it’s dry, there were lots more winch failures instead. Scott Haines and co-driver James Watts were going strongly after their recent run of wins. They again showed their excellent teamwork

and well drilled techniques, clearing punches in good time. Like many other teams they had not been to Wormhaugh before, so they started slowly while finding their way around the site, then also like many other teams they had to repair a snapped rear winch rope. Other than that, they managed to complete all the

punches and the special section by lunchtime to get on to their second card. It was a flawless day for them, with no issues at all. Richard Evans and stand-in winchman Sam Nelson had a good start, bagging the 500 bonus points balancing the seesaw. Things slowed down a little after that as they

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MOTORSPORT settled into their pace and picked up punches steadily. Slipping around, they got 24 punches – not bad for a Class 1 truck. Again, no issues, and they loved the site. It has been a good year for the Viking 4x4 Club, with lots of new members coming forward, and they are always keen to welcome new faces. This event saw another new team taking part – but not a new car, as brothers Joe and Ed Lewry arrived with a very familiar trayback Discovery. This used to belonged to Paul Curling, who has recently sold up to pursue another hobby;

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Joe, who was always interested in off-roading, jumped at the chance to get into competition. However, they didn’t pick an easy site to start with – the huge drops at Wormhaugh would put off even the most experienced teams. Running in Class 2, they took it very steadily to begin with, learning the ropes together and taking care not to do anything silly and break their car. They took it all in their stride, though, and loved it, so we’re hoping to see them back again for Round 6. Dee Fox and Henry Harris, who were newcomers at the last event,

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were back to give it another go. Their truck was not really sporting any new add-ons or modification, but as the day went on they were doing well and finding their way round the site. Their front winch was getting a work out on the steep hills, too – maybe a little too much, in fact, as they broke it. Not ones to give up, they made their way back to pits, took out their front winch and put their rear winch in the front. Following this, they carried on at a slower pace – only to burn both motors out on that winch too. After that they had no choice but to call it a day, however they had given it their best effort and only gave up until they had no other options. Simon Ward and Leigh Jefferies has missed Round 4 but now they were back to put the pressure on the leaders for the overall championship spots. They had a small roll early in the day but no problem, a quick check over to see everything was in order and on they cracked. In the afternoon, though, they lost their front winch brake. This made it very tricky for them, and somewhat unnerving. The winch still pulled as it should, however after winching in the brake will usually come on and hold the truck in place. That’s the bit that wasn’t happening – meaning Simon

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had to use some real skill and fast fingers on the buttons to hold the truck where they needed it to be. It certainly slowed progress, but they still worked hard to put on a show and score valuable points. Chris Taylor and Sean Baines are they only team to have competed in every round this year. They bagged a good haul of punches in the first two hours but then noticed an engine oil leak. It was from a gasket that they didn’t have a replacement for, so in order not to do any more damage they decided to call it a day and spectate for the afternoon. A shame, but smart to stop before doing anything catastrophic. Mat Bain and David Burton are hot favourites in Class 3. They are normally ones to watch, smooth and reliable. They too had their issues, though, once again winch-related. Having burnt out one of their solenoids, they had to spend some time in the pits trying to sort it out. They had a spare but not the same size, so they had to cobble some bush mechanic fixes together to make it work and finish the day. Johnny and Tracey Johnson’s luck ran out pretty much straight away when, only an hour in, they blew their rear diff. At least these are easier to change than the ones at the front,

and thankfully they had a spare with them. Only an hour later, they had it swapped and were back out – and the rest of their day went very smoothly after that. The remaining teams stayed out until the last minutes to grab every punch they could. Even with just one round remaining after this one, the championship scores were so tight that every point really did matter. After the mud had finally stopped flying, third place in Class 1 went to Richard with Sam Nelson with a score of 3735 points, who are still trying to get that elusive top spot. Second place went to Jess Martin and Jack Watson – a great result for them on only their second time out in their newly finished truck. It was close, though – they ended the day less than one punch ahead on 3777

points – despite having an epic roll part way through the day. The club has seen close finishes before and this was definitely one of them. Ultimately, though, it was Georgie Smith and Will Baker who took the win in Class 1 win with 4600 points. In Class 2, despite their winch problems third place went to Dee Fox and Henry Harris on 3127 points. Second were Hugh Gascoigne and Harry Watson with 4013 points, then in another close finish Johnny and Tracey Johnson got the win on 4333 – just three punches ahead of second. Most of the entries for this event were in Class 3, where 11 trucks fought it out. Third-placed Mat Bain and David Burton, who just made it on to a second card, finished with 7090 points. Second place went to Simon Ward and Leigh Jefferies, with 7429 points while winners of the event and Class 3 were Scott Haines and James Watts. Showing once more their recent unstoppable form, they almost managed to complete two full cards, scoring 10,230 points – some margin ahead of the chasing pack. Most of all, though, every single person on the podium had earned the right to be there. Wormhaugh is a superb site and with some fantastic punches which really made the teams think about what they were doing and how to achieve them, this was winching at its very best.

4x4 22/11/2022 18:36

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27/05/2022 16:35


Britpart introduces Intelliride kits for converting Defenders to electronic air suspension Price: Ca £3500 plus VAT Available from: Britpart dealers


onverting a Land Rover Defender to air suspension is something people have done in the past, but it’s still quite a rarity. Thanks to Britpart, though, it might be about to become less so. That’s because the company’s range now includes full Intelliride Electronically Controlled Air Suspension kits from Airbag Man. Promising comfort on the road and a constant ride height, irrespective of load, these also allow you to raise and lower the vehicle at the push of a button, with three pre-set heights adding ground clearance beneath the body when you go off-road and allowing easier loading for luggage and passengers alike. Converting both axles to air ride, the kit has front-to-back and horizon levelling options. Handy if you’re fitting a roof tent and don’t fancy sleeping on a slope. As well as offering manual control, its fully automatic operation continuously monitors inputs and responds accordingly to potholes, cross-articulation and extended cornering. Britpart says the kits include OEM-grade components for reliable performance and high-volume air

springs for optimal ride quality. Its main components are heavy-duty rolling sleeve air springs (Dunlop at the front, along with shock relocation brackets, and Firestone at the back), a 12-volt, 150psi AMK air compressor and a lightweight 1-gallon seamless aluminium air tank and a hand-held controller with a 9m lead. The kit, which promises easy installation, also comes with an ECU and valve block, vehicle-specific air supply mounting brackets, rocker switch and height sensors. It uses 6mm high-quality nylon tubing throughout and comes with all the Defender 90 Defender 110/130 hardware you need, Front Rear Front Rear including quick-fit Height Range Automatic Mode push-to-connect Ride Height up to Raised Height 40mm 40mm 40mm 60mm air fittings, easy-on Ride Height down to Access Height -80mm -80mm -80mm -90mm electrical connections and sealed relays and Height Range Manual Mode harnesses. You get Maximum Height from Ride Height 50mm 50mm 50mm 70mm step-by-step fitting Minimum Height from Ride Height -100mm -100mm -100mm -110mm instructions, too, as well as an operator’s prevent them from bottoming out. control, stabilised body roll, safer manual to make sure you’ll be The system brings the promise load carrying, reduced tyre wear getting the best from it once it’s up of lower maintenance costs, too. and improved braking, steering and and running. You can see the kits in action at handling. In addition to all that, the Do so and the promised benefits www.britpart.com/airbag. air cushion in the springs will also will include adjustable levelling

AlliSport swirl pots fight fuel starvation in extremes Price: £105-£110 plus VAT Available from: www.allisport.com IF YOU USE YOUR 4X4 HARD ENOUGH for fuel starvation to become an issue in hard, long corners or at prolonged extreme angles, a swirl pot is in order. We’re talking winch challenge and comp safari use first and foremost, and when you do that it won’t be long before you start talking AlliSport. The company offers 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre options, each with a 3mm base. They have two Dash 8 JIC male connections, one Dash 10 JIC male and one 8mm push-fit top bleed, though they’re also available with push-on connections all round. Both are 4” in diameter; the 1.0-litre unit is 130mm high, while the 1.5-litre extends this to 180mm.

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BASE Rack from ARB now available through Truckman Price: £945.76 From: www.truckman.co.uk ARB’S MUCH-VAUNTED BASE Rack has been available in the UK for some years now. But it hasn’t been available directly from ARB before. It is now, though – or at least it’s available through Truckman, which is owned by ARB these days so it’s all the same thing. The BASE Rack is designed to be an endlessly flexible platform for storing literally anything you might put on a roof rack. But the vast majority of customers in the UK will be speccing it as part of an overland build – which is very much not a problem, because if there’s any company in the world with expedition travel in its DNA, it’s ARB. The rack is fully welded and has a unique cross-beam design which rids it of the need for additional sub-frame supports. This in turn means it can present a lower-profile design, keeping your vehicle more streamlined – which may or may not help its fuel efficiency but certainly won’t do any harm first time the trail ahead leads you through low-hanging trees. The rack has a dovetail mounting system for more convenient attachment and removal of accessories and equipment such as awning brackets, jerry can holders, gas bottle holders, recovery track brackets, guard rail systems and more. But mainly, yes, you can put a roof tent on it. In fact, ARB makes a whole range of them to fit…


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Lanoguard’s DIY answer to damaging road salt WANT TO KEEP YOUR 4X4 SAFE FROM WINTER SALT? Lanoguard is an easy, lowprep, effective DIY protection for your underbody, which stops and prevents costly rust, corrosion, and the damaging effects of winter salt. Protect and nourish your whole 4x4 underbody, including internals and box sections, with a proven and trusted product - used by tens of thousands of vehicle owners. Minimal mess, low prep, with no masking up and can be used on all rubbers and plastics, as well as over any previous treatments or surface rust. Developed alongside industrial partners, Lanoguard uses the power of nature, enhanced with science, to provide a complete hermetic seal which stays in place tenaciously and keeps protecting, even when jet-washed and from road spray – it won’t evaporate nor dry out, and keeps your vehicle lubricated and in great condition all year. We designed our products to protect heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and now have a community of vehicle owners across the UK who enjoy the same industrial-standard level of protection with a 20 to 30-minute spray application which is safe to apply, eco-friendly, non -flammable and long lasting. Find out more about our small family business and products at http://www. lanoguard.co.uk, or feel free to contact our team today on +44 (0) 330 100 1959, we’d be happy to help you protect your valuable vehicles.

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22/11/2022 14:22



BOWLER MOTORS LAUNCHES 20” WHEEL FOR NEW DEFENDER Price: £500 + VAT per wheel From: ww.bowlermotors.com



0203 542 0100

ONE OF THE THINGS WE LIKE MOST ABOUT THE NEW-SHAPE LAND ROVER DEFENDER is that at the bottom of the range, you can get it with steel wheels. But one of the things Bowler Motors likes most about it is that we’re not most people. Bowler has been making top-notch kit Land Rover kit for something scary like about 35 years. The company is best known for rally raid vehicles like the original Tomcat and Wildcat, as well as the current Bulldog and various generation of Challenge comp cars, and there was also the small matter of the Spectre 110 having come out of their workshop. But it also makes accessories, and rather good ones they are too. Like this 20” Challenge Performance Wheel, for example. Engineered for a rally-bred combination of toughness and light weight, it’s TUV approved and available in a choice of Gloss Black and Anthracite finishes. The 20” wheel, whose 120 x 5 PCD makes it a tailored fit for the new Defender, was developed from the existing 18” unit used in the 2022 Defender Challenge. ‘We have seen these wheels driven literally miles without tyres and still be serviceable,’ says Bowler’s Rob Cooney. With a 30% increase in strength over standard, the new Challenge wheels are a true performance addition to any Defender.’

Latest Machine Mart catalogue available now Price: Free From: www.machinemart.co.uk MACHINE MART’S NEW CATALOGUE for the autumn and winter is out now and available to pick up in any of the company’s 65 stores. Within its 484 pages, you’ll find a number of new tools and machines – as well as price cuts on more than 300 existing items. In total, the new catalogue includes more than 6000 items – though if you go to Machine Mart’s website you’ll find another 15,000 on top of that. Including the catalogue itself, ironically.

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4x4 22/11/2022 16:44


Hardcore shock towers for Discovery 2 Price: Ca £125 plus VAT Available from: Britpart dealers WITH P38 PRICES GOING UP, the Discovery 2 is now probably the most affordable option if you’re looking for a Land Rover to turn into a modified off-road machine. The most affordable to buy in the first place, at least, though that’s another story. Unlike the P38, the Disco 2 has a wide range of kit available for owners wanting to do a gnarly project. Such as these skeletonised shock towers from Britpart, which are stronger and much easier to clean than the original mud traps. They’re available to suit standard height vehicles and those with a 2” lift and come powder-coated for a heavy-duty finish.

Rear brake kits for pre-Td5 era Land Rover Defender 110s Price: £95-£188 plus VAT From: lofclutches.com LOF CLUTCHES NOW STOCKS A RANGE of rear brake kits for pre-1998 Land Rover Defender 110s. These are available in both ROADspec and POWERspec form. Designed for road-going vehicles, LOF’s ROADspec brakes are made to OEM specifications and promise the same quality and tolerances as Land Rover’s own Genuine parts. Featuring OE-quality pads with organic friction material, they come with a fitting kit including all the necessary fasteners, pins and anti-rattle shims. POWERspec brakes kick things up a notch for use on modified Defenders and those that lead a heavy life. Once again made to OEM spec, they add performance organic/ceramic pads and dimpled and grooved discs with a black phosphate finish for corrosion resistance and removal of debris and heat. The pads are uncoated for minimal bedding in and have chamfered edges to reduce noise.

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22/11/2022 14:22

4X4 TYRE EXPERTS & OFF ROAD SPECIALISTS Alloy and steel wheels for van, car, SUV & 4X4


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Reasons to visit Silverline 4x4: 1-2-3!


x4 lovers have got three more reasons to visit Silverline 4x4 – one of the most respected specialists and conversion centres in the UK. A hattrick of unique promotions* have been created to bring more motorists to the forecourt, including:

Free brake pads provided for life •when you buy a set of discs and pads from Silverline 4x4

Buy two or four premium •Bridgestone tyres and receive an Amazon voucher code of up to £40 in value

From October, Bridgestone ‘winter •safety kit’ for customers purchasing two or more Bridgestone A005 Weather Control tyres The Warwick-based centre boasts the best brands under one roof, and one call to centre manager Simon Mepstead and the team is all you need to find out what solutions suit your 4x4. Its wheel and tyre packages are amongst the most impressive to be found in the UK, both on price and genuine quality. Rather than sell on price, Silverline 4x4 advises on the right solution for each vehicle they see.

4x4 Silverline advertorial Nov 22.indd 23

Centre manager Simon Mepstead said: “Our services aren’t like conventional automotive centres in so far as our products aren’t viewed as distress purchases, so price isn’t the overriding factor as the specific solution is the main requirement.” Silverline 4x4 is the only garage anywhere in the UK to stock the crit-

ically-acclaimed Unigrip tyre range, starring the Unigrip Lateral Force and Road Force tyres, available in 15” up to 20”. Meanwhile, the Bridgestone Dueler M/T 674 tyre is a rugged new product which is mud-focussed, but drives really nicely too. It’s a great all-round performer, so if the split

between all-terrain and mud outings is around 50/50, this could be a perfect tyre. * Terms and conditions apply. For more about Silverline 4x4’s services. call Simon and the team on 01926 490002 or visit them online at https://bit.ly/4x4Silverline

WINTER 2023 | 25

22/11/2022 16:15

This is not a classic.

Words and pictures: Dan Fenn

We don’t do much about historic Land Rovers in these pages. But while a 107” Series I Station Wagon is one of the most sought after classics of them all, that’s not what this is. It’s an original 107 alright – but it’s been reimagined as a truck you can use today, and every day stretching out into the future. You won’t see it looking shiny in the concours at a show – but it could crop up doing a job of work literally anywhere else


hat does a Series I Land Rover have to do with off-roading in the real world these days? It’s a reasonable question, given the astronomical prices they have long since started to command on the classic car market. Well, the one you’re looking at here has the answer. Or maybe it is the answer. Either way, it’s not the usual sort of Series I you see nowadays, restored to squeaky-clean perfection and fit only for sunny Sunday drives and trailering to shows for static display in the concours. On the contrary, it’s been rebuilt rather than restored, with a view to being an everyday classic rather than a museum piece. A historic Land

Rover, yes, but one which can tow, carry and get covered in mud and worse with the best of them. ‘This is not one for the purist,’ says Matt Moore, owner of Historic Motoring Solutions. ‘It’s more for a discerning motoring enthusiast who wants something useful and unique.’ He’s talking about a Series I 107” Station Wagon dating from 1957. It started life by being exported to Australia and was among a batch of several brought back to the UK a few years ago in response to the astronomical prices the earliest Land Rovers had begun to command. Land Rover itself was at the heart of this, with its own restored Series Is leaving the factory for six-figure sums. These examples were very much

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If you’re the kind of person who thinks a classic Land Rover should be ‘right’, you’ll find this very wrong. The 200Tdi engine is a wonderful thing, and so is the 107 Station Wagon, so a 107 Station Wagon with a 200Tdi had got to be more wonderful than ever, right? Discuss…

the back-to-showroom kind, however, with every last wear mark painstakingly burnished out of them – along, you might say, with every last scrap of character. Anyway, that’s very much a debate for another day. The point is that with this going on at the top of the market, independent specialists like Matt needed to chase after another kind of Land Rover buyer – the kind to whom buying a classic offroad vehicle is something you do with your heart and soul, not your financial advisor and investment portfolio manager. Heart and soul… and head, too? Yes, for sure. As Matt says, this is a vehicle for someone who wants a Series I they can use, and he restored it with just that purpose in mind.

It was a ground-up job, as they usually need to be. Vehicles from Australia tend not to be rusted to death, but Matt started with a new galvanised chassis from Richards anyway, adding a rebuilt bulkhead to put himself in a rock-solid base camp. To turn the chassis into the rolling variety, he added a set of Stage 1 axles – fully restored themselves, of course, complete with rebuilt swivels and brakes. These are shod with 265/75R16 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains on deep-dish steel rims and hold the vehicle up using a set of parabolic springs paired with new shocks. If you’re the aforementioned purist, by now you’ve either stopped reading or passed out at the sheer horror of it all. Which is just as well, because next came a 200Tdi engine. Taken from a

Discovery, this was fitted minus its intercooler on the basis that there wasn’t room for it. The donor vehicle’s power steering wasn’t used, either, which sounds like a recipe for forearms like Popeye – though as we found when we had a spin in the vehicle, it’s actually surprisingly light to manoeuvre even at low speeds. Behind the engine is a four-speed Series IIA gearbox. This gives you syncromesh in every ratio, though first you have to find one – which with the absolutely gigantic throw on the stick is definitely an acquired skill. One that’s well worth the time to acquire, though, because for all the effort you have to put into it the sheer pleasure that comes from bonding with an old stager like this is simply incomparable.

The seats have been retrimmed in Tenghi upholstery from Exmoor Trim, with the same material also covering the door panels. The bulkhead, meanwhile, is lined in Dynamat, which comes over as quite a heroic thing to do. Up top, the roof lining has a patina all of its own; there’s no danger of the vents for the Safari roof being blocked, that’s for sure. Just so long as there aren’t any spiders living in it…

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We’d love it even more if the bodywork still had the patina of 65 years in the Outback, but this one has been painted – albeit not to the sort of over-prepped level that neutralises a vehicle’s entire character. The body cappings haven’t been re-galvanised, either, which helps connect it to the life it’s lived to date. Inside, the seats and doors were retrimmed in Tenghi upholstery from Exmoor Trim and there’s a liberal amount of Dynamat in the footwells, though whether the latter makes any difference is hard to quantify. To us, it’s hard to believe that it could be any louder in the cabin when you press the button and the Tdi lump clatters into life. It’s noisy, it’s rattly and we like it just the way it is. We also like, make that love, the daylight that’s visible through the floor at either end of the bulkhead behind the front seats. It would be unthinkable in a Defender, but in a 107 it’s simply correct. As Matt puts it, ‘the rest of the inside is original and patinated.’ This includes the head lining, which to be fair is very patinated indeed. So much so that having spent 65 years in Australia, we’d be taking precautions in case there were dodgy spiders living in it. What it does have, though, is access holes

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to vents from the Safari roof – always a lovely period item on a Land Rover from this era. Would it be better if all these items were back to the way they were when they left the factory? In some people’s eyes, maybe, yes. And some of those people might tolerate all the non-standard parts on the vehicle, too. Perhaps it would be worth more with its original engine, box, axles and so on, especially if you were to do a just-so resto on it and take it back to the way it was on day one. But as we always say, it’s the history that makes a classic, and history is a living thing. And this is still very much a living Land Rover. Matt didn’t rebuild it this way just so it could sit in a museum. ‘It’s an absolute head turner,’ he says. ‘It would be a great tow truck for a period racing car (and he’s got plenty of knowledge of that scene), ‘or just for fun days out.’ And how right he is. It might not be one for the purist, but this is a Series I with a whole lifetime still to be lived. And for whoever takes it on, it’s going to be a lifetime of smiles aplenty. Thanks to Historic Motoring Solutions for their help in compiling this article. You’ll find them at www.historicmotoringsolutions.com

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IT’S A FUNNY OLD TIME IN THE PICK-UP MARKET. As we write this, the new Ford Ranger is right on the verge of going on sale. It will be followed during the coming year by the mechanically similar Volkswagen Amarok. And something will be very far wrong if the effect is anything other than game-changing. So there’s a real sense of anticipation among people who buy pick-ups. That’s the case at the workhorse end of the market and the premium level alike; Volkswagen will aim squarely at the latter, while Ford will try to cover every base. However this anticipation is tempered by concern at what’s happening in the economy; these new vehicles will cost significantly more than those they replace, at a time when we have significantly less to spend on them. So the vehicles contesting this year’s Pick-Up of the Year awards will continue to matter as much as ever even after the new Ranger and Amarok arrive. Value for money has always been important, but business and individuals will be looking more than ever to make every penny count. And this comes against a background of price rises during the last 12 months which have seen some manufacturers hike their list figures by even more than the rate of inflation. Neither of the newcomers was available for testing in time to be included in these awards, so with the old Ranger effectively discounted it’s a three-way battle between the Isuzu D-Max, Toyota Hilux and SsangYong Musso. Changed days from when there were nine different vehicles fighting it out. The Hilux is the reigning champion but it has seen the biggest price climbs since last year, while the Musso has had the most modest. SsangYong has revised its vehicle’s engine, which now produces more power and torque while using less fuel; Isuzu and Toyota have introduced new models in the D-Max AT35 and Hilux GR Sport, and the former has also revised its range structure by making automatic transmission and a locking rear diff available on utility-spec versions of a truck whose popularity with work-focused users remains as great as ever. What will the landscape look like next year? Rather different, it’s safe to assume. Mind you, we assumed that last year too. For now, there may be less models in it right now but the new pick-up market remains as buoyant as ever.

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FORD RANGER Last knockings of current model before replacement goes on sale • Still a benchmark


welve months ago, the allnew Ranger had just been unveiled and we were confidently expecting that it would be the one to beat this time round. Frustratingly, though, while the first models have already been price-listed in the UK and deliveries are expected to have started by the time you read this, the new Ranger has taken just too long to arrive for us to be able to include it. So it’s still the old model that we’re judging here. Which does make it feel a bit like we’re marking time, but to be honest that’s been the case every since the new one was revealed.

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We mentioned the price list for the new one, and based on the small number of top-end models to have gone up so far it’s about £5k more than the existing Ranger. This itself has gone up in price by an average of 11-12% over the last year, which says something about the demand Ford has still been getting as the old one runs out. That’s saying something when you consider that this is basically an 2012 truck. Ford has worked wonders to keep it fresh throughout the whole of its life, both as a work truck and, in particular, a lifestyle vehicle. Nonetheless, with the new model so close to arriving, most buyers will

be hanging fire – especially as the old one costs so much more than it did this time last year.


The choices will start to drop off as various models start to sell out, but all things being equal the Ranger is available in Double-Cab form throughout, with Single and SuperCab alternatives at utility level. Here, even the base-spec XL gives you equipment like cruise, air-con, DAB and Bluetooth – and while it’s not as plush as the Limited and Wildtrak, there’s a fitness for purpose to them that’s very satisfying. Our feeling would be that the XLT hits the

spot perfectly – it really does have everything you need in a truck, as well as a no-nonsense honesty that’s very refreshing if you’re not impressed by a big screen or dollops of leather and chrome. All Rangers come complete with an epic list of optional equipment, too, and Ford doesn’t gouge you with the price of these items. It’s too late for this to be relevant to the outgoing model, but we look forward to more of the same with the new one.


It says something that even as the fat lady sings for the Ranger, its cabin is a benchmark for all its rivals.

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in its class after very nearly eleven years


XL 2.0 130 Regular Cab XL 2.0 170 Chassis Cab XL 2.0 170 Regular Cab XL 2.0 170 Super Cab XL 2.0 170 Double Cab XLT 2.0 170 Super Cab XLT 2.0 170 Double Cab Limited 2.0 170 Super Cab Limited 2.0 170 Double Cab * Limited 2.0 213 Double Cab auto Wildtrak 2.0 213 Double Cab auto *

OTR (ex-VAT)

OTR (inc VAT)

£24,750 £25,250 £25,400 £26,200 £27,000 £27,350 £28,150 £31,415 £32,215 £34,475 £35,875

£29,700 £30,300 £30,480 £31,440 £32,400 £32,820 £33,780 £37,698 £38,658 £41,370 £43,050

£39,350 £40,750 £48,300

£47,220 £48,900 £57,960

Auto extra £1450 + VAT

New Ranger: Wildtrak 2.0 205 Double Cab auto Wildtrak 3.0 240 Double Cab auto Raptor 3.0 292 Double-Cab auto

CONCLUSION Most have caught up with it in terms of rear-seat legroom, but it’s still an object lesson in getting the simple things right. The seating position is superb and you can remain in it for hours at a time without fatigue. The lower-spec models have aged better here, as they have less in the way of premium materials for others to try and emulate. We also find them ergonomically better as, with fewer controls to concentrate on, Ford’s bad habit of putting unclear graphics on its buttons is less of an issue. At least there’s nothing wrong with the way they’re laid out, though. In terms of multimedia, the Ranger has a mobile wi-fi hot spot and

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access to app-based remote control functions. Not every version gets this, but you don’t have to go to the top of the range to find it.


The Ranger is one of those trucks that makes you feel like the king of the road. It’s big, hefty and very confidence-inspiring. Whether you’re load-lugging in an XLT or cruising in a Raptor, you only ever feel like the master of all that surrounds you. drives with an excellent feeling of heft, giving you real confidence behind the wheel. It has good, smooth steering and the sort of predictable

If the new model had arrived in time to be included in the judging for this year’s award, the Ranger would have been the red-hot favourite. Yet such is the old one’s brilliance, many people would say it should won every year since its launch in 2012. It remains a hugely competent, endlessly flexible vehicle whose enormous popularity in high-spec form disguises the fact that deep down, it’s a rock-solid workhorse. We’ve loved every Ranger we’ve ever tested – but while the Raptors and Wildtraks have been great, it’s the XLs and XLTs we’ve respected most of all. Even after this year’s ugly price rises, it remains a masterpiece right to the end. body roll you can use to your advantage in corners. It steers and handles predictably and refinement is generally good, too, with a smooth and quiet ride on all but the very worst road surfaces. Whichever engine you get, it has enough; the 170 is as strong as you’ll ever need, but the 213 is a

hoot – though in Sport mode, it can be quite a handful on B-roads, giving you the feeling that you’re having to hold it back. On top of this, it’s extremely able off-road, with good suspension and tractability on all models. There’s a very wide range of top-quality kit available for modifying it, too.

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ISUZU D-MAX Second full year on sale • Range expanded upwards with new AT35 model • Auto option


espite having already won this award in 2021, the D-Max has still only been on sale in the UK for one full year. Yet Isuzu is not resting on the laurels of what was a highly successful launch. In the face of the global supply issues that have dogged the motor industry in general, the Japanese pick-up specialist has broadened its range post-launch by widening the scope of the options available and adding a whole new model. The latter is the AT35, which has been part of Isuzu’s vibe around the D-Max for several years now. It’s modified pre-registration by Arctic

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Trucks, meaning you can get one with lifted suspension and 35” tyres that counts as factory-spec for warranty and insurance purposes. The AT35 is based on the V-Cross model, which was already at the top of the range, so it’s an exclusive toy for buyers with serious money. Isuzu did, however, use it as the basis of its Basecamp concept, whose overlanding fit-out showed a real understanding of its market. It’s at the other end of the range, though, that Isuzu has impressed most this year. Almost all versions are now available with the popular option of automatic transmission, and also with a locking rear diff –

both previously denied to buyers of entry-level vehicles.


Isuzu divides the D-Max line-up into three sub-ranges: Business for the Utility, All-Purpose for the mid-range DL20 and DL40 and Adventure for the V-Cross and AT35. There are the usual three cab styles, with Single-Cab available only in Utility form, Extended-Cab also in DL20 and Double-Cab across the board. Whichever you go for, you’ll get air-con, cruise control and lumbar adjust as standard, as well as DAB and Bluetooth. That’s a lot of the big boxes ticked; the DL20 adds alloys,

heated seats and parking sensors, while the DL40 brings leather, climate, LEDs, chrome styling and a media system with phone pairing. Finally, the V-Cross and AT35 give you gunmetal styling and a bigger media screen. And whichever you go for, a further development this year saw Isuzu introduce a wide new range of dealer-fit accessories for work and play alike.


The D-Max has a spacious and comfortable interior which, in Double-Cab form, allows plenty of room for one six-footer to sit behind another. That’s no small matter;

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and locking rear diff extended to all models

PRICING List (ex-VAT) Utility Single-Cab £24,254 Utility Extended Cab* £25,004 Utility Double-Cab* £25,754 DL20 Extended Cab* £27,254 DL20 Double-Cab* £28,004 DL40 Double-Cab* £31,104 V-Cross Double-Cab* £32,604 AT35 Double-Cab* £47,104 * Auto extra £1500 plus VAT

OTR (inc VAT) £30,110 £31,010 £31,910 £33,709 £34,610 £38,330 £40,130 £57,530

CONCLUSION The D-Max won the overall title two years ago and the Best Value award last year. It’s looking stronger than ever in the latter area, despite having seen price rises of around £2000, because Ford and Toyota have hiked their own prices even more steeply. And its range now includes more models as well as extended choices on those that already existed, particularly at the workhorse level – which is where we think the D-Max is at its best. The difference is that its lifestyle offering is looking more convincing now too. A good truck has clearly got better over this last year. headroom is not so good in the back, but overall accommodation is a strong plus point. We said last year that the V-Cross at the top of the D-Max range left us feeling a little nonplussed, but having spent plenty of time in one during the last 12 months we’ve come to appreciate its qualities a bit more. Its top-spec equipment is well suited to the lairy heft of the AT35 variant, too. Nonetheless, we still think the D-Max rings truest further down the range. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and taste is personal, but Isuzu’s cabin design has a purpose and honesty to it that

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doesn’t need leather seats and a big media screen to make it feel right.


Despite having the smallest engine on the market, at 1.9 litres, the D-Max doesn’t want for urge whether laden, unladen or towing. It pulls smoothly without raising its voice; around town, it hardly seems to climb above a lazy idle and on the motorway it settles to a gentle hum, while even when pushed on B-roads it rarely becomes gruff. That extra time in the V-Cross and AT35 has helped us make our peace with the automatic gearbox to some extent, too. We said last year that we

found it frustrating, with too many long, loud shifts; that’s something we’ve been watching out for in subsequent sessions behind the wheel and for whatever reason, the trucks we drove over the last year were far better in this respect than the one that disappoinred us in 2021. We’d still choose the manual box every time, but there’s an element of personal preference in this. Mainly, though, this time the auto didn’t spoil the experience – and a good thing too, with it now being available on almost all models. As before, the D-Max has a ride quality that matches its refinement. It deals well with rough roads, its

suspension damping out the worst of the jolts and jounces; the AT35 does have a slightly less settled ride than the rest of the range on its much bigger tyres, but even this is very acceptable. All models handle confidently, too, and when you take it off-road the D-Max is a sure-footed performer with traction to spare. Even on its standard 18” rims, it grips well and handles predictably on rough and slippery ground whether in manual or automatic form. Its ability to climb long, steep hills is particularly impressive, with the engine’s torque able to remove the drama from almost every off-road situation.

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SSANGYONG MUSSO Multiple Best-Value award winner • Revised engine has more power, less thirs • Most


ook elsewhere in the one-tonne pick-up market and you’ll notice that while some other manufacturers have raised their prices steeply while not changing much about their trucks, SsangYong has combined significant updates to the Musso with the most modest price hikes anywhere in the sector. The Korean vehicle only costs a little less than 5% more than it did last year – yet here it is with a revised engine whose output is up and whose fuel consumption is down. This comes hot on the heels of another previous round of upgrades made last year, which in addition

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to various detail changes saw automatic transmission become standard on all but the entry-level EX model. The engine is the same 2.2-litre diesel as before, however it now produces 202bhp at 3800rpm and 325lbf.ft from 1600-2600rpm. These are increases of 12% and 5% respectively, and fuel economy has been improved by 7% across the range to 33.8mpg for the manual EX and 31.5mpg for everything else. We mentioned the restrained nature of SsangYong’s price rises, and this reflects the high-value approach the company has always taken. So too does the vehicle’s warranty,

which at 7 years or 150,000 miles crushes all before it.


The engine is standard across the Musso range, which contains just four models. All are double-cabs, though there’s more variety in them than that makes it sound. Even the entry-level EX has 17” alloys, air-con, DAB and Bluetooth, so it’s no mug. By the time you get to the Rhino, which sits at the top of the range, you’ve got nappa leather, 9.2” sat-nav, all-round parking sensors, powered, heated and cooled seats, smartphone pairing and a reversing camera.

Pictured here, the Saracen is the lifestyle model. It has the same leather, media and so on as the Rhino, as well as 18” alloys to go with its bling styling. The Rhino is the most interesting model, though, because it’s so different to anything else on the market. It retains all the Saracen’s luxury and tech but drops back down to 17” alloys, because in addition to being a pose wagon it’s also built to be a work truck. Sceptical? Look underneath and whereas the rest of the range has coil springs, the Rhino has leaves. It has a longer wheelbase, too, by about 4.5”. And its rear overhang

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modest 2022 price hikes of any pick-up

PRICING EX Rebel auto Saracen auto Rhino LWB auto

List (ex-VAT)

OTR (inc VAT)

£24,265 £28,265 £31,665 £32,665

£29,463 £34,263 £38,343 £39,543

CONCLUSION The Musso seems to come back every year with a new set of revisions. The latest is a big one, with its engine now delivering more power and torque while using less diesel – which makes it all the more impressive that in the same period, this is the pick-up whose price increases have been the most restrained. Combine this with SsangYong’s epic warranty and you get a stronger than ever proposition in terms of value. But the Musso is not just a cheap truck; the equipment is piled high but more than that, it’s good stuff, bringing a strong scent of the Rexton SUV whose cabin it borrows. Mainly, though, the Musso is far better to drive than you might expect, with a blend of handling, ride and refinement to go with its zesty performance. People are still put off by SsangYong’s name – but the case for ignoring that is getting stronger all the time. comes close to doubling that, the result being a load bed that’s 1.61m long as opposed to 1.3 elsewhere. Its payload limit is a little higher, too, at 1140 rather than 1095kg. Automatic models can tow 3500kg, while the EX can haul 3200kg; SsangYong makes the point that unusually, the Musso can legally carry its full payload and pull its max trailer weight at the same time.


The Musso is based on SsangYong’s massively underrated Rexton, which means its cabin has the most SUVlike styling and materials of any pick-up ever sold in this country. As

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we’ve said, top models are laden with kit – and it’s good kit, too. The rear-view camera, for example, has a sharper picture than the one on the Bentley Bentayga. The cabin layout is excellent, too. You get a good driving position and an imperious view in all directions, and the controls for all those many functions are clear and easy to see. Another bonus of the Rexton connection is the space in the back. There might be a little give and take if you’re carrying a full crew of big lads, but they’ll all still get on board no problem. Headroom in the back is exceptionally good, too – and the seats in general are extremely

comfortable, with a variety of fabric and leather trims that are as tactile as they are tough.


Driving a SsangYong was once a job best left to masochists, but that time is well in the past. The company got Pininfarina to tune the Musso’s NVH – meaning there’s very little in the way of cabin noise or drivetrain harshness in any driving scenario, on or off the road. The Rhino is no different to the rest of the range to drive, despite its leaf springs. In each case, the back is well enough damped and it feels hefty but not overweight.

We’re not fans of the manual gearbox, but the auto is very smooth in every situation. So too is the Musso’s ride, which remains nicely planted on fidgety surfaces and doesn’t go unduly loose when the road turns British on you. It handles and steers with greater alacrity than you might expect, too. Off-road, meanwhile, the Musso is sure footed and tractable but with no rear locker even on the options list it relies on electronics a little more than we’d like. The Rhino’s extra rear overhang would need to be taken into account in extreme terrain, of course, but be sensible and it will do what you ask of it.

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TOYOTA HILUX Reigning champion following last year’s major revisions • New GR Sport model • Hefty


he Hilux got its big midlife update two years ago, literally a week too late to be included in the judging for these awards. In the twelve months that followed, the range gained an AT35 model built by Arctic Trucks, taking full advantage of the 2.8-litre engine that had previously been introduced to give Toyota’s other lifestyle models the performance they needed to compete with the best – and it was all enough to make this the winner of the overall title in 2022. The following 12 months have been quiet by comparison. Hiluxes came first and third in the 2022 Dakar Rally, then straight afterwards

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a new GR Sport range-topper was announced, but this has taken a long time to come through as something you can actually buy, with the first UK examples reaching their owners quite recently. The other big news during the last year has been less welcome. Prices have risen across the board, but in the pick-up market Toyota’s climbed the highest – an average of just over 12%, with the high-spec Invincible X climbing by a pinch less than £5000. That’s the bucket of cold water. But don’t forget the excellent residuals that come with being a truck whose reputation for longevity precedes it. More than that, there’s a

reason why this is the reigning title holder. It’s an excellent truck deep down and a convincing lifestyle motor towards the top of the range.


A 2.4-litre, 150bhp diesel engine is the only option on work-spec Active and mid-range Icon models. It can’t help but feel like the poor relation next to the 201bhp 2.8, but it does its job well – though we’ve found that when mated to an auto gearbox it struggles to pull at higher speeds. The only model on which you can choose either engine is the Invincible. Astonishingly, the difference in price is just £350 after VAT, so you’d need a very specific reason not to

get the 2.8. You can get it in manual form on the Invincible and Invincible X, which is nice, though it’s far better suited to an auto than the 2.4. At the work-spec end of the range, the Active model is available in single, crew and double-cab format. There’s no auto option here, but with it being 2.4-only we wouldn’t want it. What you do get is cruise, air-con, Bluetooth and a locking rear diff, and that’s a pretty solid spec for a do-it-all pick-up. It certainly doesn’t feel sparse – though for a couple of grand or so more, the Icon adds 17” alloys, upgraded seat fabric and a touch-screen media system with DAB and smartphone pairing, which you may see as a good investment.

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price increases introduced during 2022

PRICING List (ex-VAT) 2.4 Active Extra Cab Chassis £26,678 2.4 Active Single-Cab £26,095 2.4 Active Extra Cab £27,345 2.4 Active Double-Cab £27,970 2.4 Icon Double-Cab* £30,095 2.4 Invincible Double-Cab* £32,553 2.8 Invincible Double-Cab* £32,845 2.8 Invincible X Double-Cab* £36,187 2.8 GR Sport** £39,241 2.8 Invincible X AT35 Double-Cab** £56,927 * Auto extra £1250 plus VAT ** Auto standard

OTR (inc VAT) £33,085 £32,385 £32,814 £34,635 £37,185 £40,135 £40,485 £44,485 £48,160 £69,384

CONCLUSION The Hilux remains hugely impressive following its victory last year, with a wide range of skills both on and off-road. As always, build quality is as strong as an ox. It has suffered the highest price rises of any truck in the one-tonne sector, however, and as buyers become ever more budget conscious that can’t help but have an impact. Its rear-seat legroom is very last-generation, too – but overall, this is still a brilliant truck. The Invincible and Invincible X add further premium equipment, including a monster of a stereo. Then comes the new GR Sport, whose unique performance suspension set-up, featuring retuned shocks and front springs, is augmented by rally-inspired styling outside and in.


On that subject, the Hilux’s cabin is attractively laid out and very well put together. There’s a rock-solid feeling of build quality, though even at the top of the range some of the materials still feel like those of a utility vehicle. Up front, the seats are roomy and very comfortable, but rear legroom

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is the poorest in the pick-up market. We tried to fit one six-footer in behind another and for either to be able to get in the back at all, the front seat had to be so far forward that the other one said he wouldn’t be able to drive. In other ways, the cabin is very good. The multimedia system is the focal point of the dash on vehicles lofty enough to have the top-line system, and it looks excellent. It’s better than most at giving you places to shove your bits and pieces, too.


The 2.8-litre engine carried the Hilux to victory last year, but let’s

not forget the 2.4 either. This is very capable, if hardly thrilling, but we wouldn’t have it with an auto box – kicking it down on the motorway provokes noise and little else. Go for the 2.8 and you get 201bhp backed up by 310lbf.ft in manual form and 369lbf.ft with an auto, all from 1400rpm. That sounds promising and sure enough, all it takes is a twitch of your right foot and the Hilux is on its way. In town, on B-roads or at a cruise, the response is as lively as it is instant. It’s quite refined, too, with well muted road and engine noise at motorway speeds. Wind noise is very pronounced, though, and the suspension fidgets a little on

seams, but it’s better around town where good old British pot holes pose no fears. The steering is nice and easy here, too, and well damped on the motorway, but more feeling on turn-in would make it a lot more fun on B-roads. Perhaps the set-up on the GR Sport will help here. What we do know is that the Hilux is an absolute tool off-road. The torque from the 2.8 engine puts you in charge whatever the terrain, and the rear locker that’s standard on all models means you can tackle extreme terrain and low-traction surfaces with real confidence and control. This has always been a strong suit for the Hilux, and it remains so as much as ever.

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W Is IN uz N u D- ER M

2023 PICK-UP

BEST VALUE SsangYong Musso

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OF THE YEAR BEST VALUE SsangYong Musso Right now, it’s a lucky person who’s not having to worry about the cost of living. The rest of the market has gone up in price by 9-12% over the last year – but SsangYong has kept it to more like 4%. The Isuzu D-Max is not that much more expensive, but the gap has widened – and of course the Musso also comes with an unbeaten 7-year, 150,000-mile warranty. None of this would matter if it wasn’t also a good truck. And it’s a very good one – not just because of its generous equipment and SUV-like cabin, but because it’s a hugely usable workhorse that’s thoroughly pleasing to drive. Dare to be different and you may just end up quids in.

BEST INDIVIDUAL MODEL Isuzu D-Max AT35 This award may raise an eyebrow or two, because we’ve been candid in the past about the AT35 not being to our particular taste. But that’s based entirely on our love of green laning, for which the vehicle is too wide – and we do also recognise that if you want to make an impression, there’s not a lot that can compare. Bred for glaciers and snow fields, the AT35 is a very specialised vehicle. But that specialism gives it an appearance that’s ideally suited to attracting attention, which is what people buy it for. And those who do get a truck which does exactly what they want from it.

BEST OFF-ROAD Toyota Hilux The Hilux comes as standard with a locking rear diff on every model, which is close to being a must-have for a pick-up that wants to perform properly off-road. All models are very capable but in particular, the 2.8-litre diesel engine turns an excellent rough terrain vehicle into a magnificent one. Its torque is so plentiful that most of the time, you just need to steer, making it a very predictable safe and controllable way to cover ground. The 2.4 needs you to work for it a little more but every Hilux is an off-road champion.

BEST OFF-ROAD Toyota Hilux

2023 PICK-UP OF THE YEAR Isuzu D-Max The D-Max won this award two years ago but was supplanted last year by the Toyota Hilux. There are two reasons why it’s now back on top. One is that for so many people, price is becoming ever-more critical. Isuzu has kept the increases below 10%; still painful, and nothing like as restrained as SsangYong has been, but compared to its rivals the D-Max is now more truck for your money than ever before. The other factor working in Isuzu’s favour is the way its range has developed over the last year. The new AT35 is the headline-grabber, but at the workaday end of the market you can now get any model with an auto box and locking rear diff, and these are things that make a difference. They wouldn’t if the D-Max wasn’t already an outstanding pick-up, and it certainly is just that. It has some big rivals coming – but the gauntlet is well and truly down.

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When your business specialises in fixing a certain brand of 4x4 with a reputation for going wrong a lot, using that same brand as your own off-road plaything might sound like a no-brainer. But as far as Des Hitchens was concerned, he wanted to do exactly the opposite. Not even a professional mechanic wants a truck that spends all its time breaking down, after all… Words: Gary Noskill Pictures: Steve Taylor


own the years, we’ve spoken to thousands of people who do off-roading for a hobby. For a good number of them, though, it’s been more than just that – either a pastime has become a business or, less commonly, a line of work has led them into the wonderful world of mud and ruts. Normally, it pretrty much stands to reason that if, for example, you sell winches, you’ll do challenge events rather than comp safaris. You won’t do expedition travel if you sell bypass shocks and you won’t go trialling with the ALRC if you do engine conversions. And if you earn your living fixing one particular brand of 4x4… you won’t be seen going out to play in another one, right? Wrong. Des Hitchens was already gainfully employed as a professional mechanic before he got into off-roading, first on HGVs and later on plant equipment. So when he started tooling around

in 4x4s, putting his spanners on them came as second nature. ‘Basically,’ he says, ‘a 4x4 is like a smaller version of an HGV. There’s not a lot of rocket science involved!’ When you do off-roading, you notice certain things. One is that people break their trucks a lot. Another is that those broken trucks always seem to have the same badge on their bonnets. Des sussed that since this particular brand of 4x4 needed fixing all the time, there was money to be made in fixing them. He was of course absolutely not the first person to think this. But most of the people who fix those vehicles for a living also drive one. Well, they know how to fix it. Des knew how to fix it, but he also knew how often he’d have to fix it. So instead, for his own motor he chose one of the ones that don’t break. This automatically leads you in the direction of Japan, of course. The home of cars that don’t break has been responsible for many a 4x4

whose reliability has put others to shame. But they don’t get any more reliable than the Toyota Hilux, especially if you go all the way back to the days before independent suspension. In Des’ case, this meant a Mark III Double-Cab. He bought it in 2003, at which point in time it was completely standard but for some rather avant-garde remodelling to the offside rear panel done by a combination of friction and a lamp post. That wasn’t going to put him off, though, because its purpose from day one was to be an off-road project. It was also going to be his daily driver and work truck, though, which is why you’re not looking at a bobtailed special with a coiled rear axle here. Those mods are cool, but so too is being paid to carry engines and gearboxes around and the two don’t mix ever so well. Anyway, over the course of something like four years the Hilux was transformed into the truck you see here. It wasn’t a planned build, more a

Toyota did a turbocharged version of its 2.4-litre diesel engine, but this one’s the naturally aspirated version… with a turbo on it. Doing a full swap might have been less grief, but Des’ rationale was that by turbocharging the original high-compression unit, he’d get its low-down torque when the turbo wasn’t spinning and more power when it was. With about 10,000 miles under its belt when we met him, the engine was delivering livelier performance, stronger bottom-end pull and better fuel consumption – and it still hadn’t blown up, which was quite promising

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The suspension uses heavy-duty, standard-height springs and a 1.5”shackle lift. Somehow, this combination manages to deliver about 3” of lift. This was augmented by a 3” body lift, making room for a set of the 36x12.50R15 Simex Extreme Trekker IIs you could still get your hands on in Britain back then

‘I don’t mind doing mechanical damage but, being a Toyota, you just don’t get it’ case of bits going on as time went by, but there was still a goal of sorts: ‘I knew that sooner or later, it was going to get a set of 35s,’ Des told us. That’s a lofty enough ambition in more than one sense of the word. And in fact, the Hilux got loftier still when it ended up on a set of 36x12.50R15 Simex Extreme Trekker IIs. A hell of a tyre to put on a daily driver, you might say, and a very expensive way of making your truck handle like a jelly – and having scrubbed off about half their tread in a bit more than two years, Des appeared to be proving your point for you. That’ll be why, even as we snapped away, he was planning to eke more life out of his precious hardcore rubber by buying a set of 35” BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains for the road. Making room for the big tyres, and keeping the Hilux’s long wheelbase and rear overhang from turning it into a liability, a hybrid suspension set-up combined heavy-duty springs from Milner Off-Road with a 1.5” shackle lift. The springs were standard-height units, yet the overall set-up

seemed to lift the vehicle by about 3”. Sometimes it’s better not to over-think things… Chuck on a 3” body lift (which is what he did) and now you’re looking at a Hilux that’s very Hi indeed. Received wisdom on this technique has changed over time, and Des built this vehicle during an era when the whole of the off-road world seemed to be battling to see who could achieve the most ridiculous amount of articulation, but his rationale was simple: ‘It allows clearance for my tyres and also keeps the centre of gravity low, as the main weight of the vehicle isn’t lifted.’ Big tyres mean big stresses on the axles, which in turn mean… nothing, in this case. It’s a Toyota, remember? Not only did Des keep them standard, when we took these photos the halfshafts were still the ones with which his Hilux left the factory. The brakes were completely stock, too, which means vented discs up front and enlarged drums at the back, and they had enough about them never to have struggled even when towing a heavy trailer. Des did point out that he ‘doesn’t drive like a loon’ when towing, but on tyres this big you don’t need to do that for brake fade to rear its ugly head. It’s a different case when it comes to the diffs, which are limited-slip jobs from a 70-Series Land Cruiser. Des shimmed them up to be a bit tighter than standard, too. ‘It does allow a little bit of slip,’ he said, ‘but on most occasions it does turn

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all four tyres at the same speed. You have to do an extreme cross-axle at low speed before it’ll slip.’ The diffs’ ratio, which is 4.88:1, is better suited to those tall tyres than the standard units’ 4.56:1, too. Turning the axles, the original 2.4-litre diesel engine remained in place. But it wasn’t the only thing beneath the bonnet, because Des fitted it with the turbo from a later 2.4 TD unit. Why not just replace it with a whole 2.4 TD engine? ‘Because the turbo-diesel had a lower compression ratio,’ is the answer. ‘I wanted to see if the original engine would hold on to the turbo, in which case I’d have the high-compression engine with the assistance of a turbo. And then I’d still have the low-down torque while the turbo’s not operating and the extra power when it is. So in many ways it should deliver more power than a turbo-diesel engine.’

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He did this work about 18 months and 10,000 miles before we met him, so the engine had had a pretty good chance to throw its toys out of the pram. And so far, so good. ‘If it was going to blow,’ he commented, ‘it probably would have done it by now. That’s my attitude!’ It hadn’t been on the rollers, but Des reported better top-end performance, better pulling power and lower fuel consumption. ‘Better’ very much the theme, then. Which brings us back to his reason for choosing a Hilux in the first place, really. Having made a business out of working on them, Des wasn’t fussed about doing mechanical damage to his truck. It’s just that, in his words, ‘being a Toyota, you just don’t get it.’ His customers could keep on to their hearts’ content in their brand of 4x4s that are forever needing fixed: he could fix them all day long, but far better to drive a truck that didn’t break in the first place.

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ANOTHER KIND OF MODIFIED PICK-UP Most of the modded trucks you see in this magazine have been built for off-roading. Like most of them, James Evans’ Chevy S10 SS is a family car – but its spiritual home is the kind of track you’re not thinking of when you fit a suspension lift… Words and pictures: Dan Fenn


odified pick-ups take many forms. Here at 4x4, we tend to concentrate on the lifted, lockered, winched-up sort… they might be built for work, play, travel or some combination of the three, but no man with a good car needs to be justified so it’s all good. What they tend not to be built for is drag racing. But any modified pick-up is still a modified pick-up, right? And as we were saying, no man with a good car needs to be justified. Ten points if you know where that quote comes from. You definitely know where James Dean Evans’ name comes from. And by extension you know that his parents must have been cool to name him after the original rebel without a cause. Sure enough, he says his family have lived and breathed petrol since way back. ’As far back as I can remember,’ he tells us, ‘cars were the main priority in our lives. My grandad, the great Alan Evans, was the founder of Bamby Cars (a Hull-based company which, for a spell in the mid-1980s, manufactured single-seat city cars under its own brand name). Then my parents, uncle, aunty and family friends used to run the original Bomber County Cruises in Manby back in the 1990s and early 2000s. ‘So it was pretty much set that cars was the life I was going to take. I know, ruined from such a young age! But hey, it was the way of life – and not a bad one at that.’ As he was growing up, the variety of cars in his life was startling. Everything from his stepdad’s custom Model T to an array of ex-Army trucks which the family used to tool around in. And through it all, he developed a taste for the most obscure vehicles he could find. Which brings us to his pick-up truck. You may well recognise it as a Chevy S10 from the mid-90s, but a further ten points are on offer if you can tell which model it is.

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The highly upgraded 6.0-litre LS2 V8 bungs a click over 600bhp through a built 4L80E box and into a narrowed 9-inch Ford axle with an upgraded 3.30:1 LSD. Plans for the winter are to pull it apart and rebuild it with twin turbos: it’ll be in the 1000bhp range after that Back then, the S10 sold in absolutely monumental volumes. But between 1994 and 1998, the high-performance SS model shifted less than 12,000 units. And that’s what this is. By high-performance, we mean a 4.3-litre V6 (the one that came to the UK aboard the Blazer of that era) putting out about 180bhp. It went out via a limited-slip rear diff, but that wasn’t even going to be much help off-road, except possibly when giving it death on gravel trails, because this here pick-up is two-wheel drive. What, in 4x4 magazine? Yes. We wouldn’t normally entertain such a thing but what the hell, this is the pick-up issue after all. And besides, remember, it’s a modified pick-up, and we love those…

So anyway, as well as not having four-wheel drive, the S10 SS had lowered suspension. But it’s all been modified anyway, so you can forget about that. Not that it’s been lifted, of course. So, first things first. That 4.3-litre six-pot has long since been fetched out for a proper engine. Several proper engines, in fact. Just one at a time, don’t worry, but they’ve culminated in a 6.0-litre LS2 chucking about 600bhp through a built 4L80E auto into a narrowed 9-inch Ford rear axle with 3.30:1 gears. The engine was installed by the truck’s previous owner, but it’s been under James’ ownership that it has started to close in on its full potential. It runs a smoothed inlet manifold and 1 7/8”

Stainless Works long-tube headers, the latter going twin 3” stainless exhausts, as well as DSS Racing FX forged pistons and rods, a BTR Stage 3 racing cam and a Canems programmable ECU. The fuel system runs a custom tank, braided lines and twin aero-spec Bosch 44 pumps, Spal fans pull air through an oversize custom radiator and to help keep it cool (in every sense of the word), James tends to view a bonnet as an item that belongs on other people’s cars. Matey also fitted the 4L80E, again with uprated cooling and with a performance TCI to get it shifting as fast as it was going to need to. The narrowed Ford 9-incher contains Moser shafts and an uprated LSD, and very wisely it’s been con-

‘It was pretty much set that cars was the life I was going to take. I know, ruined from such a young age! But hey, it was the way of life – and not a bad one at that’

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Long-tube headers from Stainless Works flow into twin 3” exhausts. Next to these, as war wounds go the S10 has a pretty cool one on the trailing edge of its offside rear wing. James is no stranger to winning burnout competitions – so emphatically that last time out, his offside rear wing caught fire. He’s got a feel for the vibes, this guy. The truck’s interior is like the engine bay in that it’s all about function, not form

verted to disc brakes. Caltrac links and single split leaves hold it in place, the latter also keeping the vehicle up with the aid of adjustable shocks. Result? ‘Some may call it a sleeper,’ says James, ‘being as it looks like a stock S10 minus the 3-inch exhaust exists and the 275 radials in the back. But it was what I wanted – a truck that I can use regularly to pick the kids up from school but then run serious times down the strip.’ Which it does – high 11s and low 12s so far, but by the time next season comes around James’ plan is to have given it a lot more than just that. ‘Hopefully through the winter we are aiming to have a strip down and rebuild,’ he says, ‘as well

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as heading over to forced induction. I’m hoping to run a large twin-turbo set up.’ The price of the supercharging options has a lot to do with that; anyway, his aim with this part of the project is simple: ‘the magic 1000bhp mark.’ That ought to get him down the strip a good bit faster, all the while without making the truck any less of a tool for kid-shifting and general daily duties. ‘What more could you need?’ he asks. ‘The truck turns heads everywhere it goes. Kids smile at it, blokes take pictures and love it. You can’t drive anywhere in it and not be noticed.’ He’d certainly be noticed if he took it green laning… No, this is not your typical 4x4 feature truck. But even if the purpose is different, the intent is

just the same. And that intent is to put a big grin on the face of anyone who comes close. Oh yes, and it’s also to be James’ family car, and a jolly good one it is too. And lest we forget, no man with a good car needs to be justified.

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Fatal Attraction

A place with a name like Dead Man’s Hill can hardly help but have a bit of history to it. As we headed for North Yorkshire, we were very much hoping that the macabre tale behind it was indeed going to stay in the past… Words: Tom Alderney Pictures: Vic Peel

Green laning and off-roading is a great way of testing your 4x4 to its limits, but many insurance companies will refuse to cover you when your 4WD is being used in this way. That’s why our Isuzu D-Max GO2 – pictured here – along with many of our other project trucks, is insured by Adrian Flux. The insurance broker specialises in insuring the individual, meaning they can tailor cover to suit your needs whether you need cover for off-roading, green laning or an unusual modded 4x4. Call them on 0800 085 5000 for a quote.


ith some green lanes, you can tell what they’re going to be like just from their name. Stanage Edge was, well, an edge. The Gap went through a gap. The Ridgeway went along a ridge.

As well as descriptive names, what these rights of way all had in common was that they were magnificent. The sort of trails that would attract you to go and spend a whole weekend in the area. Of course, something else they also have in common is that they’ve been

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closed, so there’s a little less reason to visit these parts of the country now and a little more just to stay at home watching television instead, but that’s a different story. There are many lanes, some of them even still open, with names to conjure with. The Heddington Steps,

for example, or indeed the Cam Steps. Both used to have, er, steps in them, at least until they were ‘fixed’ by those helpful people at the council. And High Lane. It’s high. Others are less apparent. Guard Pig Lane, for example. The mind boggles. Bomber Lane makes little


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sense until you learn the story. Bastard Lane, well you get the idea but that probably still doesn’t prepare you for it. There’s a Minges Lane in Essex, and try as we might we couldn’t find any… And then there’s Deadman’s Hill. There’s some cracking history

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behind that name, too – but even once you know it, you might be forgiven for approaching it with a certain air of trepidation. Deadman’s is in North Yorkshire. It’s a lane skirting the western flank of Dead Man’s Hill itself, which doesn’t sound any less worrying if

you’re on your way there, and you’re a man. What does the name suggest? If it’s anything like Death Valley, for example, perhaps it might be wiser not to. Is the hill treacherous? Does it have freak weather? Is there a monster living on it?

Well, no, it’s not home to any monsters. But it was once. Her name was Jenny Twigg. Along with her daughter Tib, she ran an inn in the hamlet of Lodge. The exact date is lost in the mists of time, but this was in the middle of the 18th Century, in the years following the crushing of the Jacobite rebellion. In the aftermath of Culloden, the government in London adopted a policy of ethnic cleansing towards the Highland clans – the infamous Highland Clearances, which saw families by the thousand starved into submission and forcibly repatriated to the colonies, just for being Gaelic. The strategy of genocide by starvation saw the Highlanders’ cattle being taken from them at gunpoint. And so it was that three drovers ended up with a herd, with which they travelled south bound for the market in Bradford. Accompanied by a sheepdog, they paused at Lodge en route, making the acquaintance of Jenny and Tib… who they were to meet again a few nights later. Having successfully sold their herd at the market, the three men set off north, retracing their steps. Now they were travelling without the cattle – but with the money they had taken in return. Jenny and Tib had hatched a plot. Their guests were in a celebratory mood and that night, the two women plied them with ale until, blind drunk, they passed out unconscious. Then, one by one, their hosts plunged knives into their hearts before stripping them of their earnings. Bizarrely, they then beheaded the trio, burying their heads in one part of the hill and their bodies in another.

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‘As you look out across the valley next to you, the view is almost reminiscent of that from the window of a low-flying aircraft’ It must have felt like the perfect crime. Three travellers, far from home, would never be missed. If ever the alarm was raised back up north, it would be weeks and months hence – and finding their remains would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But there was a flaw in their plan. The men’s sheepdog wouldn’t leave the scene. It refused to be captured, nor to be chased away; without a gun to hand, the murderesses could only resort to throwing stones, shouting and trying to ply the animal with poisoned food, but nothing would encourage it to leave. The dog knew its masters were close by, and it dug and dug in the ground to try and find them. Eventually, a group of travellers

spotted it and went to see what it was up to. As it clawed at the recently disturbed soil, they joined in… finally unearthing the horrific sight of a shallow grave containing three severed heads. After this, it’s said that the three headless bodies were found near the top of what’s now called Dead Man’s Hill. They had been disposed of close to the junction of three tracks – one of which is now the green lane leading over the hill from Arkleside in the north to Middlesmoor in the south. What happened after this is unclear. The most plausible story is that Jenny and Tib were taken to Pateley Bridge where they were tried, convicted and hanged. But no official records remain from the

time. And there’s another story, too, which claims to explain what happened to them. Bearing in mind that this was only a couple of generations after the barbaric reign of Matthew Hopkins, the self-style Witchfinder General, the story goes that the three drovers had in fact been victims of witchcraft. This was well into the Age of Enlightenment, and educated gentlefolk in London or York would have scoffed at the idea, but as Jenny and Tib were being dragged in chains through Nidderdale they escaped – by turning themselves into pillars of rock. And there they stand to this day, above a rock outcrop on the southern edge of High Ash Head Moor. Look on the OS map and you’ll

see ‘Jenny Twigg and her Daughter Tib’, with no explanation of what it means, surrounded by a triangle of more green lanes a few miles east of Lofthouse. It would be a bit pretentious to say we were heading for Deadman’s Hill to investigate the tale of what happened there some 270 years ago. But we were heading there nonetheless, on a route starting in Settle. The town is best known for being at one end of a celebrated stretch of railway, but we see it as being a good place to fuel up before exploring the lanes. There are some beauties up here. Gorbeck Road, Salter Fell, Pockstones Moor, all great rights of way which used to attract 4x4 drivers to the area where they’d

As you descend the aptly named Long Lane, you come to Churn Milk Hole. This entire area is pock-marked with shake holes, where the ground has collapsed into limestone caves beneath the surface; to give you an idea of how big this one is, you could fit our D-Max on to that slab lying on the far side

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Above, right: As you pass the area of Dawson Close, the landscape to your left is laid out like a diorama below you. The feeling really is not unlike flying. Below: The river bed below New Bridge is a melee of boulders and slabs. It was summer when we visited, and the levels were low – but when the water is high, you can only imagine how dramatic it must be spend money in local shops, pubs and so on. And here we are using the past tense again, because of course they’ve all been closed. Happily, there are also plenty of trails which not even the most swivel-eyed of lane fascists have found an excuse to persecute. Deadman’s Hill is one of them; we were going to work our way, loosely going from west to east, to get to it. The first trail of the day, starting just east of Helwith Bridge, is called Long Lane. Well, it’s a lane. And it’s long. As was the conversation we had with a woman walking her dogs and a farmer walking his quad bike, both of whom managed to remain civil despite quite clearly wishing we weren’t there. Either of them could have taken a diversion on to Ribble Way, about a hundred yards where we met them, and they’d have got their wish, because this is yet another lane to have been closed – this one by the venomous NERC Act in 2006, because until that foul piece of legislation was brought in

it was accessible to us as a Road Used as a Public Path. The lane climbs gently, and at times not so gently, as you head north north-east towards the imposing peak of Pen-y-ghent. But then as you approach its northern end, it swings to the east around a landform that’s common in this part of North Yorkshire. Look on the map and you’ll see shake holes marked all over the place; Churn Milk Hole must be a good one to be worthy of having an actual name. Shake holes are caused when the ground subsides into a cave beneath. Some have a cave entrance at their base, while in others a stream will disappear underground. Churn Milk Hole on the other hand

is simply a huge, conical hole in the ground with sedimentary rock strata still exposed around its edges from when the ground fell away. Continuing towards the end of the lane, we passed an impressively austere looking farmhouse, all walls and almost no windows, then found ourselves alongside an extraordinary roadside verge whose surface was formed like ocean ripples in a storm. The work of dozens of far smaller shake holes, the shape of it looked almost sinusoidal in places. You’d struggle to walk over it, far less to drive. A brief mile or so on Silverdale Road, which runs north-east from Stainforth to the head of Littondale, and we were back on to another

trail. If the last one was Long Lane, this should have been called Forever Lane, because that’s how long it felt like we were on it for. Actually, its given name is Dawson Close, which sounds like it might be the name of a soap opera but once you’re up here any resemblance to Brookside it strictly coincidental. The whole way along, you’re gazing to the north over a soaring valley cut down through the millennia by Pen-y-Ghent Gill, a tributary of the River Skirfare which, though normally it’s little more than a babbling brook, can turn by winter into an absolute force of nature. As you pass through the area of Dawson Close itself, to your left there’s a gaggle of earthen mounds

Approaching the end of Long Lane, the right of way passes alongside a small-scale limestone pavement – giving you a ringside view of just what a remarkable landform this is

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It’s a steady climb up on to Kidstones Fell, and your vehicle will always be working on the way. You’re high up and the views are expansive, even if the best of them are behind you. Further on (right), as you reach Stake Moss, the ground is very soft right next to the right of way. This damage might have been caused by accident as people tried to pass each other, but there’s no point in pretending that a criminal element doesn’t exist which, some 5000 years ago, were an Iron Age settlement. They’re dwarfed by the limestone pavement that sprawls beyond them, though this in turn seems small compared to the height you’re at. We’ve said before that the first time you drive the aforementioned Cam Steps, particularly from the southern end, as you look out across the valley next to you the view is almost reminiscent of that from the window of a low-flying aircraft. It’s a bit like that here, too, particularly as the valley to the north of the lane opens out towards Littondale; we watched cars and vans on the road next to

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the river, looking for all the world like models on a diorama. As an aside, while it’s hard not to be entranced by the vastness of the scene below you, turning to cast your eyes uphill is worth it too. Not least because the hillsides have names. The first one you pass is called In Sleets. The second is Out Sleets. The third… in one of the most unforgivable missed opportunities of all time, it’s not called Shake It All About Sleets. I mean, honestly, what were they thinking? Nature even peppered the surface of the land with yet more shake holes, and still it ended up being called Cow Close.

Beyond here, the track starts to drop down the flank of the hillside. It’s not hanging-in-your-straps steep, but we were definitely going to do it in low range. As we picked out way down, we could see a family walking along the footpath on the valley floor below us, which runs alongside the River Skirfare before meeting our track at New Bridge. They had further to go, but they still got to the junction before us. Crossing New Bridge to regain the road, after what had felt like days on the trail, we noticed the bed of the river. It’s something to behold. This was late summer, with

very little water flowing – leaving giant boulders and twisted slabs of rock on show, as if to illustrate the fearsome power of nature. You can only imagine the sort of floods it must have taken to bring some of these down the river; we made a mental note to come back here by winter and see how dramatic it looks when the river’s in spate. Turning left at the end of the lane would have taken us to the top of Littondale, where Horse Head Pass climbs steeply through a series of wide switchbacks on its way towards Langstrothdale. It’s one of those trails you look at on the map and you just know how fantastic it’s going to be. It’s closed, of course. Not to worry, the road along Littondale is no chore. It’s wide enough, and quiet enough, to be relaxing, as you pass through Litton itself, skirt one side of Arncliffe and, if you happen to blink, miss Hawkswick altogether. It ends at a T-junction with a bigger road at Skirfare Bridge, close to where the river of the same name converges with the Wharfe; this is about 10 miles upstream of The Strid, the infamous stretch of the Wharfe which is reputed to have claimed the life of literally everyone who has ever fallen into it. Things are a lot less scary at Skirfare Bridge. There’s a wide, flat

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PUBLISHED 18 Nov 2022

Whatever your taste in Land Rovers, there’s one annual publication you can’t afford to miss. The Land Rover Yearbook is an eclectic blend of classics, modified motors, new Landies, product reviews, travelogues and more. This year’s Yearbook includes a range of 90s and 110s that have been brought back to life with a twist. And a 107” Station Wagon, too, restored and modified into a Series I like no other. If you prefer your classics to be more, well, classic, you’ll find an 88” Series IIA rebuilt with a devotion to originality that borders on the fanatical. And how about one of the very earliest Freelanders? Not everyone’s idea of a classic, but everything about Land Rover’s history since then says it’s one of the most significant vehicles the company has ever made. The Discovery, for example, was a truck in the pre-Freelander era. Now it’s a premium SUV. We’ve tested the current model in entry-level D250 form in a bid to find out whether you really need to stretch all the way to a top-spec engine. And we’ve driven the basic Defender 90, too – steel wheels and all. Not just on any test drive, either, but a mighty green lane trip on some of the best trails in the country.

That’s one kind of travel story. Getting up close to Africa’s wildlife is definitely another, and so too is the Dakar Classic. Loads of historic Range Rovers and Series trucks were involved in this marathon desert rally – yet not one of them had a British driver. So be warned spend a day or two poring over the 2023 Land Rover Yearbook and you might come away on a mission to put that right!


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area of grass next to the junction, where people park up to go for walks or have picnics. All very pleasant. As we drove past, we noticed some sort of posh classic roadster parked there with four teenagers sat in it living their best lives and taking selfies to prove it. Now we were on to the B6160, which to start with felt like a motorway in comparison to the last few hours. It’s very much not one, though, winding gently through the austere landscape as it takes you through the postcardworthy villages of Kettlewell, Starbotton and Buckden. We’re here for the unsurfaced roads, of course, but even this is what counts as a liaison section it’s still an absolute joy. Yes of course ‘postcardworthy’ is a word. The miles of road liaison ended at the next trailhead, by which time we had already climbed steeply out from the Wharfe valley and beyond the hamlet of Cray. Depending on who you ask, Gilbert Lane might actually be called Stake Lane, but either way it’s a steady, steepish climb up on to Kidstones Fell which then levels out as you cross Stake Moss. Truth to tell, going in this direction the best of the scenery is behind you, but it’s still wild and wide open in every direction. Stake Moss is managed by the Yorkshire Peat Partnership under

4x4 8pp Deadmans.indd 61

the Peatland Code. Shall we pretend to know what that is? Mainly, let’s point out that this means it’s been identified as a valuable upland peat habitat, which in turn means that the ground to either side of the right of way is soft and wet. Sadly, there’s evidence here and there of the wrong kind of 4x4 driver taking that as an opportunity to trespass from the right of way and churn up the ground for laughs. And let’s not be blind to that. We’re from the proaccess side, of course, and as you’ll already have noticed we’re not shy of criticising the anti-vehicle culture that’s led to so many rights of way being closed.

There is an argument, and it’s a complex and controversial one, that reserving some areas of gash land for people to cut loose in could potentiall help draw the sting of this issue. Now is not the time or place, but while it would seem to offer a lot of answers we all know that the fanatical element among the antis would still want to see us all banned, because bigotry and compromise don’t go together. But let’s be honest: the criminal element among 4x4 drivers would still trespass, too. Just as the haters get off on smashing up other people’s hobby, the criminals get off on smashing up other people’s land.

They are, of course, a tiny minority. As are the angry farmers and grumpy walkers, even if sometimes it feels like the world is against you. Up here on the moors, though, such worries are a million miles away. The space is wide open, the landscape goes on forever and for most of the time your only company is sheep. To the north of the moss, the trail forks in two. Both routes eventually lead to Bainbridge, if you want them to; the one we took, which leads to a long descent with a magnificent vista laid out ahead of you, skirts the boggy peatland of Water Ling Pasture. During World War II, the

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Army used this area for tank driver training; at the fuel station in Bainbridge, an old chap told us the tale of how on one occasion, one of the giant metal beasts got stuck – and, after every effort to rescue it had failed, top brass decided the best thing to do was simply decommission it where it stood, pump out whatever fluids they could get at and let it sink out of sight. Wonder how far underground it has made it by now? Talking of things under the ground, we were still on our way towards Deadman’s Lane. Following east now, which meant a few miles on the A684 (another welcome-to-themotorway experience), we headed into the elegant village of West Burton to take the aforementioned High Lane along the northern flank

of West Witton Moor. This starts with a climb that’s moderately steep but very long, and the whole way we were plodding along behind a guy on a pushbike. At the top, he jumped off, turned and waved an apology and we ended up having a chat about how this is his favourite place in the world. He was able to name every peak on the horizon, and every species of tree all around us. Feeling very humble, we carried on east before picking up the road again at Witton Steeps and heading south. There’s another closed lane off to one side, and to the east is one of those classic we-can’t-runa-country trails that go from one place to another but stop being a right of way when you get to a county border, but now we were on a mission. Through Melmerby, through

Carlton, through Horsehouse, then finally the turning in Arkleside and there it was, heading steeply off up the moorside, Deadman’s Hill. Admittedly, the aura of mystique was punctured early on by meeting a young couple coming the other way in a Toyota Yaris. They can’t have gone very far in, though, because before long the trail become rougher and more extreme, chasing us back into low range as we picked our way along the ridge with Dead Man’s Hill itself looming above us to the left. Then you crest the hill and as you start descending, the landscape ahead of you is very different to how it would have looked in the days when Jenny and Tib were up to their murderous deeds. In 1890, Bradford Corporation was granted permission by parliament to build a series of

reservoirs in the Nidd Valley, with work starting on the first of these, Hayden Carr, in 1894. Ten years later, Angram Reservoir was put into construction just upstream of Hayden Carr. A village was built to house the workforce, quarries were dug in the surrounding hillsides and an entire railway line was established to carry materials. This operated from 1907 to 1937, by which time a third reservoir, Scar House, had also been created. This was started in 1921 and completed in 1936, after which the railway was dismantled, the villages (once home to 1250 people) were abandoned and the landscape was left looking much as it is today. So why, then, are there only two reservoirs to be seen? Because even as Angram was nearing completion, Bradford Corporation realised that it and Hayden Carr between them wouldn’t hold enough water to satisfy the city’s needs. So Scar House Dam was built downstream of Hayden Carr – and as the water level following its completion,

The initial climb up Deadman’s Hill (above) is steepish but perfectly smooth on a very well made track. Shortly after this picture was taken, we met a couple coming the other way in a Toyota Yaris. The surface gets rougher and rockier as you descend (left); here, a hundred years ago the landscape was in the process of being transformed by the creation of two reservoirs – Angram to the right as seen here, and then Scar House, which was completed in 1936

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Right: Just after the trail has swung left to run alongside Scar House Reservoir, at around this point you’ll see a couple of trees to your left. Hidden behind these are the remains of Lodge, the hamlet where the Dead Man’s Hill murders took place Below: Having crossed Scar House Reservoir, the climb up on to Moor Lane is one of the most dramatic you’ll find anywhere. Once again, the view is behind you, but mainly you’ll be concentrating too hard to care. In the inset picture are Jenny Twigg and her Daughter Tib, a pair of weathered rock stacks. Or are they…? the first dam in the valley was submerged beneath it. Bit of a pricey lesson in the art of planning ahead, that one. What’s left of Angram village is still visible now, as are the scars left by the quarries and railway. Making our way down towards the flank of Scar House, though, just after the trail had swung left to run alongside it, we cast our eyes left. Screened from the trail by a couple of trees, a cluster of low walls is what remains now of Lodge – where the Dead Man’s Hill murders took place. It’s a little reminder of how ancient some of these roads are.

4x4 8pp Deadmans.indd 63

The one we were on would have forded the Nidd around the point where Scar House Dam now stands; instead, the right of way runs along the top of the dam before swinging right along an access road then almost immediately striking out sharply left for what is, undoubtedly, the big finish. Deadman’s Hill might have the headline name but In Moor Lane is an absolute eye-opener, It starts with a breathtaking climb up a steep escarpment that takes you round switchbacks and between jagged outcrops, until finally you’re looking back over your shoulder at a tiny

landscape below you and feeling very much on top of the world. You could argue that this trail is at its best when taken in the other direction, so you can see the view in front of you. Whether you’d be looking at it, though, or just staring pop-eyed at the track ahead of your bonnet, is another matter. Either way, it’s an absolute treat and the perfect climax to a day on the lanes. The trail ends up in Middlesmoor, a little village that has something of a frontier feeling to it by dint of being accessed via what is, to most people, a lengthy dead-end. But we had one more port of call after this. Turn left in Lofthouse, we followed the road as it wound steeply up

Trapping Hill before turning right on one last unsurfaced trail – one which turned into a triangle of three lanes on the bleak moorland of High Ash Head. And there they were. Standing silently alongside each other, two towering rock stacks eroded by aeons of wind and rain… Jenny Twigg and her Daughter Tib. We kept a close eye as we drove past, but they didn’t move. Perhaps one day the spell will be broken and the witches of Lodge will return to terrorise travellers in the these wild moors… but for now, you can still visit this part of Yorkshire and your greatest fear will be not wanting to go back home.

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Exploring the SPTA on the Army’s vast network of Permissive Byways USING OUR ROADBOOKS Our roadbooks guide you through the countryside on a mixture of surfaced and unsurfaced roads. The tracks we use are public rights of way, either Byways Open to All Traffic or Unclassified County Roads, all commonly referred to as green lanes.


We’ve deliberately made it as easy as possible to follow the route, using a mixture of instructions, tulip diagrams and grid references. We normally only include junctions at which you have to make a turning or don’t have right of way, so stay on the main road or continue straight ahead unless we tell you otherwise. You’ll find a guide to using grid references on the legend of any OS map. Our aim is for you to be able to do the route without maps, whether paper or online, but you should certainly take a set with you.


The notes on thee pages advise you of how suitable the route is for your vehicle. These are just guidelines, however. We’ll warn you of any hazards or difficult sections, but the nature of any green lane can change quickly. Wet weather can make a huge difference to the conditions underfoot, and what’s wide open in winter can be tightly enclosed and scratchy in summer. The responsibility is yours! Our roadbooks are designed to be safe to drive in a solo vehicle. We do recommend travelling in tandem wherever possible, however. The risk of getting stuck can be greater than it appears – and even the most capable of vehicles can break down miles from anywhere.


Irresponsible driving is a big issue on green lanes. In particular, you must always stay on the right of way. Never drive off it to ‘play’ on the verges or surrounding land, even if you can see that someone else has; doing so is illegal and can be tremendously damaging. This kind of illegal off-roading is a key reason why green lanes get closed. If you see others doing this, they are NOT your friends. They’re criminals, and you are their victim. If it’s safe to do so, film them in the act and pass it to the police.

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Elsewhere, let common sense and courtesy prevail. Keep your speed down, be ready to pull over for others and show the world that we are decent people just like them.


Anti-4x4 bigotry does exist, but it’s less common than you’d think. By and large, it’s limited to organisations who just want to get the countryside all to themselves. These organisations are beyond being reasoned with, but it’s rare to encounter real hostility even from their rank-and-file members. If you’re friendly towards the people with whom you share the countryside, the vast majority will respond in kind. There are always bad apples, but no more so than anywhere else. Likewise, most local residents will accept your presence if you’re driving sensibly. What suspicion you do encounter is likely to be from farmers worried that you’re there to steal from them, so be ready to offer a word of reassurance. Once satisfied that you’re not after their quad bikes, their mood will lighten.


• Keep your speed right down • Pull over to let walkers, bikers and horse riders pass

• Leave gates as you found them • Scrupulously obey all closure and voluntary restraint notices

• Ensure you have a right to be

there. We research the routes on our roadbooks very carefully, but the status of any route can change without notice Be prepared to turn back if the route is blocked, even illegally If you find an illegal obstruction, notify the local authority Stick absolutely scrupulously to the right of way Always remember that you are an ambassador for all 4x4 drivers

• • • •


• Go in large convoys: instead, split into smaller groups

• Drop litter. Why not carry a bin bag pick up other people’s instead?

• Go back to drive the fun bits, such as mud or fords, again

• Cause a noise nuisance, particularly after dark

• Get riled up if someone challenges you. Be firm but polite, stay calm and don’t let them turn it into a fight

4x4 22/11/2022 13:38

ROADBOOK The MOD has created a network of Permissive Byways on Salisbury Plain, which you can drive on as if they were rights of way, and a number of them feature in this roadbook. Permission can be suspended, of course, and it’s a quid pro quo for good behaviour, so don’t let the wide open spaces and apparent isolation go to your head. In particular, you must obey any red flags/lamps and heed warning signs you see. Note also that the route includes trails with voluntary restraint on winter use – this is one to keep until the ground is dry again

4x4 12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 65

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is it suitable?




Chitterne (ST 990 438) Upavon (SU 135 550) 37.9 miles / 5-6 hours Rolling downland Surface water, potentially very deep; mud pits when very wet; slippery ground; other users (including the Army); isolation; fast moving road traffic Landranger 173 (Swindon and Devizes) Landranger 184 (Salisbury and The Plain)



0.0 Step


ST 990 438

Start on the B390 in Chitterne, outside the King’s Head (which may not be the King’s Head for much longer; it’s more or less opposite the junction with Codford Road). Zero your trip with the pub to your left and set off heading east into the village to start the route

SU 005 430



Okay for all when dry. Low-profile sizes may be prone to damage Avoid when ground is waterlogged. Navigation impossible in fog Not necessary Suitable for most, with care Modest risk in one short section Driving and navigational discipine required, plus ground-reading skills The mud is like grinding paste…



3.35 Step


Don’t turn too early – this is a proper track on the left, after you start descending. Ignore the grassy strip you’ll see shortly after you’ve passed Castle Barn Reservoir on the right


Step 1: The King’s Head is currently closed, perhaps never to reopen. It’s a good landmark to start from for now, though

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4x4 22/11/2022 13:38

Step 3: The left turn is amid an approximate crossroads of various tracks Step


Stay on the main track

4.25 Step


The track splits into several routes through the dip, which tends to be flooded. All lead into the track ahead, which you’ll see heading off at about 2 o’clock

4.7 Step



Another sea of tracks as you go over the cross-roads and start to climb

Caution – this is a fast, busy road. It’s dead straight, too, so watch out for overtaking traffic doing completely insane speeds on the wrong side of the road

Step 8: This isn’t the Police being killjoys. Salisbury Plain may feel like a place with no limits, but they matter here perhaps more than anywhere else

12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 67


10 6.15





4.8 Step



11 6.4

Step 10: The track seen ahead is on the Permissive list, but it wasn’t signed that way – which means give it a swerve WINTER 2023 | 67

22/11/2022 13:38

Step 12: Which way are we supposed to go here? Just check out that signpost to the left of the picture…

Step 13: As you turn left, the buildings you can see in the distance are the Army’s famous ‘German village’





12 Step


15 Across the track in the distance as you approach the junction is the famous ‘German village,’ where generations of troops have been trained in urban combat










68 | WINTER 2023

12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 68


Look out for the Permissive Byway sign

Up and over the Cat A track

See the Permissive Byway sign on the left as you fork left

4x4 22/11/2022 13:38



This is a Cat A track – again, you’ll see a Permissive Byway sign

8.1 Step



22 10.4

This one’s an actual Byway













20 21

4x4 12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 69


SU 053 448

The turning is opposite the road for Orcheston

24 25

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22/11/2022 13:38


32 2.55



33 Step 26: These flooded valley bottoms are the reason why parts of this route are not to be used during the winter months Step

26 3.4 Step


There’s a sea of tracks through the valley bottom. It’s very prone to flooding and some of the water troughs get fearsomely deep. To prevent damage to the ground, you should avoid using this track during the winter months, or when the ground is very wet


Another valley bottom – the same comments apply as for the previous step


3.8 Step



34 35

Despite what the diagram may appear to suggest, the track you’re following is probably the main one here









37 This is immediately after Step 29. Take care as you emerge – this is a fast, busy road and as before it’s dead straight, so watch for traffic doing warp speed and/or travelling on the wrong side of the road


12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 70



SU 067 467

The track is semi-surfaced to start with

Follow the track which disappears into the trees

Caution as you cross the Cat A track



31 70 | WINTER 2023

Dead slow past the buildings




The turning is immediately before the 30mph signs




SU 065 448





Devizes Tilshead


4.8 4x4 22/11/2022 13:38


40 5.35 Step

41 5.95 Step










43 Step

44 7.0

4x4 12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 71

46 This is the second crossroads in short order –in each case, you’re continuing ahead over a bigger track


47 8.3

WINTER 2023 | 69

22/11/2022 13:38



Don’t turn too early – this is a proper track, with a Byway sign, opposite the Impact Area gates









49 Step

50 9.8

70 | WINTER 2023

12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 72

It gets a little enclosed near the end of the track – it’s not too scratchy, but take care (and carry a set of loppers) if you value your paintwork

52 As the main track swings left, carry on ahead on to a grassier right of way


53 10.2

4x4 22/11/2022 13:38




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FOOTER ZIP CLOSE DOOR inc.VAT CP185 £95.98 Inc. hook & loop ‡ WAS £1390.80 inc.VAT # WAS £3900.00 inc.VAT backing pad and Model size (LxWxH) exc.VAT inc.VAT wool polishing bonnet CIG81212 3.6 x 3.6 x 2.5m £289.00 £346.80 CIG81015 4.5 x 3 x 2.4m £309.00 £370.80 CIG81216 4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5m £359.00 £430.80 CIG81020 6.1 x 3 x 2.4m £389.00 £466.80 CP150 CIG81220 6.1 x 3.7 x 2.5m £429.00 £514.80 CIG81224 7.3 x 3.7 x 2.5m £539.00 £646.80 £FROM ONLY .98 DOUBLE 69 EXC.VAT CIG1432‡ DOUBLE 9.7x4.3x3.65m £1099.00 £1318.80 FOOTER £83.98 inc.VAT CIG1640# 12x4.9x4.3m £2998.00 £3597.60



exc.VAT £94.99 £116.99 £159.98 £189.98 £269.00 £479.00

PAY Monthly





Ideal for use as a garage/ workshop Extra tough triple layer cover Heavy duty powder coated steel tubing Ratchet tight tensioning


Saddle exc. Model Type Tonne Height VAT CTJ2L Long 2 378mm £44.99 CTJ3000QLB Quick Lift 3 465mm £119.98 CTJ3000C Pro Garage 3 465mm £152.99 CTJ2QLP Low Quick 2 510mm £162.99 Lift

BARNSLEY Pontefract Rd, Barnsley, S71 1EZ 01226 732297 B’HAM GREAT BARR 4 Birmingham Rd. 0121 358 7977 B’HAM HAY MILLS 1152 Coventry Rd, Hay Mills 0121 7713433 BOLTON 1 Thynne St. BL3 6BD 01204 365799 BRADFORD 105-107 Manningham Lane. BD1 3BN 01274 390962 BRIGHTON 123 Lewes Rd, BN2 3QB 01273 915999 BRISTOL 1-3 Church Rd, Lawrence Hill. BS5 9JJ 0117 935 1060 BURTON UPON TRENT 12a Lichfield St. DE14 3QZ 01283 564 708 CAMBRIDGE 181-183 Histon Road, Cambridge. CB4 3HL 01223 322675 CARDIFF 44-46 City Rd. CF24 3DN 029 2046 5424 CARLISLE 85 London Rd. CA1 2LG 01228 591666 CHELTENHAM 84 Fairview Road. GL52 2EH 01242 514 402 CHESTER 43-45 St. James Street. CH1 3EY 01244 311258 COLCHESTER 4 North Station Rd. CO1 1RE 01206 762831 COVENTRY Bishop St. CV1 1HT 024 7622 4227 CROYDON 423-427 Brighton Rd, Sth Croydon 020 8763 0640 DARLINGTON 214 Northgate. DL1 1RB 01325 380 841 DEAL (KENT) 182-186 High St. CT14 6BQ 01304 373 434 DERBY Derwent St. DE1 2ED 01332 290 931 DONCASTER Wheatley Hall Road 01302 245 999 DUNDEE 24-26 Trades Lane. DD1 3ET 01382 225 140 EDINBURGH 163-171 Piersfield Terrace 0131 659 5919

Max. Output kW 10.3 15 24.9 36.6 49.8 131

DEVIL 7003

Fast snap connector attachments for quick & easy assembly Hydraulic pump, ram & hose with various tubes, pieces & connectors Includes metal case

*CTJ3000QLB JACKS has a 3 tonne capacity, ideal for quick lifting CTJ3000QLB of vehicles. JACKS ALSO IN STOCK UP TO 5 TONNE



£ DOUBLE .98



model CDP5EB CDP102B CDP152B CDP202B CDP352F CDP452B CDP502F V

Model JS1850 JS1950 JET7500 JET8500 JET9500B





.98 129EXC.VAT



£ DOUBLE .99


Superb range ideal for hobby & semi-professional use

£155.98 inc.VAT







Makes easy work for washing vehicles, patios, stonework, etc. JET7500, JET8500 & JET9500B include hose reel 180 Bar DOUBLE 69 EXC.VAT FOOTER £83.98 inc.VAT


.00 inc.VAT £279EXC.VAT Model £173.99 £334.80 inc.VAT Little Devil II £214.80 Pressure Engine Devil 700 £286.80 BAR/Psi HP exc.VAT inc.VAT Devil 900 £334.80 Model £279.00 £334.80 Devil 1600 3 £598.80 Tiger1800B 110/1595 £399.00 £478.80 Devil 2100 Tiger2600B 180/2610 4 Tiger3000B 200/2900 6.5 £419.00 £502.80 Devil 4000 PLS195B 180/2640 5.5 £529.00 £634.80 £699.00 £838.80 PLS220 230/3335 9 PLS265B 225/3263 13 £799.00 £958.80 PLS360 248/3600 13 £998.00 £1197.60

£ DOUBLE .99

Max Weight Output KG exc.VAT £219.00 800W 9.3 £249.00 1700W 22 1100W 12.4 £279.00 1800W 19.4 £399.00 2200W 26.6 £429.00

Motor (W) Speeds 350 / 5 350 / 5 450 / 12 450 / 16 550 / 16 550 / 16 1100 / 12

exc.VAT £144.99 £179.00 £239.00 £279.00 £499.00


Offering low cost, efficient heating


Provides essential home, garage and roadside assistance Integral work light 910 /JS1100C include air compressor Long life battery

.00 219EXC.VAT £262.80 inc.VAT

model IG950D IG1700F IG1200D IG2000D IG2200A



Honda & Diesel engine models in stock



*no gas only


£ DOUBLE .98

KVA 2.2 3 3 5.5


Model Min/Max Amps MIG102NG* 35/90 MIG106 40/100 MIG145 35/135 MIG196 40/180 MIG240 50/240



Model PG2500A PG3800A PG3800ADV PG6500ADVES






Professional type torch with on/off control Thermal overload protection Turbo fan cooled Easy conversion to gas with optional accessories MIG102NG


IN-STORE PHONE 0844 880 1265 ONLINE www.machinemart.co.uk

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NORWICH 282a Heigham St. NR2 4LZ 01603 766402 NORTHAMPTON Beckett Retail Park, St James’ Mill Rd 01604 267840 NOTTINGHAM 211 Lower Parliament St. 0115 956 1811 PETERBOROUGH 417 Lincoln Rd. Millfield 01733 311770 PLYMOUTH 58-64 Embankment Rd. PL4 9HY 01752 254050 POOLE 137-139 Bournemouth Rd. Parkstone 01202 717913 PORTSMOUTH 277-283 Copnor Rd. Copnor 023 9265 4777 PRESTON 53 Blackpool Rd. PR2 6BU 01772 703263 SHEFFIELD 453 London Rd. Heeley. S2 4HJ 0114 258 0831 SIDCUP 13 Blackfen Parade, Blackfen Rd 0208 3042069 SOUTHAMPTON 516-518 Portswood Rd. 023 8055 7788 SOUTHEND 1139-1141 London Rd. Leigh on Sea 01702 483 742 STOKE-ON-TRENT 382-396 Waterloo Rd. Hanley 01782 287321 SUNDERLAND 13-15 Ryhope Rd. Grangetown 0191 510 8773 SWANSEA 7 Samlet Rd. Llansamlet. SA7 9AG 01792 792969 SWINDON 21 Victoria Rd. SN1 3AW 01793 491717 TWICKENHAM 83-85 Heath Rd.TW1 4AW 020 8892 9117 WARRINGTON Unit 3, Hawley’s Trade Pk. 01925 630 937 WIGAN 2 Harrison Street, WN5 9AU 01942 323 785 WOLVERHAMPTON Parkfield Rd. Bilston 01902 494186 WORCESTER 48a Upper Tything. WR1 1JZ 01905 723451

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Calls to the catalogue request number above (0844 880 1265) cost 7p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge. For security reasons, calls may be monitored. All prices correct at time of going to press. We reserve the right to change products and prices at any time. All offers subject to availability, E&OE. Terms & conditions apply see machinemart.co.uk/finance for more details

32854 (69) 4x4 (full).indd 1


14/10/2022 10:43




Cynghordy Llandovery Carmarthenshire, SA20 0NB Tel: 01550 750274 e-mail: info@cambrianway.com

www.cambrianway.com Green Lane Holidays in Mid Wales Family run guest house and self catering cottages with spectacular views, en-suite bedrooms, comfortable lounge bar and excellent home cooked food. Pressure washer, drying room, map room with local lanes marked, on-site 4x4 course, guides and GPS hire available.

A very popular venue for both individuals and groups of 4x4 enthusiasts

Pedders Brake Booster for Toyota Landcruiser 80 Series (FZJ80, HDJ80, HZJ80) 1990 - 12/1997 (suits 2 bolt master cylinder) Part number: PBB04

FEATURES & BENEFITS: Increasing braking performance by up to 30% Ideal for load carrying and towing vehicles Reduced pedal effort and improved stopping power Designed and engineered in Australia Direct bolt on replacement



£518.05 inclusive of VAT & delivery (UK mainland)

01296 711044

Special Offers for The Landy Readers 2022 Prices held until February 2023 10% discount off accommodation between 25th November 2022 and 28th February 2023 by quoting TL10 when making booking direct by phone (excluding Christmas & New Year & subject to availability)

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MIDLANDS AND off - road adventures EAST OF ENGLAND

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• Open 7 days a week • Sites available all over UK • Expert tuition – all standards • Winching and recovery • Full day or residential courses • Corporate entertainment – team building

• Stag & Hen Parties • Full facilities – group or individual • Adventure trips – U.K. and overseas • Land Rover 110 Defenders and Discoveries and Ford Rangers • Gift vouchers avaliable


• Open 7 days a week • Stag & Hen Parties MIDLANDS Sites available over UK • Full facilities – group or Country’s Premier 4x4• and ATV allTraining • Expert tuition – all individual AND Centre, Corporate Entertainment & Team standards • Adventure trips – U.K. and overseas ntures EAST OF ENGLAND • Winching and recovery Building Activity• Specialists Full day or residential • Land Rover 110 Defenders courses TEL:/FAX: 01536 772238 • Corporate 4x4 and ATV Training• Stag • Open 7 days a week & Henentertainment Parties –

and Discoveries and Ford Rangers • Gift vouchers avaliable

ier info@protrax.co.uk www.protrax.co.uk team building – group or • Sites available all over UK • Full facilities te Entertainment • Expert tuition – all& Team individual TEL:/FAX: 772238 • Adventure trips – U.K.01536 and Activitystandards Specialists Wood Cottage, 24 Old North Road, Water Newton, Camb’s PE8 6LU

74 | WINTER 2023

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overseas 4x4 info@protrax.co.uk www.protrax.co.uk • Land WoodRover Cottage,110 24 OldDefenders North Road, Water Newton, Camb’s PE8 6LU

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54 Step


57 58 3.6





4x4 12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 75

Don’t turn too early. There’s a crossroads of MOD tracks just before the junction which you need to pass by first





SU 015 520


Cross the military road


WINTER 2023 | 75

22/11/2022 13:38











61 Step

62 6.55

76 | WINTER 2023

12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 76

64 Turn left through the Impact Area gates – which should be open if you’ve made it this far without seeing red flags all over the place

The right of way leaves the line of the Cat A track and becomes a set of tyre marks through the grass. Look for the byway sign off at about 45° – there’s also a bridleway sign at the same point


65 11.25

4x4 22/11/2022 13:39





66 Step



12.25 Step




SU 114 558

There’s no sign, and this is a fast, busy road. The turning is exactly opposite the Charlton Tea Room, so keep it slow and indicate as soon as you see that


74 3.05











4x4 12pp Roadbook Winter 23.indd 77

Swing right to meet the Cat A track then follow it left round the back of the vedette hut


70 71

Continue ahead on the grassy track




The track drops into a sharp dip and back up the other side – both sides are steep enough to demand respect

76 This is a faint grassy track – look out for the byway sign, which is hidden behind an MOD warning sign as you approach. There are several sets of ruts here, some of them hidden by the long grass, and the ones right by the sign are the most severe


77 4.85

Turn left then immediately right for Upavon

Shortly after the road splits next to the Antelope Inn, turn left at the T-junction and arrive in the centre of Upavon for the end of the route. Two fine pubs and an equally fine village shop await, but don’t overwhelm the available parking spots if you’re in a big convoy

WINTER 2023 | 75

22/11/2022 13:39

The definitive publication for all enthusiasts of classic Land Rovers

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Pages of spares and accessories for every classic Landy

Look after a Land Rover, and it will last forever. This longevity, which is almost unique in the car industry, means a vast number of classic Land Rovers are still on the road today – and not just as classics, but as historical vehicles still working for their living to this day. Land Rover: The Great British Classic celebrates this magnificent heritage by focusing on the best of Land Rover from its early days. A high-quality publication from the makers of 4x4 magazine and The Landy newspaper, it covers a broad spectrum of historical vehi-


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war years, but also the first generations of Range Rovers, Discoverys and Freelanders, as well as the 90s and 110s that were later to become the legendary Defender. Covering the vehicles’ history, spotlighting case studies of restored and otherwise much-loved examples and searching out stories of adventure behind the wheel, Land Rover: The Great British Classicc is a publication for everyone who admires Land Rovers from the early days.

Published on 29 April, priced £9.99 • Available from WHSmiths and other large newsagents Or buy direct from www.4x4magazineshop.co.uk – with no P&P! Classifieds.indd 78

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4x4 Classifieds.indd 79

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4xx4 4

A 1970s’ Ford pick-up becomes a modern take on a classic farm truck On the way: Jeep’s concept version of the new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 40 years on, we look back at the day the Defender 110 arrived – and tell you how to buy one PLUS Land Cruiser built for the Safari Rally


With so many outstanding new vehicles lining up to try and take its crown, can the Land Rover Defender hold on to claim an unprecedented hat-trick?

ON SALE: 30 December Step 40: Tur n left off the main track, embankment dropping dow then plungi n the ng straight into a water trough (right) rock Step n – there are sharp

71 34




13.3.1 12

Cautio the iate as you climb steps to negot hillside



Caution over a steps as you short set of rocky drop down the hill

ROADBOOK: A sensational 15.0 route in the hills of North Northumberland a Abbey Strata Florid


track to the left Take the rocky track the main Cat A








Look out for you cross the the waymarker as ford







Join the Cat A



17 18

It’s a steep, sharp climb up over a bigg er track – you and can’t see ahead over your bonnet to start with






followed by a long

There’s a coup le of huge wate troughs afte r r the junction

1312 .1 .6



More rock steps, water trough

Ste p Step


You may find yourself drivi a river bed ng along for a while…

13.65 Step

45 Fill in your name14 and .7 address and give this form to your newsagent track Drop off the main the gate and immediately before trough water into yet another

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Step Step 37: You migh -off to the right Please order 4x4 Magazine and reserve/deliver meis muc a copy every month warned, the drop twisters – but be


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14.9 4x4 JA NUARY

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The UK’s largest range of Land Rover chassis Richards Chassis have been manufacturing and supplying high quality replacement Land Rover chassis in the UK since 1984. See our website for the entire range, or give us a call to discuss your requirements.

Series I • Series II & IIa • Series III • Defender • Discovery 2


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Unit F2, Swinton Bridge Industrial Estate, Whitelee Road, Swinton, Mexborough, S64 8BH 2022 Yearbook Footers 74

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VISIT ISUZU.CO.UK FOR MORE INFORMATION All fuel consumption and emission values are based on the new WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) test cycle which uses real-world driving data. Official fuel economy for the standard Isuzu D-Max range in MPG (l/100km): Low 25.1–27.6 (10.2–11.2). Mid 31.4–36.4 (7.8–9.0). High 36.0–39.4 (7.2–7.8). Extra-High 29.0–30.8 (9.2–9.7). Combined 30.7–33.6 (8.4–9.2). CO2 emissions 220–241 g/km. Features and specification my vary in appearance and/or availability. Visit Isuzu.co.uk or contact your local Isuzu dealership for more information.

ISU04507-028 4x4 Winter Ad_2.indd 1

22/11/2022 11:29

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Mental Chevy A modifi ed pick-up but not the kind you’re expecting

pages 52-57

Unbreakable Hilux A Land Rover man’s answer to his customers’ woes

pages 48-51

Toyota Hilux Reigning champion is still as good as ever

pages 42-43

Subscribe Get your year’s 4x4s, plus a Ring LED inspection lamp, for just £22

pages 46-47

SsangYong Musso Revised engine and now better value than ever

pages 40-41

Isuzu D-Max Range updates for what’s still the newest truck on the market

pages 38-39

Ford Ranger Last knockings before the all-new model arrives

pages 36-37

Restifi ed 107 A classic Land Rover rebuilt to be a modern work truck

pages 30-35

Lanoguard Spray-on defence against a winter of grime and road salt

page 25

Odyssey Challenge Penultimate event of an action-packed year’s winching

pages 18-21

Tembo Major initiative to electrify Kenya’s ageing Land Cruisers

page 15

Lunaz Range Rover EV converter announces huge expansion

pages 16-17

Truckman ARB Base Rack now in stock

page 24

Hummer 1000bhp electric pickup comes to Britain priced at £320,000

pages 12-13

Alan Kidd Forget groundhog day, this has turned into groundhog yeart

pages 8-9

Kia Off-road themes for new models

page 14
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