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FREE EVERY MONTH FROM YOUR LAND ROVER SPECIALIST ‘fellow landy owners can identify me by the smell of ep90’ An end-of-the-line Series III rescued from a world of bad-taste mods and returned to the way it should be

LANDY

SEPTEMBER 2014

THE

ISSUE 7

EVERY MONTH • 100% LAND ROVER • 100% FREE!

THE TASTIEST 11O OF ALL TIME!

Have hybrids had their day? It’s a question that can set off all kinds of grumbling if you ask it in the wrong company. But aside from the horrors of the SVA test, DIY Landies can still make sense. Less so these days if what you really want is a 90 – but for a truly unique Land Rover, the workshop is still the place to go. Full story: Page 24

What’s the best accessory you can fit on a Defender? There’s a lot of choice out there. But Graham Faragher’s Td5 110 takes some beating. In the back of Graham’s truck, you’ll find a wood-burning pizza oven, no less. He recently jacked in his city job to follow his dream and set up in business making traditional pizzas – and his 110 means he can do it anywhere!

The 4.2 V8 Vogue LSE was Land Rover’s big finish as the Mark 1 Range Rover reached its end. Like every Classic, this 108” beauty is prone to the ravages of rust. But as Gumtree 4x4 has just proved, restoring them is worth all the effort you put in to it. Full story: Page 18

Full story: Page 22

HOME FROM HOME

Meet the Sherazee – the new way of turning a 130 into an expedition-ready motorhome

Staffs and Shrops LRC celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, with a weekend of CCV trialling at Hawkstone Park. And there were plenty of trophies for the next generation of Landy fans, too! Full story: Page 36


To advertise in The Landy, call Ian Argent on 01283 553242 w w w. t h e l a n d y. c o . u k We’re on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelandyuk

Issue 7: Sept 2014

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feds seize us landies

Panic greets nationwide operation to weed out Defenders imported under false identities Mike Trott amd Alan Kidd Imagine yourself living in North Carolina, in the grand old land of the USA. You arise from your deep slumber one Tuesday morning, glide down to your kitchen, serve yourself some Tropicana (no pulp) and begin to feast on your favourite breakfast cereal. All is well in your world because you know that just a few metres away, your Land Rover sits majestically on the driveway (maybe out in the yard, seeing as this is America), ready for the day ahead. But wait, there’s a knock at the door… A bit early for visitors surely? Oh, it’s the Feds! And the Yankee fuzz have got some very mean looking water pistols with them – apart from the fact they’re not loaded with H2O. Sounds far-fetched, but this is what happened to a number of Americans one Tuesday morning last month. In a major operation set out by the Department for Homeland Security, around 40 vehicles were seized by armed police and federal inspectors who had warrants to inspect Landies across the state of North Carolina. The vehicles were seized on the grounds that they had been imported illegally. Authorities believe that many don’t meet the necessary federal safety and emission standards. Worse, from a British point of view, is the suggestion that the market for Land Rovers such as these has been fuelling demand for stolen Defenders in the UK. Much of the commotion hit a forum called Defender Source on the morning of 15 July, as owners tried to figure out why the authorities had taken away their vehicles. One member, Hitch, who two years ago bought what he believed to be a 1986 110 which had arrived in the US a year previously, had the vehicle seized by Homeland Security, state police and the local sheriff. ‘When I purchased my vehicle, I went to North Carolina from Florida to look at and drive it. I compared the VIN on the bill of sale to the frame VIN and the VIN plate near the master cylinder. I in no way thought I was gambling in purchasing a vehicle that was licensed in North Carolina and had been in the States for a year prior to me purchasing it. ‘The state police detective showed me where the engine block VIN had been filed and re-stamped.

‘On the Department of Treasury process receipt, it lists Land Rover vehicles and the defendant. There are 61 VINs listed on the warrant. I was told I have 35 days to file a claim and was not given a form or anything to file. I spoke to the attorney listed on the complaint and he told me the case is still an open investigation and could not talk to me about it for another 24-48 hours.’ Hitch later said the agent had told him that 161 vehicles were under investigation from coast to coast. Another forum member, TeriAnn Wakeman, whose vehicle isn’t part of the investigation, has been monitoring the goings-on in the American Land Rover community: ‘There was a considerable amount of distress amongst the US Defender owner community. Mostly panic, people figuratively throwing their hands up, running around in circles, some bumping into others and most yelling

about the end of the world and that the sky was falling. ‘I didn’t have my Land Rover seized – but I’ve owned it for 37 years.’ The seizures come as US authorities continue to crack down on imports of Land Rovers with falsified identifies. Earlier this year, videos showing vehicles being crushed for no greater a crime than having unacceptable paperwork went viral on social media, provoking outrage at what many perceived to be bully-boy tactics. However many Land Rover owners in the UK have shown little sympathy for victims of the crackdown, citing the US market for dishonest vehicles as a prime source of trade in parts taken from stolen Defenders. We spoke to a former 90 owner in the Midlands whose Land Rover was stolen last year: ‘At least they get compensation if they’ve been tricked into buying a ringer,’ he said. ‘When I lost my 90, I got an insurance cheque for its “market

value”, which was a quarter of what I’d spent building it – not to mention six months of hard labour on my driveway.’ And UK owners say they want to see the authorities here pursuing illegal exporters with the same zeal their US counterparts have shown in going after the vehicles. ‘Everybody knows who’s doing it,’ an independent Land Rover specialist in the north of England told us. ‘People talk about it all the time, everybody knows who won’t touch stolen ones and who will. I don’t know why the police are letting them get away with it.’ We spoke to the proprietor of a major UK parts outlet who instantly named a Land Rover trader he claimed was ‘famous’ for exporting illegal vehicles to the US. ‘We’re friends, actually. But only because I would never do business with him! People joke about him forging invoices for Land Rovers he bought for cash, and sending them to America with hooky

parts. “Oh yeah, up to his tricks again, ha ha ha.” I don’t suppose it’s very funny if you’re the guy who had his truck stolen, though.’ Local police initiatives designed to combat Land Rover thefts have had varying levels of success around the UK, but the trade in stolen parts remains rife. ‘We regularly get people turning up and offering us 90s with no logbook for £500 cash,’ said the specialist we spoke to in the north. We turn them away, but we know someone else will take it before the day’s out.’ All are agreed that the UK has a long way to go before the trade in stolen Land Rovers is brought under control. It may be that the US crackdown will close off one market for dishonest vehicles: owners in Britain are adamant that the authorities on this side of the Atlantic must show the same resolve to defeat the criminal truck builders whose lack of morals has caused so many to lose their Land Rovers.


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‘Business as usual’ after classic Landies destroyed by Huddersfield inferno

Series III Lightweight was one of six classic Land Rovers damaged by the fire. Burning fibreglass resin from the car port roof is believed to have fallen on to the vehicles – the intensity of the heat was enough to annihilate their interiors and even melt glass in their windows

A fire at The Land Rover Centre in Huddersfield has engulfed thousands of pounds’ worth of classic Landies. Fire services were called to the inferno in the early hours, just before 5am on 21 July, where a wooden car port was in flames and significant damage had already been done to some of the vehicles. A clear corrugated canopy above the vehicles has been indicated as the source of the fire. The roof was fibreglass in construction and the resin which dropped down from the roof is believed to have ignited the Land Rovers underneath. Sales Manager Mark Griffiths arrived at the scene as the last of the flames

were being extinguished. ‘The scene was horrendous and quite a shock,’ he said. ‘The police know where the fire started, but they don’t know exactly what caused it. I don’t think it’s an arson attack because why would you set fire to the canopy in order to damage the cars? ‘It might have been a Chinese lantern, perhaps – something that would have put a concentrated flame on one spot. It wasn’t like someone had poured petrol down.’ The business is one of the UK’s leading Land Rovers restorers and six vehicles were damaged in total. They included two Series IIs, three Series IIIs and a Series III Lightweight.

‘They were all stunning vehicles and it’s a shame after all the hard work the guys in the workshop have put into them. The damage is estimated to have cost us about £80,000. We might be able to salvage some stuff. There is a galvanised chassis and a decent Series III bulkhead, but four of the vehicles are totally destroyed.’ The damage was done from the top downwards, the roofs of the Land Rovers being first to go. Further from the centre of the port, the extent of the damage gets slightly less, but interiors have been completely burnt out and only the fronts of the machines look vaguely similar to the vehicles they once were.

But Mark insists that even in the immediate aftermath of the inferno, it was still very much business as usual for Huddersfield Land Rover Centre. ‘Yes it’s a bump in the road, but it won’t stop us from operating. We were all in at half eight on the Monday morning as business carried on as usual. There was a one-vehicle gap between the parked Land Rovers and our main building, which would definitely have gone up if we’d have had one there, so we’ve been very lucky from that point of view. ‘A lot of us have been here a long time. We are like a family company, so there is a sombre mood and a sense of shock. Luckily we are a strong business, so we will survive. Had it happened to a small company, it could have finished them, but we are fortunate to be able to carry on.’


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New pictures from Solihull show final pre-production testing of 2015 Discovery Sport

Pictures have been released showing the latest developments as the forthcoming Discovery Sport goes into its last stages of pre-production testing. The baby Disco, set for launch in 2015, is reaching the final part of its development programme. And Land Rover’s new images give a clearer indication of what will finally be on our roads as of next year. The prototype in the pictures is wrapped in a stylised version of the camouflage pattern much loved by car manufacturers when they take future vehicles out on the road. It disguises – lightly – the finished shape of what will be the first model in the new Discovery family. In keeping with what’s come to be expected of its Discovery bloodline, the Sport (which replaces the Freelander in Solihull’s new-look model family) will feature a third row of seats. The Freelander has never offered that option – so this is seen as a manifesto promising to focus on the sort of practicality for which the current Disco has become famous. ‘As you would expect from a Discovery, the versatile Discovery Sport will feature 5+2 seating in the UK, offering spacious load space and configurable seating, while still retaining a more compact footprint than traditional five-seat SUVs,’ said Gerry McGovern, Design Director and Chief Creative Officer for Land Rover. The Discovery Sport will be the first member of the new Disco family, It’s set to be followed in 2016 by the launch of the new Discovery 5 – about which rumours are circulating that Land Rover intends to take it back to its workhorse roots.

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Rangeys get posher still

More power, kit and high-tech gadgets as Range Rover moves upmarket yet again

The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are about to be upgraded. Already at the pinnacle of refinement, luxury and all-round abilities, Solihull’s super-premium SUVs will gain yet more performance for the 2015 model year – as well as providing buyers with more personalisation options than ever. Power output from the 4.4-litre SDV8 is now up to 334bhp, while torque is hiked up to 546lbf.ft, a rise of 30lbf.ft. This means more assertive in-gear acceleration, allowing for better towing capabilities as well as less arduous overtaking.

Despite the increase in engine output, the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission has been revised to help keep emissions the same as before (32.5mpg combined and 229g/km of CO2). This is achieved through a revised torque converter which now incorporates a twin-spring damper. On the outside of the vehicles, help is on hand with updated puddle lamps making sure you don’t trip over as frequently, while you can appreciate the extra light inside the cabin with new panoramic roofs available with power blinds.

There is now also a smaller wheel option on the Range Rover in the form of 19-inch alloys, finished in Satin Dark Grey. Aruba Silver and Kaikoura Stone can be added to the list of colours and the long-wheelbase model is now offered with 22-inch alloys. Back inside, an Intelligent Cargo Mode detects when the rear seats are about to touch the fronts and slides the fronts forward. This is for when you’re trying to create extra luggage space and folding the back ones down. The front seats then reposition as far back as they can without connecting with the rear.

In addition to all this, a new LWB variant of the Range Rover will be available from August. This is the Autobiography Black edition, which has an exclusive Lunar and Cirrus interior colour blend. The vehicle will also feature a unique Santorini Black and Bright Chrome exterior, LED tail lights, 21 and 22-inch alloys and new semi-aniline leather seats. It even provides mood lighting. There’s also an Executive Class package which adds yet more – like an extended centre console and popup electric leather tables. The fully adjustable seats, extra storage space, bespoke lighting and USB charging sockets provide further functionality. For the Range Rover Sport, bodycoloured roof and door sills are an option – or if you prefer, they can now come in a contrasting black.

In addition, Land Rover InControl Remote and InControl Secure will now feature as standard across the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport model ranges. The latter tracks the vehicle should it be stolen, while InControl Remote allows connection with your vehicle no matter your location. It also integrates Land Rover Assistance and SOS Emergency Call. Other new InControl technologies include InControl Apps and InControl Wi-Fi. This enables the synchronising of your smartphone apps to the vehicle, while InControl Wi-Fi finds the nearest mobile hotspot to let up to eight devices to be used simultaneously. The 2015 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are available to order now, while dealers will be accepting deposits on the LWB Autobiography Black from August.


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Hi-tech engines for new LRs Ingenium project yields high-efficiency petrol and diesel units for Disco Sport and beyond Land Rover has announced details of an advanced new range of engines it will use in future models. Engineered for low-friction operation to deliver high outputs for their size, engines in the Ingenium family will take efficiency to new levels, achieving essential improvements in fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. Engineers at Jag Land Rover’s Whitley and Gaydon development facilities designed the new engines around compact aluminium blocks, which will be used for both diesel and petrol versions. Sharing the same bore, stroke, cylinder spacing and 500cc cylinder capacity, the Ingenium blocks are light in weight and will provide a flexible base for developing smaller or larger engines in the future. JLR has invested £40 million into the Ingenium family, by expanding its Powertrain Engineering plant at Whitley Technical Centre. All diesel and petrol variants will be equipped

with innovative turbochargers which improve performance, particularly at low speeds, and help keep consumption and CO2 emissions to a minimum. With Ingenium’s design, many engine components and calibrations will be shared through both petrol and diesel engines, keeping the design simple while raising quality. ‘Customers around the world are increasingly demanding cleanerrunning, more efficient vehicles that maintain or even enhance the performance attributes expected of a rugged all-terrain vehicle. Our Ingenium engines deliver this to a new level,’ said Dr

Wolfgang Ziebart, Group Engineering Director of JLR. ‘Engineering and manufacturing our own engines improves our ability to react to changes in demand and improves our ability to react to

changes in legislation and competitive technologies in the future,’ added Dr Ziebart. ‘We believe that, with the range of technologies in which we are investing, Jaguar Land Rover can absolutely satisfy the often conflicting requirements of delivering engaging vehicles that reduce our carbon footprint in the long-term.’ Some of the aims of the new engines include enhanced low-end torque, acceleration and emissions performance. Reducing internal friction has been a key area of focus. The first Ingenium engine will be a 2.0-litre diesel (AJ200D), with reductions in weight and friction of 80kg and 17% respectively over the current equivalent making it one of the most efficient in its class. As well as their advanced turbos, all the engines in the family will feature central direct high-pressure fuel injection, variable valve timing and start-stop technology.

Ingenium engines – Six key features: • Roller bearings on cam and balancer shafts, instead of machined-in bearing surfaces • Computer-controlled variable oil pumps • Computer-controlled variable water pumps • Simplified cam drive system designed for modular application • Crankshafts offset from the centre of the block • Electronically controlled piston cooling jets which switch off when not needed JLR says the Ingenium units will be some of the most rigorously proven engines ever, with the equivalent of more than eight years of the harshest, most punishing testing the company’s engineers could dream up. These include massive amounts of integrity and durability testing, such as more than 72,000 hours on the dyno and two million miles in real-world use. ‘Ingenium fulfils our commitment to offer our global customers some of the most advanced power trains available in some of the lightest vehicles in the premium SUV segment,’ said Ron Lee, Director of Powertrain Engineering. ‘Being configurable and flexible are the two key strands of Ingenium’s DNA, because we have future-proofed our new engines from the outset. Ingenium will be able to accept new advances in fuel, turbocharging, emissions, performance and electrification technologies when they are ready and accessible to be deployed. ‘We were able to design Ingenium in this way because we had the rare opportunity to start the project with a clean sheet of paper,’ added Lee. ‘We weren’t locked into any of the usual restrictions that force engineering compromises because we had no existing production machinery that would dictate design parameters, no carryover engine architectures to utilise and no existing factory to modify.’ The 2.0-litre diesel Ingenium engine is expected to make its debut in the Discovery Sport when this vehicle goes on sale in 2015. The same engine will feature when Land Rover replaces the Defender, too, with larger units joining the line-up when the Discovery 5 is launched in 2016.


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Comment

One of the great things about old Land Rovers is how very spannerfriendly they are. Early Defenders, Mk1 Rangeys and Discos and of course anything from the leaf-sprung era makes a perfect DIY motor for people who don’t have a million quid’s worth of diagnostic black boxes in their workshop. A well regarded former British Trials Champion put it like this to me: ‘When if breaks, you can fix it with a stick and a lump of rock.’ This wonderful simplicity, and the interchangeability of parts that goes with it, was behind the hybridbuilding craze of the 80s and 90s. If you couldn’t afford a Defender, you’d mash up a Rangey and a Series III and build one for yourself. It gave Landy owners an enormous amount of freedom to build what they wanted, and many did just that. But with freedom comes responsibility – to make sure your spanner work doesn’t create a truck that’s unsafe, and to ensure the bits you’re using didn’t used to be the property of someone who woke up one morning to find an empty space where his Land Rover once stood. It’s easy to be cynical about the SVA test, which many people credit with having killed hybrid-building. It certainly does add red tape, but I’ve spoken to many people who’ll tell you that if you read the book first, there’s nothing in it to stop you turning out the truck of your dreams. And their own Landies bear witness to that. Avoiding stolen parts is far harder. Defender theft is as rife today as ever, often to supply the market for bits used to build ringers which disappear abroad. So it’s good news that the authorities in America are cracking down on Landies with dishonest identities. Clearly, it’s important that innocent people don’t have their cars taken away in the process. But when that’s what happens to supply the trade in the first place, it’s hard to feel much solidarity with a guy whose Landy is made from bits that by rights still belong on yours. Alan Kidd, Editor

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Caroline Grossett knew she was on to a pretty safe bet when she sent her partner Stuart Newton on a Land Rover Experience driving day. Little did she know, though, that by the time he was finished they’d have decided there was only one thing for it… Mike Trott One day, you’re twiddling your thumbs and wondering what to do with yourself. The next you have a Land Rover in your life and everything just feels right. This may sound far-fetched, even a little on the simplistic side, but it has certainly happened to people before. And the Land Rover bug struck again during the spring of last year when Caroline Grossett and Stuart Newton fell under the spell of an 88” Series III called Betsy. Caroline was planning Stuart’s birthday at the time. She knew that he had grown up with Land Rovers and had always had a soft spot for the green oval, so she knew a safe bet for what to give him. After a spot of celebratory clay pigeon shooting and half a day in a 110 as part of a Land Rover Experience drive, it was concluded that the couple

could no longer live without a Landy. And so began the search. ‘After this experience, Stuart did what Stuart always does and read up on anything of interest,’ says Caroline. ‘A couple of months later we were driving to Peterlee to view a 110 pick-up with a Perkins engine, but it wasn’t for us.’ Enter eBay. ‘I fancied a Land Rover and a Series seemed to fit the bill,’ explains Stuart. ‘Affordable, simple(ish) to learn to work on for someone who is not a mechanic, and they appeal to my liking for classic vehicles, too.’ Through eBay, Stuart and Caroline eventually won a very late Series III (from 1984, no less) – and their weekends have been filled ever since. ‘Basically, it has been a process of trying to restore her to looking as close to her original state as possible,’ says Stuart. ‘We have spent pretty much every weekend taking care of more routine maintenance and mechanical

bits and pieces. I feel sure fellow Land Rover owners can now identify me by my musk of EP90.’ In the last year or so, Stuart and Caroline, along with a bit of friendly help, have tweaked and twiddled with Betsy to transform her into a prideworthy Land Rover. They’ve swapped the fat 31x10.50R15s she was on, complete with vulgar spats and spacers, for 205R16s. They’ve tidied up the interior, removed the NAS 90 side steps and replaced the sides and roof, with the additional installation of a roof rack. The front end has had attention, too. Betsy came with a winch and extra spotlights, so these have gone – leaving her with a neat and uncluttered finish. Up top, though, the spare wheel has moved to the bonnet – not uncluttered, but definitely classic. ‘Jobs still to do include rewiring the front end (the rear’s been done already) and doing something about the

These days (above), Betsy looks as a well cared-for Series III should. When Stuart and Caroline found her (below), however, she was looking a lot less tidy. The fat-boy tyres, in-your-face spotlights and even more in-your-face winch mount had to go…


To advertise in The Landy, call Ian Argent on 01283 553242 w w w. t h e l a n d y. c o . u k We’re on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelandyuk horrible 30mph whine. Then the front swivels need a good looking over.’ At a guess, you could be forgiven for thinking Stuart’s love of Land Rovers might possibly have been passed down to him from his dad. ‘Throughout July,

most jobs were put on hold while we rebuilt the seat box and bulkhead of my dad’s 90,’ he says. ‘We had it ready for an appointment with the galvanised chassis doctor by the end of the month. ‘It was this vehicle that originally gave me the Roveritis. My dad sold it in 1996 when I was about four, but I always remembered it. ‘Around February this year, we were wondering if it was still on the road. I checked online and found it was still taxed. A fortnight later, by complete chance, it popped up on eBay in Manchester. We were sure it was a sign, so we bought the old girl back! Not that he’s letting himself be

Above: Whatever you think of the condition it was in when Stuart and Caroline bought it, you don’t see many Series IIIs with interiors like this. The result of plenty of hard work, it’s not standard any more but it’s definitely more practical and comfortable Below: Most recently,. work on Betsy has taken a back seat while Stuart helps his dad get his 90 ready to be fitted with a galvanised chassis

distracted, mind. ‘Betsy will be getting all of my attention again very soon!’ To make sure of that, Caroline and Stuart have joined the North East Rover Owners Club and now regularly take part in green lane trips and trials. It’s almost as if their Sundays weren’t already busy enough… The great news to come from all this is that sometime in the next year, the person you love most in your life is going to have a birthday (you’d hope). And as Caroline and Stuart (and Betsy) have demonstrated, that’s the only excuse you need to get on to eBay and start searching for your life’s next exciting new addition.

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Caroline’s no Land Rover widow – buying Betsy was a decision she and Stuart made as a couple and, though he does the spannering, she’s just as much of a Landy fan


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On Boa Vista, a remote desert island 280 miles out into the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa, they’re throwing the doors wide open to the tourist trade. Helping them is a motley assortment of 18 old and new, restored and patchedup Land Rover Defenders… Stewart Leach While visiting Boa Vista this June, we ventured out on a 4x4 adventure and discovered what Landies mean to the Atlantic island. Boa Vista is one of ten volcanic islands which make up the independent African republic of Cape Verde, situated in the Atlantic Ocean to the west of Senegal. Having been granted their independence from Portugal

in 1972, the islands have a small indigenous population bolstered by peoples from across North Africa, Portugal and further afield. A newly discovered ‘package holiday’ destination, Boa Vista has been declared the main centre for tourism, and is just a six-hour flight from London. Although it is essentially a sparse lump of rock and totally dependent on imported goods and foods, the island boasts great sandy

Above: Most of the Defenders on the island have had their roof skins replaced with canvas sheets to allow an instant open-top conversion when it gets cool enough Below: This 110 has just been refurbished. Most of the Landies working on Boa Vista have been round the clock and are on their third lease of life – that’s what 100% purchase tax does for you

beaches, a hot and dry climate and fantastic sights such as deep blue water and turtle nesting beaches. It’s also the perfect location to take the Landies for a spin. Picked up from our hotel after breakfast, we were allocated to a waiting fleet of Defender 110s, ranging from late 80s’ Tdis to an early 90s’ TD5. There was even a newer 2.4 TDCi version in the group. The Defenders were driven by local lads who know the island extremely well. We found they weren’t overloaded, each having only eight passengers on board. This enabled them to be driven on the only tarmac stretch of road on the island; over roads paved with volcanic stones, which are sardonically

referred to as ‘free massage roads’; and along miles of unmetalled tracks, desert sand and beaches. Most of the Land Rovers are on their third lease of life, having been imported to the island from Portugal via another of the Cape Verde group. You don’t just get rid and bring in a new one lightly here – a 100% import tax on ALL vehicles sees to that! Not surprisingly, many of the Landies on Boa Vista have been round the clock. But they looked to be in surprisingly good order nonetheless; for example, the Defender I had the pleasure of riding in had been through a whole chassis rebuild. Various special-to-task modifications have been made, including the replacement of

roof skins with canvas sheets to enable quick conversion – although I am assured that it is just too darned hot most of the time for these makeshift hoods to come off. True enough: we were bumping around in 29ºC! Incidentally, they do have a rainy season on Boa Vista. During the first or second week in September, it can rain continuously. So much so that, four years ago, a new road bridge which had been built over a wadi was washed away in the torrent! Best save your Landy adventures here for the drier seasons, then. As did I – and travelling aboard Solihull’s finest certainly added a pleasing new dimension to a sightseeing adventure I won’t forget in a hurry!


To advertise in The Landy, call Ian Argent on 01283 553242 w w w. t h e l a n d y. c o . u k We’re on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelandyuk

NEXT MONTH BEST EVER LIGHTWEIGHT? It’s a Landy from the past, but it was a legend in its day: was this portal-axled monster the mightiest Lightweight ever built? Exploring the trails of back-country Australia with the local Land Rover club Just finished – a Series I restoration job the Landy enthusiasts who’ve viewed it are saying is the best they’ve ever seen

Prices for early Discovery 3s are dropping lower and lower all the time. But the cost of looking after one climbs higher and higher the older they get. Buying a Disco 3 is certainly a risk: how do you make sure it’s a risk worth taking?

DON’T FORGET – THE LANDY IS FREE EVERY MONTH! Pick up your copy of our October 2014 issue from 19 Sept – available from Britpart dealers and free to read online at www.thelandy.co.uk

01283 553243 • enquiries@assignment-media.co.uk • www.thelandy.co.uk • www.facebook.com/thelandyuk Editor Alan Kidd Assistant Editor Mike Trott Admin and Editorial Assistant Gemma Pask Art Editor Samantha D’Souza Contributors Dan Fenn, Robbie Ronson, Olly Sack, Stewart Leach, Paul Looe, Vince Pratt Photographers Steve Taylor, Harry Hamm

Advertising Sales Manager Ian Argent Tel: 01283 553242 Advertising Production Tel: 01283 553242 Publisher Sarah Kidd Email: sarah.kidd@ assignment-media.co.uk Every effort is made to ensure that the contents of The Landy are accurate, however Assignment Media Ltd accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions nor

the consequences of actions made as a result of these

nearest Britpart dealer can be found at www.britpart.com

When responding to any advert in The Landy, 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 any losses incurred as a result of responding to adverts

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MM4x4 recently added these Rock and Tree Sliders to its ever-growing range of protection products for the Defender. They’re made from heavy-duty 4mm tube, the same applying to the Body Sliders you can also see in the picture. Both units are zinc-undercoated and can be powder-coated in grey or black to finish. Fit the whole set to your Defender and you’ll be able to take on tighter woodlands and more extreme breakovers without the attendant scraping noises automatically resembling the sound of money being dragged out of your wallet. Money? Ah yes, that. The Rock and Tree Sliders will cost you £174, while the Body Sliders are a fraction less at £150. In both cases, that’s including the VAT. www.mm-4x4.com If you’ve been after a bit more comfort in your Defender or want to stop those dead legs you get after a while in the cockpit, Exmoor Trim’s new Extended Seat Base should allow you to put your legs up a little more. The new seat base is considerably longer than the originals and as a result they promise much better support under the legs. They also have raised sides as standard to provide more support. The bases can be supplied in any trim, and can even be pre-installed with heater elements to fit directly to any OEM heater switch. To fit, the extended base fits straight into the existing clips on top of the seat box. Surely a welcome upgrade, whether you’re always off the tarmac or spending a bit too much time on it. Each base costs £85.00 plus VAT, for which you get it in a black vinyl finish. www.exmoortrim.co.uk If you’ve got the immense fortune, in every sense of the word, to own a 2014-on Range Rover Sport, keeping it clean and tidy is probably something you’re very interested in indeed. Thus these new products from Britpart are likely to go straight on to your shopping list, especially if you’re the sort of owner who confounds main dealers by actually using the thing for sorties beyond the clinical safety of the school run or golf club car park. The floor mats illustrated here, which are shaped for right-hand drive models, provide a stout layer of rubber between your feet and the million-pound carpets below. Quite possibly a

good thing, especially if there’s any combination of muddy boots or careless children involved. At the back, Britpart’s premium semi-rigid loadspace protector has an anti-slip finish and 2” deep sides, providing a tough catch-all tray that’ll keep your Sport’s boot clear of anything grubby you care to put in it. Marketing types with big hair will no doubt offer you visions of winter sports and immaculate teeth here, but in reality you’re more likely to be talking kids again, this time with apparatus like rugby boots (soiled) or mountain bikes (also soiled) as a non-optional extra. You didn’t buy it to coddle it, but you didn’t buy it

One of the world’s biggest names in off-road and 4x4 accessories has returned to the UK market. TJM, which was founded way back in 1973, manufactures a huge range of equipment which has recently been absent from Britain – but thanks to a new arrangement with Xtreme Sales, almost its whole range is once again available here. As well as the sort of kit that’s applicable to anything – winches and accessories, overlanding gear and so on – TJM’s range covers pretty much everything you need to prep a specific vehicle. Suspension kits, protection, snorkels, lockers, roof racks… the list goes on. Companies like TJM often get overlooked by Landy owners as there are so many other options available (often made locally and therefore cheaper to get on to the UK market), meaning they’re most often seen on Japanese trucks. Don’t be fooled, though: the Aussies are perfectly well aware of what a sorted Defender can do, and the TJM range includes all sorts of gear tailored specifically to various versions of the 90, 110 and 130. If you’re building a Defender, it’s got to be worth checking out what this very well thoughtof company can do for you. This was breaking news as we went to press, and it’ll take some time for the full range to be added to the UK importer’s website, but if you’re feeling impatient you can always have a go at the contact button and hassle them. www.xx4x4.parts

to trash it either, so this is probably the most worthwhile accessory you’ll ever buy. www.britpart.com


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The T-24 is the undisputed daddy of Lazer’s LED off-road lighting range. As its name suggests, it features a bank of 24 high-power LEDs, kicking out 20830 lumens and projecting a hybrid beam to an astonishing distance of 897 metres as well as flooding the area directly in front of you. Putting out more light than any other Lazer product, and that’s a lot of light, the T-24 has the company’s familiar thermal management system – meaning the LEDs themselves are maintained at their optimum temperature for maximum light output regardless of the temperature outside the lamp. They’re watertight to IP67 and housed in a fully aluminium body with a Gore-Tex breather membrane and what Lazer describes as a ‘virtually unbreakable’ polycarbonate lens with hardcoat. The LEDs themselves come from ‘class-leading manufacturers,’ whose claim for their lifespan allows Lazer to quote a run time of more than 50,000 hours. The unit comes with a three-year warranty and should cost in the region of £800 including VAT. www.lazerlamps.com

What do you say about a replacement bleed screw for the top hose on a Td5 engine? Well, this one from Britpart is made from anodised aluminium and you can get it in a choice of red or blue colours. Either of which will soon be hidden under a coat of mud, but never mind, the knurled head means your fingers won’t slither off it like a bar of soap in the bath. www.britpart.com Britpart has introduced a range of travel kits suitable for carrying in any vehicle. These include breakdown kits with a warning triangle, LED torch and hi-vis jacket; the European version adds beam converters, GB sticker, foil blanket and DIY breath tests. The latter also contains a first aid kit, something Britpart offers separately as well in a number of sizes. The compact kit pictured here includes safety pins, plasters, dressings, bandages and antiseptic wipes, while the standard rig adds more variety of almost everything as well as burn dressings and gear for dealing with a zombie apocalypse. www.britpart.com


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You probably haven’t heard of MaxKraft winches, but that might be about to change. The German brand, which to be fair is a lot better known in other parts of Europe, has just announced summer discounts of up to 30% on the RRP across its range of 12v and 24v electric winches. MaxKraft’s owner, the Maas Group (which also produces Trailmaster suspension), says its winches bridge the gap between expensive branded products and budget-priced units from China. ‘MaxKraft winches are designed in Germany, where final assembly also takes place. However, the components are manufactured in Asia. This successfully combines technical knowhow with low-cost production.’ Tailored specifically to the European market, MaxKraft’s range includes 9000 and 12,000lb units with a choice of 12v and 24v power. All come with steel cable and a roller fairlead as standard – though you do also get a ‘break-proof ’ wanderlead and a kit for locating the solenoid pack in the engine compartment, so it’s not as if they’re keeping the price down by stripping away the stuff you need. In fact, something you definitely don’t get with every winch in the world is a choice of colour schemes for the control box. Yes, really. ‘Many customers, particularly those in the off-road vehicle segment, want to customise their vehicles. We offer these customers the option of covers in different colours. This is included free of charge. Each delivery includes an additional black cover and a cover in camouflage colours.’ Yow. That’s in addition to the standard version, which is bright orange. The 30% discount is available until 30 September across all the 9000 and 12,000lb models in the MaxKraft range. The company’s quoted prices are in Euros, but they correspond to about £375-£450 plus VAT and carriage. Where that carriage is from may be down to the doggedness with which you search out a supplier, but one way or the other this looks like a good deal for winches promising such a high level of quality. www.max-kraft.de

Latest from the ever-ingenious people at Ram-Mount is the X-Grip Smartphone Suction Mount. This is suitable for any smartphone or SatNav device, with a spring-loaded, adjustable, four-legged design that features rubber tips for secure positioning. The mount uses a 3” suction base with a patented rubber ball and socket system allowing for adjustments at each end, meaning the correct viewing angle should never be hard to get. It costs £45 including VAT, and there’s a heavy-duty version available too. Also new is the Defender Mirror Mount. This is essentially a temporary replacement for the rear view mirror, allowing you to mount navigational devices or tablets in a convenient position that saves space on the dashboard while giving you a good view of the device. There’s no need to get your drill out for this mount, which promises to get you up and running within five minutes when you use the supplied fixings. Once fitted, you can apply one of Ram-Mount’s socket arms (purchased separately) to hold whichever device you like – our picture shows it in use with an iPad Mini. This mount is finished in a black powder coating and costs £18, again including the VAT. www.ram-mount.co.uk

If you’ve ever tried to find a blown fuse in the dark recesses of a fuse box, you know how frustrating it can be. Connectomotive reckons it has the answer, though. The company’s new range of fuse boxes come with a transparent cover, and a 5mm positive power feed feeds all the fuses inside. Each fuse has a 6.3mm male blade terminal and a red LED indicator light which glows when the fuse has blown – so you know exactly what you’re looking for, and might quite possible see you’ve got a blown on fuse on board before you even discover it by finding that something doesn’t work. A potential timesaver on an event, and it could even be a life-saver if it alerts you to something like a non-functioning horn or brake lights. The boxes are available in 4, 6 or 10-fuse configurations and have holes for easy surface mounting. Prices start from £8.26 for the 4-way model, going up to £12.81 for the 10-way box. www.connectomotive.com


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Wilderness: Lighting the way ahead!

a true alternative to Rigid and Vision X – that’s Wilderness Lighting, an exciting new name in the UK. And the range of Wilderness lights brings something totally new, with great features you’ve never seen before! • UK’s only IP69K LED lights • Only 4x10W Class A Cree LED compact at £75 • Only LED with 3-year UK warranty

Toughness is important in lights that are going to be used off-road, and the IP69K rating says it doesn’t come any tougher than Wilderness. The highest protection level available on the international scale, this means the company’s lights are 100% dust-tight and watertight – even against high-pressure, high-temperature closerange sprays. Wilderness lights have an average lifespan of 50,000-plus hours and come with a lens that’s both scratch-proof and unbreakable. Again, just what you want on an off-road vehicle. They’re easy to fit, too, with simple ‘plug and play’ connectors featuring surge protection and waterproof switches. They draw a fraction of the power needed by standard lights, while delivering a massive output of pure white light. As well as the standard black finish, Wilderness lights are available in an attractive marine white – making your lighting more distinctive than

ever! The company’s range of shapes and sizes is massive too, making them suitable for every kind of application:

• Wilderness Orb: 8.5” round light with Daytime Running Lights. An array of 33 x 3-watt Olson white LEDs delivers a massive 8800 LM of light in a choice of three beam patterns • Wilderness Duplex: A double-row LED light bar in a variety of sizes from 4-50”. These are IP69K rated and offer a choice of spot and flood in 4”, 6”, 10” sizes, plus three-combination light for 20” and above, for the best of both worlds • Wilderness Solo: Single-row LED light bars in a variety of sizes from 6-50”. These are IP69K rated and most models offer a choice of three beam patterns from their Olson white LEDs • Wilderness Compact: Small but powerful multi-purpose lights with arrays of 4x10watt CREE and 6x5-watt Olson LEDs delivering a choice of flood, spot, driving and diffusing beam patterns. This range includes the UK’s first 40-watt Class A LED lighting product at less than £100 – proving that top-quality needn’t break the bank! As a relative newcomer to the UK market, Wilderness Lighting is currently in the process of bringing fitting kits into stock to suit an ever-increasing variety of 4x4s. The company’s quality

and value mean it’s going places fast – and it’s currently on the lookout for suitable demonstration vehicles to tie up with, too! Wilderness is constantly building its presence in the UK. It’s working hard to get your custom – and that means you can expect great prices to go with a great product! There are good LEDs, and there are cheap LEDs – there are no truly good LEDs at bargain prices but, if you want fantastic value, Wilderness Lighting is definitely the place to go.

wilderness: right behind britain’s off-roaders

Wilderness Lighting has total faith in the stuff it makes. That’s why it sees the hardcore off-road scene as a great place to prove its products’ toughness and durability – and it’s constantly looking for new teams to work with. Current partners include Moose Off-Road, who used Wilderness kit on the 2014 Croatia Trophy, and Rob Tunnah at ART is using the company’s lighting on his new super-truck. Wilderness is working with Axel Burmann’s Terror Off-Road, too, and was a sponsor of this year’s Welsh Xtrem. It’s always looking for more partners in the racing world – if you’re involved at the sharp end, the guys there want to talk to you about giving kit at reduced cost in return for your feedback. But only if you promise to treat it as hard as you can! ‘We’re here to support the whole scene,’ says Wilderness. ‘We’re looking to build our portfolio – come and join the Beat ‘em up Club!’


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gumtree 4x4 breathes new life into one of the rarest late mk1 range rovers Above: The Mk1 Rangey has a number of classic rust spots, though nobody knows what the number actually is as it’s so high no-one can count up to it. The floor and sills (outer and inner) are definitely among them, though

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he LSE edition of the Range Rover Classic was a sort of last hurrah for the vehicle in its original form. Introduced in 1992, it came just a couple of years before the launch of the P38A signalled the beginning of the end for the Mk1. The LSE was the long-wheelbase version of the original Rangey (an idea Land Rover has only just gone back to now with the latest L405). Its 108” chassis was eight inches longer than the standard model’s, with all the extra going into rear legroom. Of course, it sat at the top of the range. So it was the most expensive Rangey – at a time when many buyers were waiting for the Mk2 to come out. These awkward facts, combined with only being on sale for a couple of years and not coming with a diesel option, all add up to one thing: rarity. One thing the LSE has in common with the rest of the range is that many have deteriorated with age. On the plus side, there are specialists on hand who

can help fix your problems, whatever kind of old Rangey it is you own, and they’ll be as happy to work on an LSE as anything else. Even if the longer chassis does mean there’s 8% more welding to do. Among these specialists is Gumtree 4x4. That’s where the LSE in the pictures went, to turn it back into the grand vessel it once was. ‘This LSE has the usual 4.2-litre V8 engine up front with the automatic transmission,’ says John Bowden, Gumtree’s main man. ‘It’s completely original and unmodified except for having had the air suspension removed by another garage.’ When it comes to a classic vehicle, original is often the way forward. Too many mods and you might be saying au revoir to authenticity and howdy do to more problems than benefits. Whether this is still the case with the dreaded air suspension is open to question, but even with its lavish thirst you still want to see a 4.2 under the bonnet.

‘We sent the original engine to JE Engineering,’ says John, ‘but they condemned the block. Fortunately, they had a brand new one in stock, and John rebuilt the engine around this. A proper engineer, in my opinion.’ The reconditioned automatic gearbox and Borg Warner transfer box came from Ashcroft Transmissions, another company to whom John is happy to tip his hat. ‘Ashcroft, like JE Engineering, are very good to us.’ Getting a new engine at this stage of life is certainly going to be noticeable for those lucky people in the back as they enjoy the LSE’s legroom. It’s like someone middle-aged who’s fresh from a heart transplant – they’ll be moving and breathing a lot more efficiently, and so will this LSE. And that’s a good thing. It should waft along on the transcendence of a V8 murmur, leaving bystanders to question the precious cargo being chauffeured within. Much more Kensington than Glastonbury.

As it turns out, this LSE should glide along nicely. What was that we were saying about the air suspension? Well, you’re looking at one Rangey that’s had it removed – and then reinstated. The previous garage – or ‘muppet’, according to John – who removed the components didn’t so much take them out as rip them out. If you’re going to do a thing, do it right. Those are some of the main changes so far, but you can rest assured that many more hours have been spent on the vehicle. ‘It’s had extensive welding to both front inner wings, the inner and outer sills, the rear wheelarches and body frame. We’ve given it a full respray after a complete body rebuild due to the corrosion and have also sorted out the dents and so on,’ John explains. The brakes and steering have been overhauled, with the former receiving a full rebuild. They should have no problems bringing that weight down to a halt, then. But why go to all this effort on an old Classic?

‘All the owner wants, really, is a basic, standard working car that will do the same job for him as it did before.’ Code for an owner who specifically doesn’t want all the gimmickry he’d get if he spent his money on a new one, maybe. You can find your perfect vehicle sometimes and then not want to let it go. It makes sense really. Why bother spending all those notes on a new vehicle if deep down it’ll never be what you want? Better to just put the money into making the real deal become the last real deal you ever need. ‘We’ve aimed to give the owner a Range Rover that will last for another 25 years or more,’ confirms John. ‘They could buy a new one, but they like the LSE. They feel it’s better than anything produced since.’ That’s a strong statement when you consider more than two decades have passed since the LSE went on sale. Then

It would be quicker to list the parts of the chassis that didn’t need welding. There’s no such thing as a short cut when you’re doing a job like this – just lots and lots of repair plates and hours and hours behind the mask. The body frame was in a mess, too


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The LSE came out of the factory on air suspension – it was the first Range Rover to run on air as standard, in fact. Prior to arriving at Gumtree, however, this one was given a set of coils – very badly, by a garage that removed the old components with a mixture of brute force and ignorance. As part of the restoration, Gumtree took the very unusual step of converting the vehicle back to air again, this one’s owner is not the only person to appreciate the charms of the Classic in elongated form. ‘The LSE is my personal secondfavourite Classic Range Rover after a nice early two-door, as there are not too many left,’ says John. ‘That 4.2 V8 engine is lovely and they have so much room inside.’ To make the most of that interior, this one has been kitted out with a new headlining. The seats are new, too, and it’s had a more general tidying up of all the trim to make sure it’s as elegant on the inside as the outside. A new set of boots, and this stately chariot was ready to head off to the party. Some of us will know only too well that pretty things can require that little bit more in terms of maintenance. So was this any different? Does John enjoy spending time on these Classics? ‘In a perverse way, yes. My staff might disagree, but they are an interesting challenge at times and quite straightforward at others, depending on what faults you find.’ Fortunately, no mechanics were harmed in the modifying of this vehicle… It’s an interesting thought, though. Given the choice, what percentage of Land Rover owners would go for a perfectly restored minter of a Classic LSE instead of a brand new longwheelbase L405? Of course, there’s the small issue of a new LWB costing more than a hundred grand. Without being so crass as to speculate on what Gumtree’s customer might have paid for his restoration, when you see late Classics up for sale in tip-top nick they tend to have about half that on the screen. So, this LSE is only half as good as a new LWB, then? You just try telling that to the owner. And in five years’ time, when his LSE is still worth just as much as it is now and the guy with that L405 has a main dealer offering him ten grand for it, what then? We all certainly know where the smart money goes…

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SPINNEY ENGINEERING’S LABOUR OF LOVE IS COMING ON APACE

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ast month, we featured a lovely Series IIA which is in the process of being restored by Andrew Poulson at Spinney Engineering. Andrew took on this 1965 Land Rover with a view to breaking her for parts, but quickly found that she’s too good for that and decided instead to refurbish her, prior to selling her on to someone who’ll give her the attention she deserves. The project has been coming along nicely over the past few weeks, so we decided to catch up with Andrew to

find out if the old girl has been proving compliant or whether she’s been putting up a fight. ‘It’s coming along really well at the moment,’ says Andrew. ‘We’ve completely rebuilt the brakes with new shoes, copper brake pipes have been installed and we’ve sorted out the wheel bearings. Plus, lots more prep ready for the painting. ‘There’s still plenty to do before it’s finished – fitting a new set of wheels, sorting out the wiring, putting in new seats and there’s always more rubbing

down to be done. The toughest job I’ve had to do so far was getting the brake drums off. They’d rusted quite a bit and I had to get the hammer out to show them who’s boss!’ When you work this closely with a vehicle each day and begin to know its ins and outs, there must be a risk of getting attached to it. Sure, some have the personality of a cabbage, but others will get inside your head. So what happens when you know you won’t be keeping the truck? ‘I never used to get that attached,’ Andrew explains, ‘but I do now. I must be getting old, or soppy! There is a lot of time and effort put in to making the vehicle right and in the end you want it to go to a good home.’ It’s as if Andrew were trying to rehome an ageing Labrador that’s never

done anyone any harm and just longs for a good, caring owner. And who wouldn’t do the same? Throughout the ‘rehabilitation process,’ Andrew enjoys

which this one just has. It’s like putting an official label on it to say that you’ve done it properly.’ Sorting the Series IIA isn’t the only thing Andrew has been up to this month. Most of you will be aware that this year’s Tour de France started up in Yorkshire – and Andrew and his wife Gilly were there in the midst of it all. ‘We were helping out at the event, driving the new Land Rovers. I tell you what, I wouldn’t buy one! I don’t like the way the dash sticks out at you. I definitely prefer the older machines. Personally, I liked everything up to the Td5 and then they lost it.’ You can see why he’s managed to get the nickname of Fred Dibnah round the Grantham area. ‘I hate modern vehicles, to be honest. That fly-by-wire stuff is not for me.’ Though Andrew Dibnah might not like Land Rover’s new selection of vehicles, he certainly knows how to go about making the old become new

‘There is a lot of time and effort put into making a vehicle right, and in the end you want it to go to a good home’ all the time he spends on the vehicles and this old mutt is no different. ‘My favourite element of the restoration process is knowing that you got it right when it passes its MOT,

again. The Series IIA is not far away from being painted and completion should follow shortly after. Not long until she’s a little more lady and a little less tramp…

As part of the restoration process, Andrew at Spinney Engineering has renewed the IIA’s brakes and hub bearings. New shoes were fitted all round and the pipes were replaced with copper – but the toughest part of the job was simply freeing off the drums, which refused to come loose without a lot of persuation using the loud end of a big hammer


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BURNING

‘I’d take rustic charm over modern features any day’

AMBITION Graham Faragher’s Defender 110 Td5 is a bit different from your ex-council hardtop. It’s fitted with an optional extra that surely makes it unique – in the shape of a fully fledged half-tonne wood-burning pizza oven… Words Gemma Pask Pictures Bertha’s Sourdough PIzzas

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here aren’t many things in life better than a Land Rover Defender. But when it’s a Land Rover Defender that produces freshly baked pizzas as if by magic… well, that’s better still. Graham Faragher made his first pizza while at university, many moons ago, using an upturned George Foreman Grill in place of an oven. Way back then, little did he know that one day he would be running his own catering business – let alone from the back of a Land Rover! You might say the journey began in that student accommodation of his – in which case, we owe a lot to the art of procrastination – but really, the whole thing kicked off in November 2012 when Graham attended a food

festival at Hampton Court. It was at this festival that he met some folks from the Garden Oven Company, who sold him an outdoor wood-burning oven. It was christened, you guessed it, Bertha. Together with his wife Kate, during the months that followed Graham experimented with various types of dough, toppings and sauces, working Bertha to her full potential. He visited New York, Naples and, er, Flagstaff, Arizona, constantly baking and

400°C

Temperature an oven must reach to bake a pizza

sampling, and his dream of owning his own pizzeria became fiercer than ever. The heart of Bertha’s pizzas is in the sourdough, a bread product made from a long fermentation process. Graham explains that his ‘sourdough starters’, named Sanj and Clare after some old friends, are made from nothing more than flour, water and good few ounces of patience. So where does the Defender come in, then? This is The Landy, after all, not Good Food magazine… Well, at the break of 2014, the cogs in Graham’s brain were already whirring with ideas about launching a pizzaorientated business. The name came from his beloved garden oven. The only setback was how to get the pizzas to the punters. Enter Agricultural and Cross


To advertise in The Landy, call Ian Argent on 01283 553242 w w w. t h e l a n d y. c o . u k We’re on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelandyuk Country Vehicles Ltd (www.exmod. co.uk), which specialises in used Defender sales. ‘It took us an age to find our van, but these guys were absolute legends when it came to their after-sales service and whole approach,’ says Graham. ‘I couldn’t recommend them more highly.’ The team helped Graham to find the perfect vehicle for the business, which in the end turned out to be a canaryesque yellow 2004 Defender previously owned by Darlington Borough Council. Quickly christened Berthamobile, its new owner couldn’t seem happier with his purchase. ‘It’s a proper vehicle,’ he says. ‘As an engineer at heart, I love how accessible it all is. I’d take “rustic charm” over modern, plasticised features any day.’ Not only was Graham’s inner off-roader satisfied but, with the help of Essex’s Dragon Ovens (www.mobile pizzaovens.co.uk), Berthamobile was fitted with a half-tonne, wood-fired pizza oven in the back. We bet he went all doughy-eyed at the sight of it… By April, he had left his job in the city and was dedicating all his time to the new business – now officially titled Bertha’s Sourdough Pizza. It had already become affiliated with Bristol Eats (or BEATS, if we’re being hip), which Graham describes as ‘Bristol’s street food collective, an affable bunch focused on bringing the best food, music and art to Bristol’s streets.’ As if they didn’t already have enough positives under their aprons, Berthamobile and Co have been doing their bit for the good of the planet, too. Not only are all the products used locally sourced (Isle of Wight tomatoes, anyone?) but links have also been formed with St Mungo’s homeless centre in Bristol, with the hope of using any leftover dough to make bread for the homeless. What’s more, one of their first events managed to raise more than £500 for charity Meningitis Now. Running the business from the back of a Defender came in handy when Graham and Kate travelled up north to satisfy some stomachs at a wedding near the Lake District. ‘It was 295 miles of jostling with lorries in the slow lane, then five miles of bliss on a sheer gravel dirt track… the Landy came into its own,’ says Graham, his love of life on the road less travelled glistening proudly through. So, where’s next for Berthamobile? ‘It turns out starting a business is a lot like lighting a fire,’ says Graham. ‘When the flames are roaring, when the idea’s established, things get easier. But we’re not there yet.’ The menu consists of several creatively named and delicious-sounding pizzas, i.e. ‘Take a Leek’, topped with mozzarella, charred leeks, capers

and brown butter, and ‘Nettles’, a combination of mozzarella, fontina, creamed nettles and chilli. You don’t get recipes like that at Domino’s, that’s for sure: we reckon this bright yellow 110 is soon going to be pretty busy. If you’ve got an event that needs catering, or just what to find out more about Bertha’s Sourdough Pizza, you can visit www.berthas.co.uk. Check out Graham’s blog while you’re there – it’s got tons of tips and tales from his journey setting up the business. And the pizza menu is sure to get your mouth watering…

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HAVE HYBRIDS

‘set a time frame for the build, treble it and add a bit’

HAD THEIR DAY? Back in the days when derelict Range Rovers and Series IIIs were ten a penny, 90s still cost a fortune and the government didn’t insist on smashing up everybody’s fun, building hybrids was an everyday part of the Land Rover scene. Today, far less people are doing it – though if you want a specific kind of Landy that Solihull never built, chances are your only option will still be to do it yourself Words Mike Trott Pictures Steve Taylor

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e all have different visions of the ‘perfect’ Landy. Each and every one of us has our own way of building up our dream truck. Some would prefer to bolt on various enhancements and make minor upgrades to achieve the end result, while others could only ever be satisfied by starting from a bare chassis and going from the ground up. A good many people are doing the latter now, by investing in semi-derelict early 90s and 110s with the specific aim of bringing them back to factory-fresh condition on a new galvanised chassis. But back in the days when even the worst 90 would fetch the sort of money

that priced them way out of many people’s pockets, the chosen way to do it for most was to build a hybrid. In theory, a hybrid can be the best way to get as close to your perfect vehicle as possible. Think of it like a greatest hits album: all the best bits from your favourite band collated into one. Rebuilding a 90 is all very well, but if you happen to like the splitscreen look the only way is to bring the bulkhead from a leafer to the party. And so on. In the golden era of hybrid building, most used a Range Rover chassis and some sort of mixture of Series I, II and III body panels. There have been others – Discovery chassis became

increasingly popular as the first Mk1 models started turning into dogs, and wackier examples of the hybrid builder’s art have even included a coilsprung 101, but there was a lengthy spell when most of the ‘90s’ you’d see at trials around Britain had in fact been built on their owners’ driveways. To put it bluntly, people who wanted a 90 but couldn’t afford it simply built one instead. Cutting up a Range Rover made sense because you got a coilsprung chassis, V8 engine, disc brakes and full-time four-wheel drive before you started. And rough ones were a dime a ton. But times change. Hybrids aren’t so much like a greatest hits album now

A Landy from the golden age of hybrid building, this 88” Series IIA was rebuilt on a cut-down Range Rover chassis. Its history is a bit of a cautionary tale, though – it passed through several pairs of hands without ever being properly finished off then sat untouched for a couple of years before finally ending up with an owner who stripped it down and built it up properly. If you find an old hybrid in need of love, it can be a way into Land Rover ownership for next to no money, but approach with caution – the only thing you can be sure of with what you’re taking on is that it will need a great deal of work


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We’re on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelandyuk Who built the first hybrid? Actually, Land Rover itself has a pretty strong claim to that title. It put together a prototype 100” coiler as long ago as 1976, using a Range Rover chassis with a Series III rear crossmember. Sounds familiar? The engine and gearbox were also Range Rover, while a set of Series III body panels was abused to fit over the wheels and suspension. The vehicle’s job was to test the feasibility of a coil-sprung Land Rover, and it must have done it well – because it convinced Solihull to start work on what would become the 90 and 110. There was still a twist to come, though, when in 1978 the Swiss Army expressed interest in the 100” coiler. This resulted in a series of prototypes; the one in the picture is now part of the collection at the Dunsfold Trust as a tired old rock band pretending they’re still 21 years old. Some of them from back then are still on the road – doggedly in most cases, but a few even remain respectable after all this time. In among all the relics, though, as with the music industry, it’s not all just

have had their day in the forefront of the Landy culture, people are still building them. David Longmore, for example, who put his 100” hybrid on the road earlier this year – which was a lot later than he set out hoping for. ‘They say if you set yourself a time

everyone has the patience. Building a hybrid has to be a labour of love, otherwise it won’t work.’ Is this perhaps why hybrids are less popular today? Is there no longer a need for them in the off-road scene? ‘They are less popular today,’ David agrees. ‘Government restrictions can prove to be a stumbling block and put people off. Also, you could get yourself a cheap Disco these days, put on some offroad tyres and you’ve got a vehicle with the desirable 100” wheelbase and a fairly capable truck straight away. ‘You need to have some sort of vision if you’re going to build a hybrid. I wanted to have a truck that looked like a Defender, but with highlights from a Series III. I love my hybrid now it’s finished – it runs beautifully and has the older looks with more modern running components. ‘I wanted to challenge myself and have a unique vehicle – not the run of the mill. Knowing that I’ve put every nut and bolt together on it gives me a lot of satisfaction. ‘Hybrids are for the braver builders. If you have the knowledge and are up

‘Knowing that I’ve put every nut and bolt together on it gives me a lot of satisfaction. If you have the knowledge and are up for the challenge, go for it!’ sad old rockers trotting out cabaret classics from the days when they still wrote new songs. There’s the occasional new hybrid in there too, built either as a personal challenge by its owner or to do something no standard Land Rover can offer. All the same, when’s the last time anyone you knew built themselves a coiled 88” instead of buying a 90? It’s fair to ask a blunt question: have hybrids had their day? It’s a question that answers itself to a great extent. But though they clearly

frame to complete a build, treble it and add a bit more,’ says David. ‘That’s probably a more accurate time in which you’ll get it finished!’ David started to build his ideal truck back in the summer of 2012. His hybrid – or Monty as it’s known – is based on a 1996 Discovery chassis and uses elements of Series IIIs, Defenders and other Discovery parts along with a substantial amount of DIY fabrication. ‘Don’t ever underestimate the build. You have to be prepared to put in the hours because it’s not easy. Not

Continued overleaf

David Longmore has recently finished this 100” hybrid, which combines Series III, Disco and Defender parts on a 1996 Disco chassis. His advice? Work out how long you think it’s going to take you, treble it and add some more time on top – but so long as you’re realistic about what you’re taking on, it’s an hugely satisfying thing to do

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Above left: You wouldn’t know it at first glance (or for quite a while afterwards, probably), but behind this Landy’s standard wings and bonnet lurks a vehicle that stretches even the loose description of what qualifies as a hybrid. Its Range Rover chassis was chopped down to 90” exactly then built up into a full spaceframe design which keeps the vehicle looking like a proper Land Rover even through underneath it’s more like a proper race truck. Complete with (oops) the 5.9-litre V8 engine, auto box and transfer case from a Jeep. Well, we did say the beauty building a hybrid is that you can make it just the way you want… Above right: Jonathan Fearn built his 100” hybrid by chopping the middle out of a 110 chassis – getting a Land Rover that was more agile than a 110 but had more load space than a 90 for his work tools (right). As he says, building a vehicle is a great way to know it inside-out – once you know how it all goes together, it’s much easier to work out what’s up when things go wrong for the challenge, then you just need to go for it!’ David’s rationale for building a hybrid covers more than just the practicalities of achieving something (a 100” Defender, in this case) that’s not available any other way. But the wheelbase has become more and more relevant with the passing of time. Yes, people have stopped building DIY 90s, because buying a real one is cheaper. But something they haven’t stopped doing is wanting a 100” Defender – and though Land Rover

built a few prototypes, they never put one of those into production. For many years now, seasoned hybrid builders have said the only reason they’d ever do another would be to get one with a 100” wheelbase. Any other reason, and it’s just not worth the effort. It’s ten years, for example, since Jonathan Fearn completed his hybrid. Like David, he did it because he wanted a 100” – though he took a different route to get there, shortening the chassis from a 110 to create one that could honestly call itself a Defender.

It looks for all the world like a 90, but this beautifully built truck-cab is actually a Range Rover underneath. Stuart Whale had owned it for four years before it finally fell apart – at which point he stripped it down to the chassis, shortened it to 92.8” and rebuilt it using the panels from a rotten 90 he’d bought for a princely £700. This particular vehicle illustrates two of the most important things about hybrids, good and bad. It has a 3.5-litre Nissan turbo-diesel, demonstrating the way you can build them to your personal taste; but it took Stuart a whole year to build – and he’s a professional fabricator with a fully equipped workshop. Another interesting point is that despite this, he bought a roll cage from Savety Devices rather than messing about with making his own. If the pros don’t cut corners there…

When we talked to Jonathan back then, he spoke about the extra hassle placed on hybrid builders by the government’s Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) regulations. These lay down a wide-ranging set of rules about what you can and can’t do when modifying a vehicle or building one from scratch – and if the inspector doesn’t like what he sees, you won’t get to use your hybrid on the road. In theory, the SVA test (and IVA, Individual Vehicle Approval, which is being phased in to replace it) exists simply to make sure people who build or heavily modify their own cars aren’t putting others at risk in the process. But like most good ideas, it has become a victim of those who run it. Most Landy owners we’ve spoken to who’ve been through the SVA process have been full of praise for the individual tester they’ve had. But when you hear stories of people being told to cut their vehicle up and rebuild it from scratch because one bracket was welded on 3mm too close to another, it’s hard not to see how the test has gained a reputation for being self-serving, officious and no use to anyone except the paper-pushers who invented it. Fair’s fair, though, and we all know full well that back in the day some of the hybrids that ended up on the road had no business being there. There’s only so much that the MOT test can pick up on and, though SVA/IVA wasn’t invented to make life hard for hybrid builders, if it helped take the duff ones out of circulation that’s got to be a point in its favour. At any rate, Jonathan’s

100” is proof that so long as you don’t want to build something dangerous, following the rules, tedious though it may be, needn’t prevent you from building your Land Rover just the way you want it. Besides, there’s another advantage to building a vehicle from the ground up. David and Jonathan both agree that by the time you’ve done that, you’ll know it inside-out. ‘I know how it all fits together, which makes it a lot easier to suss faults,’ said Jonathan. Building your own vehicle means knowing what parts you used, too, so not only do you not have to spend half your life trying to work out what’s gone wrong, you don’t have to spend the other half trying to identify what it’s gone wrong with. ‘It does make it easier to maintain,’ confirms David. ‘Knowing it so well means I can normally get to the root of the problem that bit quicker.’ It does help, though, if the build has gone to plan. Which means it’s a good idea to have a plan in the first place. Do as much research and preparation as you possibly can prior to starting the build – and, while you’ve to be flexible to get round problems that crop up along the way, try to avoid any unnecessary deviations that’ll end up giving you more hassle than you thought could be possible. Les Brocklehurst built one of the best challenge-spec Land Rovers we’ve seen. But getting there was a huge struggle – his 98” trayback had been through several big operations by the time he considered it finished.

Back in 2000, Les had entered the off-road scene and decided a hybrid was the way forward. Using a 1974 Range Rover chassis, he created a typical tricked-out 88” coiler and was ready to go winching. A few years later, alas, Les had a bit of a run-in with the DVLA, who pulled the truck in for an SVA test so he could continue to drive it to and from events. The whole vehicle had to be all stripped down for inspection, so while he was about it he decided to increase the wheelbase to what he’d found was a more challenge-friendly 98”. ‘There were several times that I was going to pack it all in and take up knitting,’ he said. ‘Just the sheer amount of work involved, having already built a competent-ish truck which you then have to take apart and basically start again for the SVA. ‘It’s even more soul-destroying because you have no choice in the matter. Would I do it all again? Err, no!’ Hindsight is a fine thing, but sticking with the 100” wheelbase in the first place would probably have been a better bet. Especially that the tyres used at the top


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Les Brocklehurst’s hybrid started out as a tidy but unremarkable 88” coiler on a Range Rover chassis. But then the SVLA got involved – cue endless soul-destroying days and nights in the workshop redoing work he’d already done perfectly well. The silver lining is that he ended up with a superlative 98” special whose workmanship bears out all those hours of graft, but we’ve spoken to literally thousands of people who’ve built, modded or restored Land Rovers to be proud of – and Les is the only one ever who’s said he wouldn’t go through it all again to get to where he is now of the winch game have got so much bigger (remember when a 7.50 was considered outrageous?), just taking the rear overhang off a Discovery chassis and basing your Defender-lookalike on that makes more sense than ever – whether you want to go hardcore with your off-roading or just build a truck that blends the neatness of a 90 with the roominess of a 110. At the very

least, think of all the tea cosies Les would have been able to sell on eBay if he’d not had to do all that extra work. A hybrid is a very personal kind of Land Rover, and building one is a personal decision. There are many boxes to tick before you even lift a spanner. Do you have the technical ability? Do you have a set plan and a definitive goal? Do you have the time and patience?

It also helps to have an understanding other half, according to David, since you’re going to spend many an hour in the shed or on the driveway. If you’re going to do it, clear your entire calendar for the rest of the year. And next year as well. 2016 could well snuff it, too. That’s the bad news. The good news is that if you know where you’re at with

the spanners and welder, your eyes are open to the costs and you know exactly what it is you want to build, the next year (or two, or three) is going to be great fun and immensely rewarding. And at the end of it, you’re going to have the truck of your dreams. So, have hybrids had their day? Yes and no. Without question, building this kind of Land Rover has been replaced

in the mainstream by refurbishing early 90s and 110s. But if you want a truck that’s uniquely yours, that’s just the way you want it and not available any other way, hybrid building is not dead. On the contrary, it’s no longer a dogged act of labour but a specialised form of art. And if the examples we’ve looked at in this article are anything to go by, it’s yielding better Landies than ever.


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TURNING UP

‘i’ve even out-dragged people with a caravan on the back!’

THE HEAT With its Vesuvius Orange colour scheme, Mike Hayes’ unique Range Rover pick-up is already hot. Add a tuned 3.9-litre V8 and lowered suspension, and you’ve got the recipe for what he calls his ‘Ferrari for a fat bloke…’ Words and pictures Mike Trott

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call it my Ferrari for a fat bloke,’ says Mike Hayes. And it’s not long before I realise why. We’re wafting down some neat country lanes, windows down with the afternoon sun glowing in the sky, when

my attention turns to what my ears are picking up. Mike has just unleashed his ‘pocket rocket’ – and suddenly, we’re surging along on a wave of V8 thunder. Some people restore Range Rover Classics to mint condition. Others mod

them out into rock-crawling monsters. What Mike has created is a lighter, lower, more powerful Mk1 that glides along with a slight pause and reload for gearchanges before detonating onwards through the laws of physics. Mike claims his pick-up will crack 0-60mph in about 7.0 seconds. That’s impressive for a vehicle that still weighs the best part of two tons, even after going through liposuction a few years back. It’s not hard to see where the weight was lost. For Mike, it began in 2006. He’d come across this very vehicle and, taking inspiration from its shape, got himself a donor vehicle in the shape of a 1988 Classic. Funny how things turn out, because in 2009, just before Mike was about to run at his Classic with a chainsaw, the original pick-up he’d spotted ended up for sale on eBay. Mike bid, won and has since made various improvements to his toy.

‘The chopping had been done by the previous owner at his garage down in Devon,’ Mike recalls. ‘They’d taken four feet off the roof panelling and then moved the tailgate frame forwards. I’d always loved pick-ups and fancied doing something like that myself, and then I got the chance to buy this very one! ‘It’s really an incredible vehicle and I love it to bits. The combination of that

V8 engine with that Borg Warner transmission is very strong, and with half a ton of bodywork and glass removed it really flies.’ The ‘Ferrari’ isn’t just significantly lighter than the stock equivalent, though. This 1993 Range Rover Vogue SE (no longer a 4dr) has had upgrades less visible than the loss of the back half of its anatomy.

Everyone’s got their own idea of what the words ‘Range Rover Sport’ mean. In this case, a Milltek exhaust helps the engine breathe out nicely whether it’s burbling or roaring its way along. The grilles in the wing are just for show, though – but what a show they put on


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The 3.9-litre V8 has had all sorts of lovely stuff done to it. Deep down, there’s a hairy camshaft helping liven it up, while a K&N filter goes with the Milltek exhaust to get it breathing in as well as it breathes out. The heads have been ported and polished, too ‘The previous owner had lowered it, but I noticed it was quite quick when I bought it. I’ve tried to let the engine breathe a bit more; the K&N air filter and Milltek Exhaust have helped with that.’ That’s not the only work the 3.9 V8 has had done. The heads have been polished and ported, and a Viper Hurricane camshaft has been fitted. ‘Not a bad sounding name, is it!’ laughs Mike. This is one of three V8s he owns, in fact. He still has that ’88 Classic, and a P38 is his daily driver. It’s had a gas conversion to help with the fuel consumption and Mike says that’s about the only thing left to do on the pick-up. ‘You could use it as your daily drive for sure. It’s practical, comfortable and very smooth. I know some people give Land Rovers a knock, saying they’re not reliable, but think about it. This pickup’s done 150,000 miles, and my other Classic has done over 300,000. Yes, it’s had a new engine, but it’s pretty much the same vehicle.’ So that’s one cliché that he doesn’t subscribe to. But there’s another one that he agrees with 100%. ‘I’m no mechanic, but they’re like a big Meccano kit to work on. There isn’t much finesse involved – most of the time you can fix a problem by tapping the sensor with a hammer!’ Not that a Range Rover Classic pickup would ever look ordinary, but Mike has really impacted his personality on to the vehicle since he got it. The tyre track decal running down the body was designed by Ruth Smith at Damson Creative and the Mountney hardwood steering wheel was chosen to match the Vesuvius Orange paint. That fiery colour scheme is actually from the Range Stormer, the concept that introduced the world to the Range Rover Sport – whose engine bay gills have been borrowed for Mike’s Classic, too.

‘I built the lockable hardback cover, which is now on gas struts. It helps protect the back end a bit more in the winter. Nationwide Trim had re-done the headlining previously – and they had done it properly, too. It used to sit on the old Vogue alloys, but I switched them for some wheels I bought on a whim a few years ago. I shotblasted them before powdercoating them in glossy black and then applied a layer of lacquer.’

Mike has taken the front propshaft off more recently because he ‘fancied a bit of drifting.’ Making it a rear-wheel drive has apparently made it a little friskier and, at the same time, improved fuel consumption. He gets 22mpg from a twenty-year-old Land Rover V8! It’s not always fun and games, though. Or maybe it is, in Mike’s world. ‘It makes a great tow vehicle. I’ve even out-dragged people with a caravan on the back! I get some funny looks

sometimes, but then my wife reminds me I’m driving a bright orange Range Rover pick-up…’ Sadly, though Mike’s pick-up is up for sale at the moment. Sort of. ‘There’s never a good reason for keeping three V8s, really! I’m sort of being “influenced” by my wife to sell it more than wanting to get rid of it. If someone snaps my hand off then fair enough, but if it ends up staying I won’t mind too much.’

If you fancy it (and who wouldn’t), you’ll find Mike’s pick-up advertised in our Classified section on pages 34-35. It’s not one for the pursists, maybe – but however far it is from standard, this remarkabe Rangey still carries the hallmarks of a truly great vehicle. We photographed Mike’s Rangey at Nailcote Hall Hotel, Golf and Country Club in Berkswell, Warwiskshire. Find it at www.nailcotehall.co.uk


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CARRY ON

CAMPING Footloose 4x4’s new Sherazee conversion turns a basic Defender 130 into more than just a motorhome. With a full camper body and every bit of its off-road ability retained, you’ll be able to carry on camping for as long as you want… Words and pictures Mike Trott

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urning your Land Rover into a go-anywhere home from home is not something you do on a whim. Taking a vehicle designed to carry people, or cargo, or some combination of both, and turning it into something designed to be lived in is a major undertaking. If you’re planning on upgrading your Landy in the first place, it’s likely you’re set on leaving the world behind and doing some proper travelling. You’ll need it to be your bedroom, kitchen and everything else (oh yes, and your car). So it goes without saying, you’re going to want it to be prepped as competently as competent gets.

If you’re not up for doing the work yourself, a nifty new alternative has just come on the market. Overlanding specialist Footloose 4x4 has designed what is essentially a camper conversion for your vehicle. It’s called the Sherazee, and its purpose is to answer some of

80%

Potential retained value of a clean 130 Double-Cab after three years

the many problems encountered when trying to plan for overland expeditions. The pictures here show the conversion on a Defender 130 Double Cab. ‘The objective is to provide the best compromise for off-roading and being a camper,’ says Ian Hobday, CEO of the Green Automotive Company, parent to Footloose 4x4. ‘People are going to travel a very long way in our vehicle, so it has to work on-road, off-road, in the arctic, the desert or wherever.’ Everything from the design to the assembly of this mobile dream home has been done in-house, and the attention to detail is clear. The Sherazee uses a monoblock shell construction


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Above: Most experts will tell you that for the sake of reliability, the less you can modify an expedition vehicle the better. But when you’re adding this much weight, enhancing the suspension makes complete sense. Footloose 4x4 treats each Sherazee as a bespoke product, building it to the customer’s exact specifications - and offers a number of options including a +2” lift featuring Koni shocks (above) and helper coilin-coils for the rear springs (below). Thus equipped, a 130 is better able to engage the terrain without being modified too far away from standard Right: Like every good motorhome, the Sherazee is a masterpiece of packaging. Ahead of the large double bed is a hatch through to the cabin – allowing you to get moving without leaving the vehicle should danger threaten outside of glass fibre and insulating composite sandwich panels. It comes with an elevating roof, the sides of which are made from UV blocking fabric and include air vent openings with an insect gauze. All the panels are finished in white GRP gel coat, as is the internal furniture – great for reflecting heat in hot climates and insulating in the cold. Clearly designed with overlanding in mind, the Sherazee will squeeze inside a shipping container. Since this opens up large parts of the world to you, as well as giving you the option of shipping your way around parts of the world you don’t fancy risking, it’s an essential element. Meanwhile, you’ll have everything you need for the trip. Namely, an electric flushing toilet, a shower that can be used inside or outside the vehicle, a table and seating area that can

convert into sleeping space for four, a fridge and a double-ring gas cooker. Everything but the kitchen sink, huh? No, just everything. It’s got a kitchen sink. There’s a storage locker for all your recovery equipment, plus camping gear and other accessories. Clean water is stored in a 110-litre tank and a gas locker stores a pair of 2.75kg bottles. An electric circuit board and displays let you check charging levels on the main battery and an auxiliary leisure unit, which are linked to a solar panel. How do you manage to fit all of that in a box on the back of a Defender? Well, smarter packaging means more space – and Footloose’s designers have made the most of every last bit to create a living space that never feels cramped. Even without options, the level of kit is pretty thorough. There’s plenty you

Footloose 4x4 previously offered the Azalai, another conversion along similar lines. Based on feedback the company received from its customers, it set out to make this design better all-round – the provision of stowage spaces wherever the layout allows it is a good example of this

can add, though. Footloose 4x4 sees the Sherazee as a made-to-measure conversion, not an off-the-peg one – in other words, they’ll tailor it to suit your exact needs. And they won’t take ‘don’t know’ for an answer. ‘We’ve had one customer come to us and ask for a respirator to be fitted to help his supply of oxygen during the night,’ says Ian. ‘It comes down to suiting the needs of the person – we want to give people the best experience.’ The particular 130 in these pictures has a couple of customer-specified mechanical upgrades including Koni shocks and a two-inch suspension lift, as well as some decent all-terrain tyres. ‘People can keep the standard suspension if they like,’ says Paul Fickweiler, the man who led the Sherazee’s build. ‘But we offer the various options and most will generally

take them. With the added weight on the back, it makes sense to lift the vehicle back to a more capable height.’ Even with the Sherazee conversion on the back, at any rate, the 130 is no less capable than a standard example. If you want to wrestle one of these up the Sani Pass or over the Sahara dunes, it’ll stay with you all the way – and when you get there, it’ll still be home. Behind the wheel, it’s just like driving a standard Defender. Motorhomes are famous for holding their value in a vice-like grip – as are Defenders, obviously. So a motorhome based on a Defender ought to be just about as strong an investment as it’s possible to make on four wheels. That’s just as well, because the amount of money you put into it will be very substantial. £60,000 plus VAT’s worth of substantial, in fact.

Don’t baulk too much at that price, though, until you’ve weighed it up against what it would take to prep a more traditional expedition vehicle to the same standard. And the sort of family car you’d get for that money? A nice one, for sure. But three years later, a main dealer will be offering you less than a third of that to trade it in. Spend it on a Sherazee, and by the time those three years are up you could just about be coming home from your first big trip. And you’ll be bringing a priceless treasure trove of memories home with you, the likes of which no posh new motor could ever achieve. On top of that, you’ll be driving a Land Rover that’s still worth some very strong cash indeed. Only problem is, you’d need to sell it first. And who on earth would ever want to do that?


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Beadles Land Rover

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Land Rover Series I (1951). 2.0 engine. 38,000 miles. Solid green. A very nice, useable, fast-appreciating classic Land Rover. Front capstan winch and canvas tilt. 4-speed manual. Historic tax and MOT. Good bodywork, black vinyl interior. Very good condition but do remember it’s 55 years old! £9995, 07747 111116

Series I (1955). Completely rebuilt with a Buick 3.5 V8

The Old Bakery, Rear of Vale Terrace, Tredegar, Gwent, NP22 4HT

www.foundry4x4.co.uk

info@foundry4x4.co.uk • 01495 725544 Excellent condition. New cylinder head/water pump and all cooling hoses fitted due to cracked fuel lane. Custom tub cover and swing away spare wheel carrier. Straight through S/S exhaust. Driven daily, hasn’t been off-roaded... yet! MOT April 2015, tax September 2014. 70,880 miles. £7950. Falkirk, Scotland. shanks188@ btinternet.com.

DLS Derbyshire’s Number 1 Independent Land Rover Centre Water Lane, Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 4AA

www.dls-uk.co.uk sales@dls-uk.co.uk • 01629 822185

engine. Estimated to have cost £20,000 to build. Very fast, noisy, road-legal. Tax and MOT exempt. Leighton Buzzard area. £7750 (firm), 01296 668339 Series I (1956). Petrol engine. Restored approximately six years ago, fantastic condition, any viewing welcome. £10,000, 07973 131603

Cast Iron Quality & Service

sales@lrparts.net • 0151 486 8636

LAND ROVERS FOR SALE

SERIES I

Foundry 4x4 Ltd

www.lrparts.net

• 01332 631213 •

Online Land Rover Part Specialists Offering Worldwide Mail Order

South Wales

parts@mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk • 01691 657705

“An Independent Family Run Vehicle Service, Repair and MOT Garage.”

www.howe-engineering.co.uk

Servicing, Repairs, Spares and Conversions

TDS Goldfish Winches - The Best!

East Midlands

Stones Cross, Hare Street, Buntingford, Hertfordshire, SG9 0DY

Steve Parker Land Rovers Ltd

10 months’ MOT. No need for road tax! £4295 ono. 07966 242402, eccure@gmail.com

SERIES III

SERIES II

Land Rover Series IIA (1969). 2.25 petrol. 48,389 miles. This is a beautiful marine blue Series IIA 88” soft-top. In excellent condition, fully serviced recently, newly repaired starter motor and

Series III Lightweight, 1981, RHD. 31,625 on odometer. 2.25 petrol/LPG on galvanised chassis, in MOD green and black. Ex air support signals regiment, was FFR but converted to 12-volt by a previous owner. Five new wheels and tyres (originals

also come with the vehicle). Reconditioned gearbox with complete new clutch. Two new petrol tanks. Newly Polybushed. New rear halfshafts and drive members, rear shocks, brakes all round (with new front drums) and exhaust. Canvas in good condition. All receipts for above are with the vehicle. MOT May 15, on SORN. £5000 ono. jufion@ btinternet.com

90

Defender 90 diesel. Tax end August, MOT January. £1600. South Wales area. Call Dean on 07990 967210.

2000 (W) Land Rover Defender TD5 Truck Cab. 2” suspension lift kit, new condition black modular wheels with Insa Turbo Special Track tyres, snorkel, heavy duty front winch bumper, CD player, grey techno cloth seats (3), PAS, towbar and alarm.

Defender 90 Heritage. Much loved but rarely used. Heavy tow pack, non-smoker, very well kept, good for insurance, reliable. Four owners. MOT Oct. Part service history. Manual sunroof, air conditioning, MP3 player, leather trim, folding rear seats, spare wheel (full), PAS, traction, alarm, immobiliser. £13,000. Call Pete on 07834 763919 or email pete.barlow@salixrw.com.

Defender 90 TD5 pick-up. 139,100 miles. 12,000lb winch (cost £500, new 2 months ago from Gigglepin), Devon 4x4 winch bumper (£800), rock sliders, snorkel and diff breathers, diff guards, front and rear sump guards, bucket seats, light guards all round, dislocation cones, fully Polybushed. Cubby box, full chequer plate, rear bump guards, CD stereo with Alpine head unit and aux lead. Great truck with strong TD5 and solid chassis. Last serviced in January, MOT 04/15, tax 03/15. £6750. andydownes13@hotmail.co.uk Defender 90 TD5, 2002. Drives exceptionally well with lots of

power, great gearchange and transfer lever action. 2” Britpart Super Gaz lift kit fitted. Boost Alloys (including spare) with Hankook Dynapro MT tyres. 30mm wheel spacers. Electric windows, remote central locking, heated seats, heated front and rear windscreen. Winch bumper with Warn winch, Kenwood CD stereo with aux input. Seats in good condition. NAS lights all round. Must be seen! £8295. joshbaker_uk@yahoo.com

Land Rover 90 Tdi. 5-spd box, PAS. Lift, body and underbody protection, rock sliders, bash plates, front and rear spots. New modern Landy seats. Great dash, CB radio, Pioneer stereo. Two seats in the rear with belts. Secure lockable gun/tool box. Alpine windows, sunroof. Proper Landy mats front and rear in excellent condition. Tow-bar and electrics; BFGoodrich Trac tyres (spare not used yet). Photos on request. £6995, 01823 490 320, rogerpaul@live.co.uk

Limited edition 90. Over 40k worth of receipts for work carried out and professional mods. Bespoke tuning, K&N air filter, Allisport intercooler, Hayward and Scott stainless straight-through


To advertise in The Landy, call Ian Argent on 01283 553242 w w w. t h e l a n d y. c o . u k We’re on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelandyuk exhaust, hybrid turbo. Recaro race seats (heated), uprated roll bars, lowered suspension. Boss wheels, LED lights, Alpine sound system, Bluetooth, sat nav, uprated cubby box. Brand new 13,000lb winch and front bumper. Momo wheel, upgraded brakes. FSH. £20,950 tonyackerman2000@yahoo.co.uk

Recently built 300Tdi trayback. Very high spec. Only done one event since build. Custom interior, GP winches, Mach 5s, Ashcroft shafts/CVs. Please get in touch for full specification and work done. Hundreds of pics available. Offers around £13,000. 07841 193027

Discovery 200Tdi Auto. 174k miles. MOT and tax to September. New tyres, 7-seats. Number plate A12 HJP. 300-series front and headlights. In very good order. Bargain at £1475. Tel 01920 464540 or 07828 735145, john.c.pavey@hotmail.co.uk

Discovery TD5. 1999. 2” lift, new Maxxis mud tyres. MOT Nov 14, tax end April 14. New heavy-duty bumpers, new Superwinch. Excellent condition. £4995 ono, call Adele on 01772 682137.

Range Rover

110

110 2.5 petrol/LPG, C-reg. 121,000 miles, on SORN. Solid chassis, spot lights, chequer plate, rear worklight, tubular side steps, roof rack, fog lights. New alternator Feb 2013. Engine rebuild Feb 2011 including new valves, bearings and piston rings. MOT May 2014. This Landy is 27 years old and does have a few marks. £2600. cotton13@hotmail.co.uk

Range Rover Vogue SE 3.9 V8 Auto Pick-Up. Professionally converted. Tan leather electric seats, lockable pick-up cover on gas struts. Engine rebuilt with Viper Hurricane performance cam, polished and ported heads, K&N air filter. Milltek Racing stainless exhaust with tubular manifolds. 1” lowered suspension. Mountney hardwood sports steering wheel, custom headlining by Nationwide trim, 5 new Goodyear Eagle GT+4 235/70/16s on fully refurbished alloys. Bull bar and spots, rear light protection, full tow bar kit. West Midlands. £4500, 07734 599399, mikehayes_1@msn.com.

Specials

Defender 110 300 Tdi twin-cab pick-up (1996). Front winch, Four new tyres, new brake pads all round. Very well maintained. Excellent runner. Five alloys. Cam belt changed at 165,000 miles. MOT 05/15, tax 09/14. £5950. digroot@btinternet.com

Defender 110 XS Utility. Warn winch, full roof rack, steering guard, full set of Land Rover seat covers and mats, seats like new under covers. New tyres. Leather seats, heated front seats, air-conditioning, electric windows, CD stereo, traction control. MOT and tax November 2014. £15,500+VAT cwdm@ hotmail.co.uk

Discovery

Land Rover 109 200Tdi. Twin tanks, body-off refurb, chassis checked and no welding required, HD military style crossmember, new bespoke bumperettes, 3 coats of Shutz to chassis, tub and wings, galv bulkhead and front panel, Defender front wiring loom, professionally wired rear, new LED standard style lights, high level brake light, LED camping/reverse lights and internal strip lights, Pioneer CD, Toro overdrive, P38 PAS box on 12mm plate welded to chassis, safari roof, 5 General Grabber 235/85R16s, head skimmed and crack tested, timing belt changed, electric fan. Viewing essential. Must go to a good home. £6500 ono. Call Mat on 07908 582133 or email gondolamat@aol.com.

Wanted Series I or II for restoration. Anything considered. Preferably pre-1960. Private buyer. Cash waiting. Steve, 07970 102651, stephen.kuzio@live.co.uk

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Staffs and Shrops marks 50 years in family style

Club celebrations mix old-style trialling with fun and games for Landy owners of the future! Words Matthew Farmer Pictures www.tripleeffect.co.uk Back in 1964, a pair of Land Rover fans by the name of Geoff Miller and Jack Bellfield teamed up to start a club in the Staffordshire and Shropshire area. The club’s first trial was held the following year at Ford, a venue it still uses today – and since then it’s never looked back. Fifty years later, the Staffordshire and Shropshire Land Rover Club has been one of the most consistently successful of all those in the ALRC. To celebrate half a decade behind the wheel, the club got together for its 50th Anniversary rally at Hawkstone Park Hotel and Follies, with the historic North Shropshire backdrop providing a perfect setting. The weekend provided a great opportunity for members of the club to share photos and retell stories of old, while enjoying walks around the famous Follies and Caves and family games on the Saturday afternoon and evening. A great time was had by all competing in skipping, egg and spoon, three-legged and sack races, together with wellie wanging, egg toss (un-boiled…) and limbo competitions. On the Sunday, the club was allowed, by kind permission of the

Hotel and Follies management, to hold a CCV trial. The Red Arrows treated the club to a flypast during scrutineering, just before the 9am start, which managed a very healthy number of competitors and mixture of vehicles for the 50th rally. The Clerks of the Course (Yours Truly and David Farmer) had set out ten sections on the Saturday, in challenging weather conditions. The club would normally run twelve, but on this occasion the idea was to allow for a nice long, sociable lunch break back on the main campsite. The morning session began slowly, with the challenge coming from the length of the sections and the ever-changing ground conditions. By lunch, half the sections had been completed and Alex Skidmore, fresh from his ALRC National triumph, was leading the way. But the battle for the remaining places remained wide open, and it was especially nice to see the standard leaf-sprung motors of Paul Gilbert and Mick Dobbs (another ALRC Class Winner) progressing well on the sections and giving the class 9 and 10 specials a run for their money. The afternoon sessions started with a convoy procession along the Grand Valley, with many visitors to the Follies stopping to admire the sights and sounds of the trial motors as they


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Above: Mick Dobbs won his class at this year’s ALRC National aboard his standard 80” Series I and was on form again here, giving the Class 9 and 10 specials a run for their money on several sections on the way to eighth place overall Opposite: Alex Skidmore won the CCV at the National by a huge margin in his Class 9 coiler, and it was the same story at Hawkstone Park as he cleared five sections out of ten to leave the rest of the field far behind Below: The ALRC Scrutineering Committee is currently looking at ways of standardising technical regs for wellie wanging, egg toss and sack and three-legged races with a view to including them in next year’s National passed through this public area. The afternoon sections again exploited the skills of the drivers: for once, power was not king and more often than not, a delicate approach was required, and so it remained that the standard Series I motors continued to match the trickery of the class 9 and 10 specials. Section 5 presented the competitors with a slippery off-camber climb and many of the competitors were beaten by the 7 and 6 gates. A couple of specials drivers, Steve Blackham and Alex Sidmore, did progress beyond the somewhat nasty axle twister lurking here, but they were not alone as Mick Dobbs, in his standard Series I 80”, made it all the way to gate 4. The afternoon progressed smoothly until the last section of the day presented the drivers with a descent down a natural stone staircase. Some of the competitors successfully reached

and duly conquered this challenge, which was immediately followed by a spectacular finish that truly demonstrated the capabilities of these trial machines, as shown by Simon Cope and Andrew Metcalfe. At the end of the day the overall winner was Alex Skidmore, with Martin Smith second and John Grice third. Overall, the event was considered a success and the marshals, clerks and, of course, the staff of Hawkstone Park Hotel and Follies assisted in holding a great weekend for all. Further information about the Staffordshire and Shropshire Land Rover Club and future events can be found at www.saslrc.co.uk, and information relating to events and attractions at Hawkstone Park Hotel and Follies can be found at www. hawkstoneparkweston.co.uk.

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One punch in it as Sharpe snatches Scotia crown

Yet another victory for Team Gigglepin – but this time it’s by the narrowest possible margin Words and pictures Steve Taylor After snatching victory from Jim Marsden at the Welsh Xtrem earlier this year, Allen Sharpe and Ben Turpie have added their Gigglepin team-mate’s Scotia Challenge crown to their trophy shelf. But it was a tight-fought victory, with a single punch separating them from second-placed Nick Anderson and Kim Nikolajeff. Now moving on 37” Maxxis Trepadors, the oddest looking Land Rover in Leicestershire seemingly breezed through all that Scotland could muster. Despite snapping a Sumo bar and having to source a replacement turbo locally, Allen and Ben completed all three of their punch cards – and actually went back out on a fresh fourth, to make up for the five-punch penalty they incurred for finishing late on the Saturday. In Standard class, Martyn Campbell/ Craig Kirby and Jonathan Sayer/Dale Fisher managed to rack up an impressive 68 punches, finishing five ahead of second-placed Team Whitbread (Malcolm Whitbread/Jon Hoole and Simon Crowe/Darren McGuinness). The latter were on a mission to make up for the previous year’s early exit, which barely dirtied their car. As a team, they are definitely motoring now, and the decision to come down a class for this event proved worthwhile. Standard class yielded one other unusual sight. A more or less fullbodied 90 Station Wagon competing at this level is a definite rarity these days. Pair it with a Truck-Cab and you’ve almost entered a time warp. Given the potential for body damage in the trees, hats off to Dylan and Russell Williams and James and Kingsley Iball – having later on watched Barry Gee’s fourwheel-hydro-steer Tomcat attempt the same tight section, my respect for those guys triples. A gap full of tree stumps that’s little wider than a Land Rover calls for a lot of patience if you don’t want a lot of damage. At the other end of the fortune/ misfortune scale were Andy and Shaun

Smith, who elected to save their trailer’s suspension by driving their vehicle up the access track for scrutineering. This may have been a wise decision, since the head gasket failure that put them out before turning a competitive wheel was much better found on relatively hard ground than in the more remote bogs or tight woodland. As it was, they spent Saturday in a wood rebuilding the top end of their engine. Time was, however, not on their side and they withdrew from the competition listings – but offered to help the organisers by marshaling and acting as a recovery unit. This did have

dividends in the longer term: not only do they have a rebuilt top end, they took the Spirit of the Event award home with them, too. Spirit is definitely something you need on the Scotia. The event evolved from the old Tay Forest Challenge, which itself replaced the even older Argyll. This was characterised by tight woods featuring slopes and streams from lochside to hilltop, while the Tay added bogs and areas of clear-fell to the mix. The Scotia’s Griffin Forest site, near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, mixes all of this – then adds some watershed bogland and rock outcrops.


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Issue 7: Sept 2014

Right: A sad fact of life on winch events now is that the severity of the terrain means taking part in any sort of standard Land Rover is like trying to win a Grand Prix in a Golf GTi. If you’ve got even just a touch of the purist about you, you’re likely to feel a little sad that this kind of off-road competition has now sidelined everyday Landies the way comp safari did as it developed. So you’d have been rooting for the team of James and Kingsley Iball and Dyland and Russell Williams (pictured), who took on the challenge aboard a couple of full-bodied 90s and had a great weekend’s sport without turning them into scrap

In places, Perthshire can be the very epitome of twee tartan kitsch, with towns full of shortbread and a distillery behind every lamp-post, but the hills are a totally different creature. Insect repellant and waterproofs are very much the order of the day. The weather can change rapidly from one sunny extreme to something much more torrential in minutes, and correspondingly the ground can morph from rock-hard to bottomless stinking hole capable of swallowing a D&G buggy whole. So what’s the draw? Well, even before a wheel was turned on the 2014 event, there was a paid-up entrant for the 2015 competition, so whatever it is, there clearly is one. In this case, for Rab Young a back injury sustained during vehicle preparation meant his first missed event in eight years. Rab is a hardy competitor who prides himself on being one of the few who drive to and from these events, and compete in the same vehicle. Whether it’s the draw of the event, or his medication, when offered a refund of his 2014 entry fee he said: ‘Keep it. Call it next year’s entry.’ Even then, he was on site watching, describing himself as unable to ‘just sit in the house.’ There is one other factor up there, too. The land itself. By and large, it’s completely empty, and in this respect it’s a long way from the common Making an event like the Scotia happen is a big deal. It takes a lot of people and costs a lot of money, and that’s why the Scotia Winch Challenge Club has a lot of gratitude for its sponsors. Baymed, Delta-Tek, Goodwinch, Megasquirt-V8, MIB Offroad, Ruftraks UK, Red Winches, Wilderness Lighting and Wrex Racing – heroes to a man of the off-road world, and worthy of your consideration for their willingness to support the sport at this and so many other levels.

experience of most of us these days. Most winch challenges take place with quarry machinery, wind turbines or farmers’ litter somewhere to be seen, but there are places on the Scotia where you could be anywhere. If you can’t afford to do Ladoga or go to Croatia, here’s your answer. You wouldn’t bet against the Scotia’s reputation spreading across the Channel, in fact. This year’s unofficial ‘Longest Journey’ title is believed to have gone to either Paul Church or Chris Stroud from Somerset, but it’s entirely possible that the event’s range may spread to the continent now the site is getting better known about. Its distance from other off-roading

regions of the UK is simultaneously its attraction and its Achilles heel – though of course, depending on what happens in September’s referendum, Scotland might not actually be in the UK for much longer. With independence day planned for late May 2016, if Scotland votes ‘aye’ next year’s Scotia could actually be the last in which competitors from south of the border don’t need to take a passport. Quite a thought, then, that it already has its first entrant. And Rab Young assuredly won’t be the last. Come next summer, Griffin Forest will once again be ready to surprise the unwary. Will it be a threeway battle between the vehicles making

up the currently all-conquering Team Gigglepin? You’d need to be packing some serious capability yourself to take them on – but since that describes

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just about everyone who takes on the challenge the Scotia lays down, it promises to be yet another monster of an event.


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Issue 7: Sept 2014

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All sorts turn out for Scots treasure hunts

Scottish ORC points the way for family off-road action

Words and pictures Graham Somerville The Scottish Off-Road Club recently ran one of its ever-popular treasure hunts at Lamancha, one of its favourite sites, on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Julian’s shiny Series III led everyone out to start the hunt. But it seemed the three 90s him behind couldn’t have been paying attention, as they all took an early right turn and ended up stuck in a bog for several hours. As a result, the opportunity arose for some good fun, and new friendships

were made while trying to pull the trucks out. Ground anchors and waffle boards were also put to great use. An old Series I, which had been in a barn for the previous ten years, made an appearance and didn’t do too badly, helped along by some mod-cons. But the overall winners were Brian and his daughter Sophie (and mustn’t forget Daisy, the dog) in their standard 90. A mixed day of weather with showers throughout, as well as the new layout of the site, managed to keep everyone on their toes. The only real casualty of the day was my Td5 Discovery. Having put some

It’s been a busy schedule for the Ystradgynlais Overland Club so far this summer and August is set to be no less hectic, with a finale at Walters Arena signing off the summer in the best possible fashion. Having been green laning over Sarn Helen and orienteering through Walters Arena during June, the gang have since ventured to Red Valley at Carmarthen for a bit of ‘down time.’ However, the main occasion on the horizon is their annual event, arranged for the final weekend of August, from Friday 29th to

brand new Insa Turbo Dakars on, the traction control hardly kicked in, but I forgot how low the front bumper and spoiler were as I’ve been used to running my 300Tdi with a modified bumper. Let’s just say it went for a quick wash and then straight down to the local dealer to get fixed – and what a good job has been made of it by patching it with a mudflap! Our second event was another treasure hunt, this time in North Lanarkshire at the end of June, when we had some new faces join us for a great day of venturing around the site. The dazzling hot summer’s weather made it a bit rougher on the ground, but that didn’t stop us having another great day of off-roading. As always, you can find out more about our events on the website www.sorc.org. uk or on our Facebook group. Feel free to come and say hello – and in the meantime, the next date to mark on your calendar is a trials event on 24 August at Auchterarder.

Sunday 31st. This will incorporate punch and trial sections and will see competitions raging throughout the days and nights. Those who attend will be treated to a band performance on the Saturday night, complete with catering and a bar. We may not all be fluent in Welsh, but we definitely get that bit!


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Cheshire Land Rover Club plan week-long green lane epic for 10th Anniversary celebrations This August happens to be the Cheshire Land Rover Club’s 10th birthday, and they’ve come up with quite possibly the best idea for a club birthday ever. It involves a huge green laning trip – and when we say huge, we mean it. Starting the week before the August Bank Holiday weekend, five of the club’s Land Rovers will embark on a 1000-mile trip kicking off from John O’Groats at the top of the UK and finishing in Land’s End on 23 August, incorporating as many green lanes as possible on the way. From John O’Groats, the convoy will head south-west towards Oban, before turning south towards Brodick on the Isle of Arran. After leaving Scotland behind, the convoy of Land Rovers will visit the laning heaven that is the Lake District, before travelling onwards through Lancashire and on to (no surprises here) Wales. They’ll already have done a lot of lanes by this point, but an onward journey via Somerset and Devon offers the opportunity to add plenty more before they fetch up in Cornwall for the last leg of their marathon journey.

Needless to say, the trip won’t be just about laning and celebrations. Each of the participating vehicles will be sponsored – so they’ll all be raising funds for St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice. If you would like to help them in that aim, you can visit their website at www.stlukes-hospice.co.uk and click the ‘Donate’ button. It would be a great way to help the Cheshire LRC celebrate their tenth birthday in style.

Muddy Millers’ muddy pilgrimage to Crew Green

At the beginning of July, a spot of camping was the order of the day for the Muddy Millers 4x4 Club. And they found themselves the perfect venue at Belle Isle Farm, near Crew Green in Shropshire. On the Saturday, the pilgrims set up camp in gorgeous sunshine, meaning the anoraks and overcoats had no place other than locked in the trunk. A punch hunt had been set up, with 16 different punches to find and all with varying levels of difficulty. In addition, campers had sixteen questions to answer, ranging from anagrams to puzzles and general knowledge ticklers including ‘In which film was this famous car featured?’ Oh, and in order to answer the questions,

first they had to find them! What camping weekend would be complete without a BBQ and a campfire? Precisely. That’s exactly what the Millers enjoyed on the Saturday evening, plus there was yet more driving involved with a blindfold driving session for dessert on a flat field nearby. Wouldn’t want all those burgers and sausages coming back up! The blindfold driving was won by duo Lee Haycox and Tim Gibbs, while the earlier punch hunt honours went to Rik Trueman. Finally, to round off an action-packed Saturday, the club enjoyed a good old quiz and raffle. As the embers of the previous night’s fire fizzled out, the Sunday morning brought more planned offroading, with a trial commencing at 10am. Two competitors contested the Intermediate group, with Tom Henstone in a grey Defender 90 and Andy Magee in a chopped camouflaged Discovery.

A further seven vehicles competed in the CCV, with one being double driven by Elli Bamber at her first trial and Roger Jones also holding the reins. Lunchtime consisted of Lee Haycox retiring with a branch through his radiator (ouch). Phil Davies was also forced to pull out due to air getting into his fuel line and starving the engine, while Rik Trueman’s vehicle suffered a break down. However, Antony Jones managed to plough on despite a major power steering leak in the black caged buggy. So, as the curtain fell on an excellent weekend, Andy Magee took victory in the Intermediate Class, while Kevin Poole won the CCV event in his red caged buggy. Off-roading + sunshine + games + BBQ grub + family and friends + getting a branch through your radiator = a really great British summer!

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Issue 7: Sept 2014

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Rolls aplenty at Pear Tree Farm on LRS Challenge

Winches and cages alike work hard for their living at one of Britain’s steepest sites Words Pip Evans Pictures Pavel Frackowiak and Pip Evans

Pear Tree Farm, near Matlock, was the venue for Round 4 of the 2014 LRS Challenge. This event was sponsored by Damar Webbing Solutions, whose straps and strops are made for all manner of lifting, lashing and recovery jobs – ideal for challenge crews! After the usual formalities, the battle-hardened crews headed off to see how they would fare against one of the nastiest, steepest slices of countryside that Derbyshire could throw at them. Setting up for this site is a dream, as the terrain is so challenging that the crew is always spoilt for choice. Indeed, it didn’t take long for the competitors to find out how tough it was. Dan Hickling was one of the first to go over, and he did it very spectacularly with a heavy double roll. As the morning went on, more and more competitors found different ways of turning their trucks over – from gentle sideways flops to full-on endto-end tumbles. Due to the strength of the vehicles’ roll cages and the security of their full harness seat belts, though (and therefore, by extension, the diligence of the scrutineers), not one person suffered so much as a scratch.


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Andy Dunnicliffe had a fairly minor roll early in the day and was doing well – until mid-afternoon when he suffered what was probably the biggest roll of the day, with a combination of sideways and end-over-end tumbles that Tom Daley would be proud of. Once again, Andy emerged unscathed – which is more than could be said for his truck, as this ended up with nicely rounded corners and its axles pointing in unusual directions. Steve Knight’s Land Rover returned to the fold for the first time in 2014. Steve was one of the few competitors not to roll, though this may have been down to him having to retire very early with the unusual ailment of too much electricity. His alternator was pumping out far too many volts and he decided it was best to call it a day rather than risk cooking his wiring system. Tim Platt was to suffer the opposite fate of not enough electricity and had to be towed out of a bog hole, but not before he’d suffered from the obligatory roll. Due to a mixture of illnesses and truck ailments, there was a much-

reduced entry for this event – meaning there were only four trucks in Class 3, where there would usually be double this number. Steve’s early retirement quickly reduced this to three, Tim went out after only collecting six punches and LRS newcomer Chris Roberts only made it to five. That left Duncan Smith and winch man Henry Papworth as the only team still running in Class 3 to the end of the event. This would have meant that Tim and Chris were given 2nd and 3rd places respectively on ridiculously low scores; however, all trucks had to at least attempt a timed special section in order to qualify for a result, so both their scores were void. The Class 1 guys had their work cut out on this event. With just the one winch allowed, the severe nature of the terrain meant they had an especially tough job to try and acquire punches. Having said this, the two teams in this class were evenly matched all day. However, the mainshaft on Paul Dallyn’s winch started coming adrift late in the day, which slowed him

down a bit. Paul and winchman Jack MacDonald came 2nd on 1500 points, with Andrew Guest and Ian Scott taking the class win on 1700. In Class 2, Andy Dunnicliffe and Craig Howard were looking good for a Top 3 placing until their acrobatic tumbling routine brought their punchcollecting exploits to an early end. Ryan Stimpson and Tom Jolliffe were having a steady day until a light roll late on and managed to snag 4th place, while Tom Marrion and Jake Cooper managed 3rd, despite constantly having to restart an engine that didn’t seem to want to run at idle. The ever-improving Matt Dilley and Ben Robinson appeared to have a trouble free day and were rewarded with 2nd in Class 2, behind Dan Hickling and that man Allen Sharpe – who, whether as driver or winchman, just can’t seem to stop winning. They overcame a light roll, a heavy roll, a front and rear rope break and a failed winch solenoid, as well as having to rebuild the brake drum on their front winch, to take what was a hard fought

Issue 7: Sept 2014

victory. Their final points tally of 4585 was just 39 ahead of Matt and Ben – the difference being down to them completing the timed special section 39 seconds faster. But the highest score of the day (4863) went to Duncan Smith and Henry Papworth. They might have won Class 3 by default by having the last truck still running, but if there had been a prize for winning first overall they’d have walked off with that, too. Talking of trophies, there were none available at the end of the event due

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to the LRS’s normal trophy provider being off for a throat operation. But there were plenty of generous prizes for the winning crews to take away, thanks to event sponsor Damar Webbing Solutions. The LRS Challenge now goes into its summer break, so there’s plenty of time to get ready for Round 5 at Uplands Coppice, near Bridgnorth, on 7 September. At present there are still spaces available –if you fancy giving it a go, check out the organisers at www. viking4x4club.com.


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Hillrally success makes it a hat-trick for Cobley

Two-day Defender Challenge takes competitors into unfamiliar territory – with a familiar result

Edd Cobley took his third win in a row at Round 4 of The Defender Challenge rally series at Walters Arena on 19-20 July. The event ran as part of the revived Welsh Hillrally – a famous name from the golden age of off-road racing, brought back this year as a multi-stage safari suitable for all vehicles, whether road-legal or not. Six teams lined up in their Defender 90s for the first two-day rally of the calendar. But it was Cobley once again who surged to victory to take a firm grip on the 2014 championship. Better still, Cobley and co-driver Kevin Handley were the highest placed production-based car, second in the Diesels class and an extremely solid ninth overall – a remarkable result in an event dominated by high-powered race specials. Held amid the epic scenery of the Brecon Beacons, the event presented teams with a 100% tarmac-free weekend’s racing. Walters Arena, which has previously hosted Y Rali Bryn Cymru, is famous for its unpredictable weather – and heavy wind and rain helped turn the loose tracks into something resembling more of a water slide that needed a rubber dinghy as oppose to off-roading tyres.

Speaking after the victory, Edd Cobley said: ‘It was phenomenally rough out there, but the Defender loves these conditions. What Bowler and Land Rover have done is amazing. We’ve built a good lead so we want to keep that up and manage that gap. The Defender is doing us proud again.’ Race2Recovery had been on form coming into the fourth round and were able to continue their streak with a second place finish, making it three rostrums in a row. As it was, only the faultless drive from Cobley denied them victory. This popular team is using the series to help the rehabilitation of injured or suffering civilians and military personnel. Reflecting on a solid performance, Race2Recovery driver Ben Gott said: ‘The last stage was epic. Sideways rain, sideways car and all the ditches had disappeared and become puddles. We had to back off a bit – I knew we weren’t going to catch Edd. It was just a case of bringing it home safely in one piece. It was a fantastic result. The car was faultless all weekend.’ Two teams were forced to retire across the weekend, with Damian Taft crashing out mid-stage on the Sunday

and driver Matt Mills rolling his vehicle on Stage 14. Mills said: ‘Everything was going well, but there were a lot of rocks – and we bounced off a rock which threw us into the air and sent us into a tumble. We’re both absolutely fine and it’s just cosmetic damage to the car.’ Drew Bowler, MD of Bowler Motorsport, said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted with the results from this weekend – the championship is developing really well, and the first hillrally provided exactly the sort of drama and excitement we expected and hoped for. It was a real test for the drivers in terms of variety of terrain, weather and duration. ‘The conditions and duration also tested the service crew, and reminded us all of the long-distance races the Defender Challenge is building up to. It was inevitable that we’d encounter some damage to the cars – it’s all part of the learning curve of racing. But most importantly, no one was injured, the Defenders ran extremely well and the organisation was superb.’ The next round of the Defender Challenge by Bowler will take place on 30 August at the Woodpecker Stages in Ludlow, Shropshire.


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w w w. t h e l a n d y. c o . u k

Issue 7: Sept 2014

News

Products

Vehicles

Adventure

Workshop

Clubs

Suffolk LROC winch trial pulls them in

Novice winch event sees Defender 90s and 110s do battle with an 88” and even a Freelander

Words Andy Jeff Pictures Cathy Jeff All competitive events run by the Suffolk Land Rover Owners Club have a keen band of entrants, but it takes a good deal of preparation to enter your Land Rover into a full-on winch trial. What if you want to try out winching before deciding to build a challenge truck, or just want to dip a toe in the muddy puddle from time to time? Enter the Novice Winch Trial! The SLROC site at Newbourne only has a small, dedicated area for more extreme winching, but for a novice winch trial, there’s plenty of other terrain worthy of testing what for most people is the most unused part of your Land Rover. Using the same rules as any other winch challenge, the annual novice winch trial with SLROC is a hotly contested affair. It’s usually entered by single-winch vehicles and crews of all abilities, and this year was no exception. Run over the whole of the seven-acre site, with 13 sections and

varying degrees of difficulty, there was something for everyone to put their skills and vehicles to the test. That’s the beauty of a novice challenge – it’s organised to cater for everyone, but allows as much for the power of the mind as the power of the truck. In other words, you’ve got to think your way through it! As well as both 90 and 110 Defenders and a single Series III SWB, the most notable vehicle on the trial was a plucky Freelander (a development project for Mansfield 4x4 in Bury St Edmunds). The car is lifted and has all the required underbody protection that a more serious contender would normally have, and, of course, it’s fitted with a winch to enable it to compete. While it’s still undergoing development, and with this being its first outing, the two Adams in the team did surprisingly well. Although they didn’t take away any prizes, they did learnt a raft of valuable information to help them make improvements for the next event. The car is turning out to be a real competitor, and a credit to its team!

At the half way point, competition for the win was quite even between three teams, but the afternoon saw one team pull away. Even though the organisers came up with ever more difficult places to tie the punch score cards to the competitor’s vehicles, it didn’t slow the teams down. Well, not too much! Inevitably, the end result was decided as much on effort as ability, with some of the teams prefering to enjoy the experience rather than kill themselves for the outright win. See, it really is impossible to make something like that sound modest when you were half of the winning crew, isn’t it? Not to worry, Jason Smith showed them how it’s done aboard his niftily tricked-up 90, with the second and third places going to the 110s of Chris Cole and Matt Baldwin. The Adams rolled in sixth aboard their Freelander, having learned a lot more about it than even they already knew. It’s safe to say that everyone at the winch trial – competitors, marshals and spectators alike – had a great day. Roll on the next one!


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North Wales LRC returns to Plas Coch for late August interclub

The North Wales Land Rover Club will hold an Interclub Weekend over the late summer Bank Holiday (22-25 August). The club held an event along these lines last year – and due to its success, not to mention the feedback received from happy punters, it will be returning once again to the same venue at Plas Coch. The club is expecting a large turnout for the weekend – and to accommodate that, there will be a large, flat camp site suitable for both tents and caravans, with stunning views across the Menai Straits to Snowdonia. The site opens on Friday night, and there’ll be evening entertainment on the Saturday and Sunday as well as a CCV on Saturday, an RTV and Dog Show on Sunday and a Tyro on Monday. All competitions will be open to members of other competitive ALRC member clubs. This year, a new trophy will be awarded to the highest-placed NWLRC member in the RTV. This is to commemorate David Cuthbert, who passed away in 2012. Dave was highly regarded by many at the club, having served on the committee, almost from its establishment, in positions including Chairman, Secretary (twice), Editor, Membership Secretary and club Director. He was also a keen driver, and the new trophy is called ‘Toby’ after a Series I he used to own. If you’d like more information on the weekend’s events, or details on how to enter for the trials, please contact Event Secretary Stuart Guy on 07933 795275 or via email at interclub@nwlrc.co.uk.

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The Landy September 2014  

The UK's only free distribution Land Rover newspaper

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