Limited Edition Defenders
If you were going to order a Defender this year, one of the very last to be built (in the UK at least), what would you buy? Would it be one of the three limited editions that Land Rover has promised us – Heritage, Adventure and Autobiography - or a more humble version?
Personally, it’d be a standard spec for me, possibly a modern version of this tidy Defender 110 Double Cab for sale; I’d rather specify my own accessories. Somehow that feels truer to the Defender's heritage than buying a ready-prepared one, as Defenders have always been about DIY and ease of modification.
Drawing in the sand
Land Rover recently pulled off what will be remembered for decades as one of their most visionary, and beautiful, publicity stunts. To begin the final year of Defender production, they created a tribute to that fabled moment in 1947 when Maurice Wilkes sketched the design for the first Land Rover in the sands of Morecombe Bay. Their 1km-long drawing, created using harrows towed behind Series Land Rovers, an early Ninety and a couple of Defenders, is unmistakably a Land Rover... but with a minimalist, futuristic twist. Like.
Discovery gear selector fix
Enough daydreaming - I've had to be practical this week and get the gear selector seen to, on LRO's Discovery 1. First and second gear were becoming a nuisance to engage. Now it's been fixed, the R380 'box feels almost like new, slotting into gear with a satisfying ‘kerchonk’, and the job cost less than £20 in parts.
What was needed? A new spherical selector yoke, plus its split ring and plastic bush, which sit inside the top of the ‘box at the base of the gear lever. Although most of us prefer to leave any gearbox work to a pro (like I did), in reality this isn’t too complex, and should be doable by a novice with a workshop manual.
Land Rover heroes
Britain's Land Rovers will no-doubt have been kept busy by the recent hurricane weather, especially those serving with the AA’s Special Operations Response Team. Do send us your pictures – we like nothing more than the sight of Land Rovers being heroic.
If you’re into AA Land Rovers, you’ll like our feature on this stunning 6cyl Series III Station Wagon, still with the AA, that appeared in LRO's July 2014 issue. Back issues are available to order!
Just after new year I saw a bad accident involving a Discovery on the M74. It all happened in a flash - all I saw was a vehicle piling into the opposide side of the central reservation, a Discovery (1 or 2, I didn't notice) bouncing and spiralling into the verge. I was driving a Discovery 2 myself, grateful for the extra ground clearance and strong tyres to see me through the field of debris that scattered in front of me at speed. I suspect the unfortunate Discovery occupants were less shaken than the occupants of the even-less-fortunate other car.
Drive safely. Over and out.