‘Mini Sodbury Sortout’ At Gumtree 4×4 This Weekend

A large stock of Land Rover parts is available in a clearance sale at Gumtree 4x4 this weekend

Gumtree 4x4 premises

by Theo Ford-Sagers |

This Saturday, Land Rover owners are invited to Gumtree 4x4 in Sussex for a yard sale of parts – an event which owner John Bowden describes as being ‘like a mini Sodbury Sortout’.

The sale will be from 9am to 2pm.

Used parts available to buy include a rare Lightweight grab handle, Fairey overdrive and a Dormobile roof for restoration. Also included are off-road accessories such as winch bumpers, 100 unused tree strops, and various unused Genuine parts which have been in storage.

Any unsold items may be scrapped from Monday onwards to free up space, so this may be a good opportunity to pick up a bargain and also rescue some rare Land Rover parts from their demise.

(Too far away? See our big list of other Land Rover events this weekend.)

The Land Rover business is also for sale

The disposal of parts is in preparation for the sale of the Gumtree 4x4, as its owner John (now 67) heads for retirement after four decades at the helm. The Land Rover specialist occupies two units on the same industrial estate in mid-Sussex (Ditchling Common) and employs a team of eight.

‘I’m 150% adamant that the business will continue,’ says John. ‘My staff are perfectly able to carry it on.’

Gumtree 4x4 is available as a whole, or as two separate divisions reflecting the different specialisms of the existing business; one focuses on everyday servicing, repairs and parts sales, while the other carries out restorations and rebuilds.

For more information, ring Gumtree 4x4 on 01444 241457.

The future for Land Rover businesses?

LRO asked John to reflect on the difficulties of growing a sustainable Land Rover business in the modern age.

‘The difficulty nowadays is deciding whether to continue working on the more modern vehicles, or focus on Land Rover rebuilds and restorations’ he said. ‘Some of the more complicated procedures are very expensive for the customer and they don’t necessarily bring much profit, but hopefully the customer will come back for a service, and that’s where you can make a better profit. Some of the ex-dealer mechanics are very good and can come in quite high up the business, but they’ve got to keep up their knowledge as the new vehicles evolve, and all their training and equipment costs a lot of money. Alternatively, you can stick with the restoration side of the work, where the knowledge and equipment doesn’t have to be updated so frequently. But I do worry about all older vehicles being legislated against in the future.

‘I’m very lucky that I’ve got such a great group of staff working for me – I’m really the Arthur Daley of the business!’

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