Mark's Freelander 1

1999 1.8-LITRE PETROL FREELANDER 1 THREE-DOOR

All proper Land Rovers have names and this particular V-registration, three-door Freelander 1 is known as Victor; by my wife, anyway.

Unlike many older Freelanders, this one hasn’t had a long succession of owners; I’m only the third, which may explain why the mileage is still pretty low. When I bought it in February 2016, it had only covered a little over 53,000 miles, and for £1250 I got myself a great little run about.

Since then, it’s taken me to the West Highlands of Scotland (and brought me back) and helped me cover dozens of feature vehicles for the magazine, all over the UK. It makes an ideal off-road camera car, with the rear window lowered the photographer has a safe and clear view of the target vehicle.

I’ve had to do a few jobs on it, with a good deal of help from Martin Domoney, LRO’s workshop writer; he does the work and I watch – it works for me.

The list includes new centre bearings for the propshaft, a fuel tank cradle, and front discs and pads. Inspired by the remote thermostat upgrade fitted to LRO’s rallying Freelander 1, I fitted the same upgrade to Victor; although successful, I bet I took a good while longer than Martin would have needed.

Victor has been off-road several times for photoshoots and on a recent trip to Tixover, I went a bit ‘off-piste’ and ‘redesigned’ the driver’s sill with a medium-sized scuff and depression. Despite this minor self-inflicted wound, the Freelander continues to impress me, although it’s currently suffering an intermittent fuel starvation problem. Hopefully, a new fuel tank pump will solve the issue.

Vital stats

  • 1999 Land Rover Freelander 1, three-door hard-back
  • Colour: Epsom Green
  • Engine: 1.8-litre four cylinder petrol                                          

Upgrades, modifications & repairs

  • Remote thermostat housing and new expansion bottle
  • Tyres: 195/80 R15 Yokohama Geolander G015 tyres
  • Replacement fuel tank cradle
  • Front discs and pads
  • Propshaft centre bearings