What's the story?
John Pickering and Rod Wheat have been mates since childhood. As young men, they shared a passion for motorsports, rallying Lotus Cortinas, Hillman Imps, Mini Coopers and the like, with the Dukeries Motor Club.
Now retired, both men are back in motorsport, Rod drives his tweaked and tuned Ford Puma in sprint and hill climb events.
Inspired by Rod’s rekindled motorsport interest, John decided two years ago to turn his 20-year-old V8 Discovery into a full-on rally contender and re-enter the world of flying gravel and blurred tarmac, with Rod as his navigator/co-driver.
The Discovery looks as impressive as it sounds – and that clearly delights its creator. John’s owned the Land Rover for more than 10 years and has become very attached to it. His ownership is the result of a ‘happy accident’ which happened a few years ago when his brother-in-law was unfortunate enough to put the family car on its side. There was only minor panel damage, but the Discovery became an insurance write-off. John bought it from the insurers and put it back on the road.
Our favourite bit?
It’s actually much better than we thought it was going to be. It still rolls a bit, but not to the extent that you think it’s going to tip over. The only place it lets you down is on the hairpins, because you can’t handbrake turn it.
And the verdict from LRO writer Mark Saville?
‘I certainly enjoyed my time behind the wheel. It’s not often that I’m allowed to drive a car like I stole it. It’s even rarer to drive a Discovery 1 V8 these days, too.’
Model: Discovery 1 five-door l Transmission: Five-speed manual l Engine: 3.9 EFi V8 petrol l Power: 182bhp @ 4750rpm l Torque: 231 lb ft @2600rpm l Tyres: 235/70R16 BF Goodrich All-Terrains l Springs: Britpart HD, standard height