What's the story?
When Dider Reboul and Jean Marc, two friends from south-east France, got it into their heads to develop a vehicle that would be more suitable for extreme mountain tracks than their expedition-orientated Defenders, they naturally thought of a Range Rover Classic.
They wanted to start from an affordable base, and an old Range Rover Classic meant that they could stay within the tight budget that they set themselves.
They were lucky to find two wrecked 1990 models. The V8 engine of the first had died, but the other one had a perfectly maintained engine but a poor body. Disassembling them took 18-months.
The most grueling part of the job was dismantling and reconditioning the engine block, the gearboxes, the axles and stripping the chassis. The body was given a four-inch lift and the second donor’s V8, a 180bhp 3.9EFi was used. The same thing went for the transmission. The LT77 and a Borg Warner transfer box were both reconditioned; the combination is ideally suited to the large, 35-inch Maxxis Mudzilla tyres.
Upgrades planned for the future include a locking ARB front diff, with constant velocity joints and Ashcroft halfshafts. At the back, the duo will at some point fit a full axle equipped with stronger, Maxidrive gear, replacing the original innards.
Our favourite bit?
With as much torque as you want from the formidable V8 engine and superb axle articulation it means that even without deflating the Mudzilla tyres, we can’t find any fault in the off-road performance. It’s an incredible machine and all the credit goes to its builders, Didier and Jean Marc.
And the verdict from LRO writer Jerome Andre?
Didier and Jean Marc say their main aim in developing this vehicle was two-fold: to have fun and to learn about trialling techniques. Well, they’ve managed both of these.
Engine: 3.9-litre V8 l Transmission: LT77 five-speed, Borg Warner transfer box l Suspension and lift: Defender springs, Procomp shocks, four inch suspension lift plus two-inch body lift