What’s the story?
Like many other Land Rover fans, Matt Mills wanted to create the ultimate Defender, based on a brand new 2.2TDCi 90. He wanted a vehicle that could tackle the more challenging off-road play that he relishes but still be safe, fast and comfortable on the long motorway drive home at the end of the day.
Having competed in the Bowler Defender Challenge in 2014, in his own machine, he was better placed than many armchair pundits to know exactly who he should get to build his dream machine; he naturally commissioned Bowler Motorsport. Mark Saville joined Matt and his 90 for a great day’s off-roading to find out how good it was.
Our favourite bit?
We particularly like the Defender 90’s unmistakably business-like look, bold without being brash. Also, being white, it looks like any other works van from some angles. Matt’s also resisted any temptation to specify a suspension lift, another plus point for on-road handling potential.
And the verdict from LRO writer Mark Saville?
Like every Bowler Defender I’ve driven, the gear change on Matt’s 90 is smooth, slick and accurate. It’s one of my main bug-bears with the standard vehicle; it’s awkward, balky gear change. The added security of the Bowler roll cage and extra oomph from the Stage 2 Tune, matched with Bowler’s own specification Bilstein dampers and anti-roll bars, make this Defender a real joy to drive.
Model: Defender 90 hard top
Tyres: 275/65 R18 Cooper Discoverer STT
Winch: Warn 8274 with Goodwinch Bowmotor