I'm in a Defender 110 that's been designed specifically for the road. Nothing for it but to snuggle down in the comfy seats, turn up the stereo, watch the scenery flit by the subtly tinted windows and enjoy the ride.
What's the story?
The owner wanted a Land Rover that was primarily to be used to take the family dogs out, but was also super-comfortable for occasional trips to his office in London. It had to be ultra-capable on-road while retraining the ability to climb out of trouble if necessary. He ordered a brand-new 110 and commissioned Nick Kerner 4 Wheel Drive to fulfil his brief, duly presenting the company with the factory-fresh vehicle for a serious makeover.
Enter Dave Mummery, who took enthusiastic charge of the job and is largely responsible for what you see here. Although the exterior has been heavily reworked, the finished result is very subtle. In fact, some of the mods are so subtle that it would be easy to miss them if they weren't pointed out. But then this was the point of the build and one of the most impressive aspects of the conversion. It proves that bespoke is not necessarily about shouting: 'Look everybody, I'm different.'
Our favourite bit?
As stunning as the exterior is, it's the reworked interior that truly blows you away. 'Opulent' hardly begins to cover it.
All the seats, doorcards and the dashboard have been re-covered in soft, supple tan hide and stitched in a diamond pattern. The headlining has been replaced with one made from Alcantara suede, and the door pillars are trimmed in the same material.
Driving the 110 evokes a strange but far from unpleasant conflict of senses. The luxury interior with its wonderful smell and all that extra trim gives you the feeling of driving something like a Bentley, but the view through the screen and the familiar control layout still scream 'Land Rover'.
And the verdict from LRO writer Jerry Thurston?
The owner wishes to be discreet, but having added up the known cost of additional items, and making educated guesses about the rest, it would be safe to say that this Defender must now stand at about double its initial circa-£25,000 on-the-road cost.
To put things into perspective. A new Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Autobiography currently costs from£91,550; for a little more than half of that the owner has a brand-new and truly bespoke vehicle that's completely different from any other Defender on the road.
• Model: 2012 2.2 TDCi Defender 110 station wagon
• Power: 121bhp at 3500rpm
• Torque: 266lb ft at 2000rpm
• Transmission: Six-speed manual
• Max speed: 90mph (limited)
• Wheels: 18in Kahn 1983 alloys
• Tyres: Bridgestone Dueler A/T 255/70 R18
• Suspension: Two-inch lower springs, adjustable dampers
• Paint: Santorini Black Metallic
• Front seats: Exmoor Trim Elite, heated
• Steering wheel: Wood-rimmed Mountney