What’s the Story?
I could have had a Range Rover Sport with cream leather and a pair of matching Gucci shoes for the money that this 110 has cost me,’ Frank Williamson remarks as he shows me around his gleaming, brand-new Defender.
‘But by the time I’ve had my breakfast and bought my dinner it would have depreciated even further and I still wouldn’t be able to do what I want to do with a vehicle.’
Frank hasn’t just bought this Defender for fun. This is a working vehicle – and it’s a bespoke one at that.
Frank Williamson is no stranger to the green oval. This 2011 TDCi 110 station wagon is his eighth Land Rover: they’ve all been worked and Frank insists that each has been the only tool for the job.
This applies even more so to his new 110. It started life as a standard station wagon at Nene Overland waiting for Frank to decide what he wanted done before it could be rebadged as one of the Cambridgeshire firm’s upgraded Defender Icon models.
Our Favourite Bit?
A trip to Bulgaria, where he does a lot of skiing, is first on the cards, doubling up as a shakedown trip to make sure the Defender works well in its current set-up.
The idea of travelling through Africa also influenced the decision to have the Defender’s 2.4 TDCi engine tuned by Nene Overland, which remapped the ECU to give it a bit more oomph and derestricted the engine to give a top speed of 90mph.
Between the two front seats lives what can only be described as a half cubby box, half seat. Fed up of rummaging through the deep cubby boxes of his previous Land Rovers and preferring the centre seat option, Frank decided to have a combination of the two fitted.
And the Verdict from LRO?
It turns out Frank was a JCB instructor, teaching people to drive excavators, much like he does now. He was also one of the JCB Dancing Digger display team drivers. No wonder he can put the diggers at gravity-defying angles.
He continues to wow me with excavator stunts as I manoeuvre the 110 around him. I’ve never driven a Defender that’s so perfect for its vast array of uses, current and intended.
Just like Frank, I really dig it.
This feature appeared in the October 2011 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.