What's the Story?
The thundering of excavators echoes around the quarry as huge loading shovels make light work of the desert-like terrain. If anyone knows his way around this vast expanse of ground in the southern Netherlands, it’s Leon Best. And he’s got the perfect vehicle for the job – a thoroughly rebuilt 300Tdi Discovery 1 automatic.
I jump into the left-hand-drive Disco’s cab with Leon, who points out where we’re headed. Despite the reassurance of a grab handle on the dash in front of me, it’s still a bit disconcerting. I’m sitting where I normally would be in my 110 at home, but I don’t have any control.
Our Favourite Bit
As the vehicle began to take shape, Leon put his fabricating skills to the test by making the modified sills, which he had also designed himself to be much stronger than the originals to withstand the rigours of the club’s pay-and-play events. He’s made a great job of it.
He then turned his attention to fabricating the front winch bumper to meet his exact requirements, ensuring the maximum approach angle possible for the vehicle. With the front valance removed, he can now negotiate much steeper inclines than before.
And the Verdict from LRO?
The Discovery coped admirably. It was as capable off-road as its tough looks suggested and at no point did I doubt its ability to perform. It really does show just how much of a difference a suspension lift and mud-terrain tyres can make to a Discovery. I’m sure a standard model would have come to a standstill long ago. Actually, I don’t think I would have even attempted this in a standard Disco. This is trialler territory at its best.
Can the Discovery be any more perfect? For a perfectionist such as Leon, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. So this remarkable Disco – marvellous though it is already – is still work in progress.
This feature appeared in the Spring 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.