I bought my beloved Daffodil 25 years ago, and 2014 is also very important milestone for my club, Peak & Dukeries, which celebrates its golden anniversary.
I joined the club in 1988, and did my first RTV (road-taxed vehicle trial) at Holymoorside in a Series IIA that I'd bought for work; I was hooked. I was soon looking for an 80in Series I to trial; the machine of choice for CCVs (cross-country vehicle trials).
My father-in-law tipped me off about 'an old Land Rover' languishing at a local garage. It was a customer's vehicle, a non-starter, but I left an offer and hoped for the best. I got a telephone call later - and after £400 changed hands, she was in my hands.
It didn't take long to get her running; clean contacts on the fuel pump and a dollop of Araldite to fix the shredded starter motor's rubber bush did the trick. We were off.
Daffodil wasn't road-registered until 1963. It appears she spent 10 years in military service - presumably overseas, judging by the Sand paint overlaying the original Bronze Green.
There's quite a choice of possible conflicts that she may have been involved in: Suez, Egypt, Kenya and Cyprus, for example.
After de-mob, she passed through several owners between 1963 and 1989, which is when I snapped her up.
So, why paint her yellow? Yellow is my wife Kathryn's favourite colour, so that was the colour the 80in had to be; a tin of Dulux later and Daffodil was born. I couldn't wait for the next Peak & Dukeries event, so joined East Midlands Off Road Club and drove to its Fen Lane site. On the road up to the site the gearbox went bang and I lost second gear. I did the trial and then continued the rest of that season and into the next without second gear.
Over the past 25 years. we've competed fully in every season. Daffodil has featured in Peak & Dukeries club mag Trialling Times on many occasions, and not always on her wheels!
Photos of her have also been in LRO at least four times. There's no other vehicle in the club still in regular use that has competed as regularly for such a length of time.
Daffodil has had a lot of bits and pieces replaced over the years, but she is still basically a standard 80in running the 2.0-litre petrol engine with the modification of a 'Rover 60' cylinder head.
The chassis is like a patchwork quilt but look carefully and you can still find that Bronze Green and Sand paint. And I wouldn't have her any other way!
Originally featured in the August 2014 issue of Land Rover Owner International. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.
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