I bought this Range Rover Classic in 2008 with the sole intention of modifying it for overlanding to the Sahara. Ever since completing there in the World Rally Championship in 1974 (in a 3.0-litre Ford Capri) I've had an obsession about going back, so I promised nyself that when I retired I'd do just that.
Classic car restoration was my occupation, and I've had a number of Range Rover Classic V8s, so I chose this one for the Sahara: if it breaks down I know I can repair it. It was immaculate when I bought it and totally standard, with air suspension.
This one is well modified, and I've done all the work myself. I've fitted 2in wheel spacers and changed the air suspension for a 2in suspension lift with Bearmach blue springs. I've also moved the spring retainers from bottom to top, to give a positive location on the axle on articulation with dislocation cones.
At the back I've fitted Terrafirma big-bore dampers with lowering brackets, and an anti-roll bar. Range Rover Classics had only front anti-roll bars, so I had to make my own 100mm mounting extensions to allow articulation.
The front dampers are Pro Comp, mounted outside the spring, and I've also fitted diff guards, a steering guard and extended braided brake pipes. I made my own rear tube bumper, fitted a front winch bumper with a Warn winch, and on top I carry a split-level roof rack, with a roof tent and rear awning.
To give more advance from lower in the rev range I've fitted a D2M11 distributor from simonbbc.com. This has an advancew curve up to 34 degrees, rather than the standard 22 desgrees, and had a weaker spring to control the advance up to 3000rpm with a stronger one thereafter.
The exhaust is a big-bore stainless system that exits through the bodywork at the nearside rear. I've also matched the exhaust ports to manifold and gas flowed the heads.
In 2012, before I had it painted white, I went back to Morocco and the Sahara for three weeks with some friends in a Defender 90 and a Discovery 2. We travelled through the High Atlas mountains and the incredible Erg Chebbi sand dunes, and the Range Rover never missed a beat.
I'm going to install a stage 2 camshaft and re-organise the interior before going back to the Sahara later this year for at least another month.
Originally featured in the July 2014 issue of Land Rover Owner International. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.
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