We're a Land Rover family through and through. Dad had one of the last Discovery 2s made, and the lovely Discovery 3 pictured above has recently been replaced with a Discovery 4. Mum drives a new Freelander 2 and the 1997 Defender 90 is mine.
I've had it for three years, and for most of that time it's been in pieces in the workshop. I've given it a full restoration, with a new galvanised chassis from Richards and a galvanised bulkhead from Ashtree. I've also stripped and rebuilt the engine, resprayed it, uprated the brakes, and fitted loads of other bits including a MudStuff dash pod and LandyGlass panels. It's taken up practically every weekend and spare evening, but the finishing line is in sight.
When we were looking for a Discovery 3 for my dad, he told me categorically that it had to be red. So I trawled dealerships all over the region for three days and found the one above. We were both blown away by its mint condition. Last summer we travelled in it to Holland, and it performed effortlessly: cruise control clicked in and the miles flew by. The in October we drove down the west cost of France to the Vendee, again without a hitch. We're going back in August, and this time we'll tackle some French greenlanes.
The Discovery 3's replacement is a gorgeous 2013 SDV6 Discovery 4 XS in Indus Silver that he's finding much more refined, what with its eight-speed automatic gearbox, all-leather seats, and built-in satnav and DVD player.
The Freelander, my mum's first Land Rover, is an eD4 'eco' version with permanent two-wheel drive and stop/start technology, looking lovely in white. She loves driving it - it cruises nicely on the motorway and is a smooth operator around town. She's happy that she finally got to join the family Land Rover club!
Originally featured in the May 2014 issue of Land Rover Owner International. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.
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