This is my much-modified County Station Wagon that appeared in the March 1990 edition of LRO (p41). I still own it 25 years later, and it’s still going strong.
I bought it as a $1500 wreck in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, where it had been used by an aid organisation until they rolled it. I sold the V8 petrol engine and bought an almost-new Nissan TD42 diesel complete with gearbox, then sold the gearbox to recover the cost of the car and Nissan engine.
Being an outdoor enthusiast and boatie, my goal was to have a trailerable boat capable of sleeping a family of four, plus a vehicle to tow it – so why not have a camper as well? I sent the Land Rover to Dennis Long in Christchurch, New Zealand, who lengthened the chassis by 4ft, fitted the engine, installed a turbocharger, fitted dual wheels, widened the track of the front wheels, and built the camper body. With a boat on the back, it’s 57ft long and weighs around seven tonnes!
The Nissan engine is coupled to a Land Rover five-speed manual gearbox. The front and rear differentials are standard Defender items, and it has power steering from a Toyota. I’ve fitted a winch, mainly for dragging logs.
Being a 4x4, our regular trips to the ski fields were a breeze. I sold the boat four years ago but we still really enjoy touring all over New Zealand with the Land Rover.
I had early problems with the rear axle driving flange flogging out after using inferior aftermarket flanges, so I bought machined steel versions from Australia and have had no problems since.
On my bucket list is shipping it to the UK and touring for a year or so – so watch out for me!
Published in the September 2015 issue of Land Rover Owner. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.
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