I’ve always been interested in all-terrain vehicles – even my Dinky collection reflects my passion! I joined the Belgian Army in 1967 and was posted to a vehicle maintenance garage where I serviced lots of Willys Jeeps and Series I Minervas.
Many years later I bought a Willys Jeep, which took me a long time to restore. I kept it for 17 years before eventually selling because I was so busy at work.
Now that I’ve retired from running my own pub I have plenty of leisure time for my Land Rover: my glorious 93,500-mile Series III.
I bought it in Belgium but it spent most of its life in Greece, in a dry, sunny climate.
It was owned by an English family who had it fully restored before reluctantly selling it to the Belgian classic car dealer who sold it to me. I've seen some pictures of it pre-restoration and I think the costs must have been quite high.
The biggest job I’ve done on it is treating the chassis with a thick Dinitrol coating. I’ve also changed the door locks, adjusted the carb, fitted the external sun visor, and done small jobs like treating the leaf springs with a mixture of oil and petrol, which makes a huge difference to the ride.
I live in the Belgian countryside and recently joined an ‘old timers’ car club. There is another Land Rover in the club, a Series II ex-military 1969, owned by the club’s president. At present, it’s out of order and up for sale, together with some spare parts.
Once a month we go on a tour around the surrounding area. Most of the time the organisers choose quiet roads or tracks in the dry season. These are no problem for me in the Series III, but for the other ‘smart’ cars... well, it’s a bit more tricky!
We visit lots of interesting places on these little trips, such as an old shipbuilding yard, a museum for old technology and on one occasion, a private visit to a large fruit and vegetable grower to learn about the art of composting and tasting home-made products and aperitifs.
Once or twice a year the club organises a trip to Germany or Italy. These are more suited to those with more luxurious cars than my 88in Land Rover. I try to limit myself to about a maximum of 100 miles; that’s enough in a Series.
Published in the January 2015 issue of Land Rover Owner. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.
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