I originally started trialling with a motorbike and sidecar, before finding out about Land Rover trialling. My sidecar passenger Richard Brook and I bought a Series I 80-inch (MAH 709). Pete Wilford, John Craddock, David Simmonite – I’ve trialled against all of them. But then my two boys got into trialling and eventually they began to beat me; so I eased off a bit, sold my trials motor in the early 1980s and gave up.
There was a big gap until 2003, when I found a good 200Tdi Discovery for £1500. But I enjoyed it so much on the road I decided not to bend it trialling!
That’s when I got interested in the history of the Discovery, and learned about the G-WACs from Ian Rawlings of the Discovery Owners Club. I bought G465 WAC in 2006 (though I don’t own it now) and a year later started compiling G-WAC Notes, an online newsletter. We learned there were 86 cars when the Discovery was launched in Plymouth. They all went back to the factory, but only 43 launch G-WACs were sold to dealers. At the moment we know of 20 launch cars, and we know that some others have been scrapped. There are three on DVLA: 466, 477 and 525 – but we don’t know who owns them.
We first organised a Plymouth reunion (discoverybirthdayparty.co.uk) in 2012, just as a try-out, then again in 2013. The 2014 event marked the 25th anniversary of the Disco 1’s launch, and I was there with G526 WAC.
At the moment I’ve got five: G526 WAC is my blue 200Tdi daily driver; G513 DHP is a prototype V8i five-door, A428 JAC, G478 WAC and 200Tdi Disco 1.
I’m still looking for G-WACs and any early or prototype Disco 1s – they don’t all have the G-WAC registration. If anyone’s breaking an H- or J-registered Disco, we’d like to know. I think it’s important cars like this should be saved because they’re part of the company’s history. Land Rover thinks so too – it has recently been offering us support. But there are still be some cars to be found…
Published in the February 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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