Five days before Ian was due to go on holiday, his Discovery failed its MoT. That very day, the Disco was put on eBay. Three hours later it was gone – and Ian was hunting around for a replacement.
He spent two days trying to find another Discovery, but all those in his price range were in worse condition than the one he’d just offloaded. With three days to go, he ventured into the previously uncharted waters of the Freelander, where hurried research revealed a roadworthy three-door 1.8 within budget.
The night before setting off, Ian spotted yet another Freelander on eBay – a 2.5 V6 three-door described as being in immaculate condition, with just 37,500 miles on the clock. Ian put in a bid that seemed so ridiculous he thought it would be gobbled up and spat out. But the next morning, he woke up to find he’d bought it.
Unfortunately, the red tape for the V6 couldn’t be sorted out in time for the trip and Ian set off in the 1.8. On his return from holiday, the 1.8 was sold.
The 2.5 V6 was then pressed into everyday service, impressing its new owner. Driving it made Ian think of the M-Sport Freelanders, so work began on an M-Sport transformation for the V6. He got off to a great start with a set of OZ Racing wheels and a raised air intake – both pukka M-Sport fitments. And with fuel prices soaring, he also fitted an LPG conversion kit.
Next came the quest to give it an off-road racer look. A Freelander Storm lift kit raised ground clearance by two inches, while the interior was stripped out and protected by a custom-made roll cage. Cobra bucket seats and three-point racing harnesses were bolted in. A bespoke stainless steel exhaust makes the most of the V6 engine’s growl, and Ian’s self-designed graphics add at least 10mph. A bonnet pod (a reshaped Defender item) and Range Rover Sport side vents enhance the bodywork, already treated to a 2004-facelift-model kit.
The Freelander has made a huge impression on Ian. He now owns a Td4 that’s being turned into an off-roader. When that’s done, the V6 will become full-on race spec, ready to give Ian some competitive action.
This owner review appeared in the September 2011 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.