I first got interested in Land Rovers when my father took me to test-drive a used Discovery 200Tdi. The owner advertised it for what seemed a fair price, even though he admitted he’d clocked 120,000 miles and he hadn’t taken too much care of it!
It was, to put it bluntly, a rust bucket – but that didn’t stop me deciding to buy it as a project. Then I set about restoring it – this whole sequence of events started about 10 years ago when I was 18 years old.
Over the past decade I’ve rejuvenated it a lot more than I originally planned, and I’ve upgraded it with off-roading superpowers! Besides the paint scheme, inspired by the 2003 G4 Challenge Discovery 2s, I decided to install several suspension upgrades, starting with +3in springs all round and two-inch spacers in the back. In fact, I even ended up building my own three-link system for the front axle, along with raised turrets incorporating relocating cones. I coupled them with 14in-travel Rancho 9000 XL dampers, and also lifted the body with 70mm home-made spacers.
The whole steering set-up had to be revised, so I built reinforced steering rods. The axles were then upgraded with ARB lockers and Ashcroft halfshafts. This allowed me to fit the impressive BF Goodrich 285/75 R16 tyres, which then led to me fitting a Defender transfer case with shorter ratios – a modification carried out by my friend Borja Jiménez and several members of our GKC 4x4 Club.
Next on the horizon for the Discovery will be a slight engine upgrade, hopefully with a VNT turbo. I also plan to fit wheels with beadlockers.
Living on an island really restrains us from exploring continental Europe and Africa, but we’re very lucky to have access to some fantastic terrain with stunning scenery. The club likes to meet most weekends, and when we get together we spend an entire day either off-road or in the workshop, working on our Land Rovers.
Of course, what we like best is to test the limits of our vehicles – and since the Canary Islands offer every terrain imaginable, we can do so all year round. We have it all – rocks, dry tracks, sandy tracks, dunes and sometimes even snow-covered tracks – the island is a miniature continent!
I can’t thank my dad enough for first taking me to see this Discovery. It got me into Land Rovers, but more than that it gave me the opportunity to make new friends and discover our islands in a way I could never have done otherwise.
This owner review appeared in the April 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.