Land Rovers have been a big part of our family life on the farm, from my grandpa's generation through to mine. Our local Land Rover firm, Winston Pincombe, supplied us with this Td5 90 in 2009, but six years later I was driving home late one night when I caught the verge and rolled it on to its roof.
I was gutted because she'd never missed a beat, so I convinced my mum, dad and brother to buy it back from the insurance company - something I wouldn't have been able to do without the help of Winston Pincombe. they told my dad: 'It wouldn't hurt the boy if he were to do it in his spare time.'
The next morning they told us to press the reset button, and she started! 'She's a real peach,' they said. 'Don't let anyone take her away, or you won't get her back!'
There was damage to the bulkhead and rear tub, and a whole new body was needed. I managed to find a new cab, bulkhead and windscreen in Essex, so Dad and I set off with his commercial Discovery and we just about managed to fit it all in the back, I also found a rear tub from a breaker and bought new doors, salvaging the front wings and bonnet.
Next I got the parts resprayed and set about putting it together. After swapping the looms over I tried to start it, but the engine would run for 10 seconds and cut out.
It was getting late - and I was getting frustrated. I also couldn't work out what a little plastic box in the engine bay had been when I took it all apart. When I had the bulkhead resprayed, the bolt that it mounts on to was covered in paint, so I scratched it off and it cured the problem! Twelve months on and I haven't had any trouble, but I still don't know what the box is...
I'm very proud to say it sailed through its MoT and is now back in full use on the farm.
The experience made me fall in love with Defenders even more, so I was soon keen to put another one back on the road and have since rebuilt a 200 TDCI.
There will be a third one - it's only a matter of time!
This owner review appeared in the June 2016 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.