Thursday, 30 July 2009

Our new Land Rover Defender!

For some time we've been aware of the shortcomings of our VW Polo getting in and out of the woods, and we've finally found the answer: a Land Rover Defender!
It's an ex-military Defender 90, built in 1992 and in private use since 2007. I think it's probably been to Iraq, given the colour, but it looks like any bullet holes have been patched up! We're picking it up in a week, by which time it will have had windows fitted in the sides at the back, a tow pack added and side steps bolted on.

Being an ex-military vehicle, it's very basic, I guess to keep cost down and improve reliability. It doesn't have a turbo on the engine, just a 4-cylinder 2.5l diesel, there's no power steering, the windows slide along and the interior has no trim or carpet - just bare painted metal.

On the plus side, the previous owner has put in some nice seats in the front along with a locking box between them, and side-facing bench seats in the back These aren't particularly comfortable, but will do for carrying an additional four adults on short trips, such as from home to the wood. It also comes with the larger size wheels on it already, and tyres with a mud-capable tread on them, which will come in useful I expect...

The downside of course is that it will only do 28mpg at best, compared to our Polo doing 55mpg. But on the other hand, it's so noisy and hard to drive in comparison, I think we'll be using the train and our electric bikes a lot more, so maybe our fuel consumption will actually go down... That's our intention at least, just using the Defender for trips where we really need it.



Nick Crawshaw said...

Excellent choice!! I am very happy with my 1986 Defender LWB pickup. Same engine, no turbo, but it does have PAS so you don't need gorilla's arms to drive round the woods! If you do your own servicing you will find everything is heavier than on a car and there are more fluid levels to check. Noisy - yes, 28mpg - maybe, fun - definitely.

Anonymous said...

Have to say also, excellent choice, may i reccomend joining the Ex Military Land Rover Association ( Who promote the operation, restoration & preservation of ex-Military Land Rovers, and the interest in them.

You will be able to track down it's history, what regiments it's served with and where it's been, any work it's had done ETC, you never know what might come up!

Ours also served in Iraq during Desert Storm and also a frontline vehicle in Bosnia.

Hope your Landy brings you many hours of joy, i'd hate to be a day away from ours!!