LOOK­ING BACK

Land Rover Monthly - - Lrm Technical -

Twelve months ago I started with a car that, though com­plete, hadn’t moved for 15 years, and wasn’t likely to. To­day, the car is not only work­ing, it is me­chan­i­cally sound, and vis­ually largely still as it would have been when a work­ing ve­hi­cle. I set out not to do a restora­tion, which would have erased the car’s life to date, but keep as much orig­i­nal­ity as I could, only re­plac­ing what was nec­es­sary. That brief gave us some free­dom, yet at the same time a def­i­nite fo­cus. It was a car with a story and one I hope to have pre­served. I think I’ve suc­ceeded, thanks in no small part to the multi-faceted tal­ents of Land Rover spe­cial­ist James Holmes. His weld­ing is peer­less, but his breadth of knowl­edge across all work­shop ar­eas meant we never came across some­thing we couldn’t fix.

Nei­ther James nor I are Se­ries I ex­perts. My knowl­edge un­til now was in the met­ric Efi Range Rover Classic and Dis­cov­ery era. Last Jan­uary I’d never even seen a BSF span­ner, nor worked on a pos­i­tive earth car. To­day I can say I’ve learnt a great deal by sim­ply try­ing, im­mers­ing my­self in re­search and by spend­ing so much time with an ex­pert like James. I ba­si­cally re­searched each area in turn as we came to work on it, took James’ ad­vice on our ap­proach to re­store that part, then worked to­gether to do the best job we could. That was our plan. I’m still no ex­pert – ex­perts would have done it quicker, with a deeper gloss, I don’t doubt – but I can say I did it, and I now have a greater depth of tech­ni­cal knowl­edge to help me main­tain the car and keep it on the road, which is what the tech­ni­cal sec­tion of LRM is all about.

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