Your Land Rovers
It started life as a French dairy farmer’s hack. Now, after a good clean and £19k-worth of modifications, it’s a Double Cab that’ll go anywhere
Double Cab 110, Railrover 130, Series I
It would have been difficult not to end up driving a Land Rover when I finally got my driving licence, as my dad has always been into Land Rovers. He gave me the ‘virus’.
I started out modifying early Discoverys and Classic Range Rovers before fiddling with a couple of P38s.
Eventually, I was able to afford a Defender – a pure farmer’s workhorse: not a single panel on the white Double Cab was straight, and the interior was covered in mud and worse.
It’s not like it was cheap, either, but I didn’t have much choice – in France Double Cabs are rare and good ones are close to impossible to find. To be fair, the mechanical side of the 110 was sound, but the farmer clearly felt that leaving the Defender in a field where cattle would scrape up against it was totally normal.
I took the bull by the horns and dismantled the whole 110. I wanted to check everything before installing a Terrafirma 4x4 suspension kit, including +2in springs, dislocating cones and tubular turrets, and Britpart Cellular Dynamic +5.5in dampers.
I also added aftermarket sixdegree cranked radius and trailing arms, aligning the axles with the transmission. The installation was pretty straightforward, if somewhat time-consuming.
Unfortunately, this is when health problems seriously limited my ability to complete the job. Luckily, my mate Alexandre Gatt helped me finish everything.
The list of other parts goes on and on and includes a new MM 4x4 Panhard rod, and a Terrafirma steering damper. We also fitted diff lockers (an ARB up front and an Eaton Detroit Locker in the back) along with Ashcroft Transmissions axles internals and propshafts. Why did we do all this, you may be asking? Simply to accommodate 37x12.5r16 Maxxis Trepador M8060 Competition tyres. They nicely wrap around 8x16in Mach 5 rims.
I decided to go for a remap by Corsica specialist Cyril Gérard. The five-pot diesel has pushedout 170bhp and 270lb ft for two years now. When my back problems had gone, I installed the sturdy Terrafirma bumper, ACC16 rocksliders and Madland rear bumper. These allow cutting out part of the rear quarter panel, offering a better exit angle.
Once everything was in place, I took it all apart again to spray the lot in Santorini black before adding ACC16 Svx-type side decals in mat black. I completed the new look with a KBX grille kit and LED lights.
I installed Disco 2 front seats, mounted on tractor seat tilting mechanisms, allowing me to access the battery. The interior had a few comfort upgrades, too.
Having spent just under £19,000 on the whole project, I think
I got more than my money’s worth. The Defender has not only been faultless since completion but it goes everywhere I point it: tarmac, mud holes, trialling tracks, it just devours it all. In fact, I’ve never used my T-max 9500S winch since I fitted the 37in tyres! I think that says it all.
‘The Defender has not only been faultless since completion – it goes everywhere I point it’
Suspension fit was ‘time-consuming’
Td5 delivers hefty 270lb ft after remap
Heavy-duty add-ons allow better exit angle Disco II seats mounted on tractor tilt system Massive 37in tyres have made the T-max 9500S winch almost redundant
Serious gear in every inch of space