Our Land Rovers

What’s bet­ter than one rusty Dis­cov­ery? Two!

LRO (UK) - - Contents - Martin Domoney WORK­SHOP WRITER

Disco 1, Se­ries I, De­fender TDCI

Af­ter promis­ing my­self (and friends, many of whom I’m sure didn’t be­lieve me) that I’d never mod­ify my blue 300Tdi Dis­cov­ery, I’ve suc­cumbed.

Since last Au­gust my trusty daily driver has mys­te­ri­ously sprouted var­i­ous ac­ces­sories (I’ve no idea where they came from, dar­ling, hon­est); and while I’ve en­joyed the process of mak­ing it suit my needs bet­ter, I’m hav­ing mixed feel­ings.

It’s al­ways ex­cit­ing to bolt on loads of good­ies and see your ve­hi­cle un­dergo a trans­for­ma­tion, but some­times it’s nice just to ap­pre­ci­ate the work that Land Rover put into the de­sign in the first place. Not only that, I never thought I’d ever take pride in hear­ing strangers pass com­ment on see­ing an un­mod­i­fied first-gen Dis­cov­ery. Still, I’m us­ing the 300Tdi off-road more and more and I’m re­ally miss­ing hav­ing taller tyres. But then the is­sue with fit­ting big­ger rub­ber to a D1 is it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to do that with­out cut­ting the body – and that’s some­thing I re­ally can’t bring my­self to do.

It’s a strange thing, and cer­tainly not some­thing that would have both­ered me much even just a cou­ple of years ago. Now I ac­tu­ally feel guilty, al­most shame­ful, about do­ing it. Bolt-on stuff is one thing, but ir­re­versible trim­ming of met­al­work is an­other. Even drilling holes to mount the guard to keep the new ad­di­tion to the Domoney fam­ily in place (don’t worry; it is a dog, not a child) made me wince.

So, as you can imag­ine, it was a huge relief when the phone rang with the ir­re­sistible of­fer of a com­pletely stan­dard 200-se­ries Dis­cov­ery. It had been sit­ting in a farm­yard for 18 months, had flat tyres, spec­tac­u­lar lac­quer peel, and no MOT... I had to have it.

First im­pres­sions are ac­tu­ally pretty good. The boot floor is sur­pris­ingly mostly there and the rear door shuts and in­ner arches are im­mac­u­late, with just slight

at­ten­tion needed to one outer sill. The 3.5 V8 en­gine is sweet and rat­tle-free, de­spite a slight hunt at idle, and the bat­tery charge light is il­lu­mi­nated very dimly – a pos­si­ble sign of a poor earth or dodgy rec­ti­fier. There’s noth­ing a few days’ fet­tling shouldn’t sort, and then I’ll as­sess the paint­work sit­u­a­tion.

With mi­nor me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal is­sues put to the back of my mind, I can now sleep easy know­ing that although the blue one is grow­ing fur­ther away from what Land Rover in­tended, I’ve saved an even older Dis­cov­ery from an un­cer­tain fate. It’s kind of like when a tree gets cut down, an­other gets planted.

Now, talk­ing of cut­ting, where’s my an­gle grinder?

‘One is grow­ing fur­ther away from what Land Rover in­tended, but I’ve saved an even older Disco’

Bent­ley the dog trav­els in both com­fort and style

Black and blue – how Martin’s wal­let is feel­ing

Farm-fresh: the V8 as it ar­rived. He still hasn’t cleaned it

A glance over the boot floor re­veals only mi­nor scabs

Sonar Blue cabin in­cludes op­tional car­pet floor mats

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