Our Land Rovers
What’s better than one rusty Discovery? Two!
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