I don’t remember the first time I saw a Land Rover, and I also don’t remember ever NOT being in love with Land Rovers. Growing up in Kenya, my life was full of Land Rovers. I remember bouncing around in the back of the Novak family’s dark green Series III station wagon, on our way to church in Masai Land. But I never had one I could call my own. Now, I am 34 and living in Gaborone. Late last year, I decided it was time to get rid of my ageing Prado and I told my friend Tim Race from Lotec to start looking around. A few weeks later I got a call. Tim found one – a ’95 Defender 90 that was a bit worse for wear. It was used to transport a doctor in Tanzania before making her way down to Botswana. I was unimpressed, but Tim assured me this was the one. We climbed in and took her out into the bush for a test drive. She didn’t look like much but she was all right. Everything underneath was good and despite all she had been through, her sweet little Tdi heart was still going strong. After the bush drive, I was sold! Since then she has been stripped down to the bolts and put back together with all the love and sweat Tim and the guys at Lotec can muster. We swapped out the manual gearbox for an automatic one, added air-conditioning, new alloy rims and tyres, all new springs, bearings, belts, lights and checker plates. Eventually, I settled on a stunning colour, dubbed ‘Frustration Green’. When I look at the photographs of where she started and where she is now, I can’t believe it’s the same Landy. She is beautiful. Tim and the Lotec crew have done an amazing job. Naming a car is a delicate thing. It can’t be forced. One day I walked into the shop, and it hit me. She was christened Charlotte. When I got home, I looked it up. Charlotte means ‘Free Man’ – perfect fit for my Landy. I can’t wait to get out on the road and fully emerge myself into the ‘Landy Lifestyle’. If you see us out there, give a wave or join us for a sundowner – I promise to have some good stories to tell.