Past Meets Present
With the South African Defender 90 now in Trevor’s hands, Pat had added incentive to check out his workshop
EVEN BEFORE I acquired my Land Rover Defender 90 2.8i Station Wagon, from South Africa, with its factory-fitted six cylinder BMW petrol engine, LRM editor Patrick Cruywagen had been threatening to visit my workshop. But now that my 2.8i was home, there was that added incentive for Patrick to come and see what I was up to.
My workshop is usually not the most tidy of locations – there is always one or more Land Rover in situ, usually in some state of dismantle. Presently there are two long-term projects in the workshop (I usually prefer to have only one), as well as a full rolling 130 chassis and associated parts – so my place was particularly chaotic when Patrick arrived. Nonetheless, being a true Land Rover enthusiast, my visitor was more interested in hearing about all three of the vehicles that were under my roof, rather than the organised chaos – and I was more than happy to talk at length about them all.
But where was the 2.8i Station Wagon? We jumped into my 90 to drive the three-quarter mile trip to my storage barn, where the South African Land Rover was waiting under a pair of dust covers, alongside my classic tractors and various Land Rover chassis waiting their turn to be fitted. We soon had the covers off the Land Rover and Patrick gave the truck a full critical inspection... and declared it to be a very good purchase! “Shall we take it out for a drive?” Silly question, of course we will! We soon had the straight-six petrol engine running and the Land Rover was carefully eased out of the barn, for a drive around the surrounding private roads. The engine was running beautifully, although overall much quieter than Patrick’s 2.8i 110 Station Wagon. This was because my 90 remains in standard form for now – original exhaust system, with no chip or remap.
We talked through the process of getting the 2.8i registered for the United Kingdom and one of the main hurdles seems to be the emissions test element of the MOT. The South African Land Rover is unlikely to pass emissions as it stands and I will either have to find a cooperative MOT tester, or remedy the emissions problem. I had always planned to have a stainless steel exhaust system fitted to this very special Land Rover, at Demand Engineering Ltd – who are extremely talented in all aspects of exhaust design and manufacture. I called the boss, Dan Dew, to ask him if he had a solution for my emissions issue. “No problem Trev – we can fit a catalytic converter to your exhaust system, which will keep the MOT guys happy”.
So I am planning to take the Station Wagon back over to England soon, for Demand Engineering to work their magic on my exhaust system and make the Land Rover MOT compliant. I can then proceed with getting it UK registered. On the way to Demand Engineering is the new Land Rover Legends show in Oxford and I have been asked to help out on the Demand Engineering stand, so my 2.8i will probably feature – and I might just get a deal on my exhaust system for helping out. Please pop by and say hello.
My 2.8i has a spare wheel carrier that commemorates the 2009 Defender Trophy event in South Africa – an event that Patrick actually attended. So it was remarkable to realise that a Land Rover that Patrick witnessed competing back then, out in the South African bush, was now in front of him almost 9000 road miles away in Northern Ireland, of all places eh!
Pat excitedly discovers he went to the same event
TREVOR CUTHBERT CONTRIBUTOR