A day out with Old and New Defenders and LRO Magazine!

ATUK member David Munden speaks to Alan King.

Having helped Land Rover Owner International magazine with a green lanes feature in 2019, ATUK paid up member David Munden was delighted to receive a call from LRO Editor Neil Watterson.

LRO had decided to “test” the new LR Defender against not just the last or “classic” Defender but also the Discovery 4. Which is where David came into their plan!

David not only has his main Laning vehicle, a green lane-prepared “stealth” Discovery 2 but also a nice shiny late model D4 as his “posh” everyday vehicle. He recalls “we agreed a date in September and I met with Neil just off the A47 from where we made our way to Tixover quarry, where we met up with the rest of Team LRO, Editor in Chief John  Pearson, Assistant Editor Mark Saville and photographer Alex Tapley.”

Photo shoots always take longer than most people imagine and the first part of the day was taken up with vehicle specifications and photos of the vehicles inside, seats in normal position, folded down, filling the load space with boxes / kit, engine bay front, side and back photos.

Next it was time to play! David tells us “first we tested hill climb and descent, nothing very taxing but it showed the hill descent control HDC coming down hill, then a rutted section on the hill climb was chosen. Both the defenders attempted this and both had a few attempts before they were able to get to the top. I noticed the older defender bottomed out in a couple of places and chose not to do this as I did not any underbody protection on the D4, but this is changing, I have now purchased steering, sump and transmission guards, which will be fitted very soon!”

“Next was the front cover shot, this took some time, me in the D4 and Mark in the old defender, we both parked up out the back with John in the new defender sitting in the water, John would then drive out off the water to create a splash as the front cover shows” said David.

A great video of the 3 vehicles going through some water, around a circular route can be seen on the LRO Instagram page. The day also covered side slope shots, axle twist with wheels up in the air and twisted axle routes all driven a few times.

Want to know the LRO verdict? To read more about the day the full article can be seen in the November 2020 issue of LRO magazine, just published at the time of writing this piece. (Here’s a clue -fancy a New Defender but it’s a bit out of your budget? Go and find a late D4 – apparently it’s the next best thing!)

When not out on the lanes David also uses his D4 when volunteering with Beds and Cambs 4×4 Response and recently supported their work delivering essential PPE during the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

You can follow David’s own green lane adventures in either his Discovery 2 or sometimes the D4.  His midweek trips all over Norfolk with his “retirement group” are a regular feature on the ATUK Facebook pages. David Has recently been appointed on of ATUK’s new Ambassadors.

Photos by kind permission of Alex Tapley / LRO Magazine.           Words by Alan King 8.10.2020