My first ever car, as a 17-year old, was a 1950 Series 1. That lasted about 5 years, until I decided to get something with a roof, and I bought a Renault 5 (called Sharon).  It got worse, and I never owned a Land Rover again until about 4 years ago, when I bought a J reg Defender 90. I won’t mention the ‘dealer’ I bought it from, but a specialist Land Rover mechanic who looked at it (after I bought it) said it was the second worse chassis he’d ever seen. I managed to persuade the dealer to take it back off me (at a very small loss) and I managed to find – and buy – another 90 (same reg) that had pretty much nothing wrong with it. Sound chassis. Bulkheads free of rust. ‘Straight’ was the phrase used.

I still have that truck, despite it being stolen (and found / recovered), and use it every day.

I have had a fair bit of work done to it (I am not at all mechanically-minded or competent or interested) including wheels and tyres (All Terrains), a light bar, winch and bumper, and various other additions to either strengthen it and/or make it capable of some mild, local off roading and trips to pay and play sites (including Slindon on the South Downs).

I can’t remember how I came to join ATUK, but it was off the back of being a GLASS member, as well as a member of a couple of clubs, including SCLROC and SADLRC.

I try to go to as many Land Rover events as possible, including Kelmarsh, Billing, Peterborough, Bicester (Land Rover Legends) and a few rallies such as SCLROC’s Coast into the Country and what turned out to be the last London to Brighton run.

I think it is fair to say I am obsessed with Land Rovers, and Defenders in particular. I don’t have much time or interest in the newer JLR models, and am unlikely to buy one. I have visited the company’s Classic Works facility outside Coventry on a couple of occasions, and saw not only the Series 1 ‘reborn’ project, but also the Works V8 in production.

I also entered my Defender for a Land Rover 70th anniversary event at Sherbourne last year, where it was described by the commentator as ‘scruffy’. I wasn’t upset, particularly as the other vehicles there were pretty much perfect examples (Series, Defenders etc).

My aim is to keep my Defender well maintained (if not clean) and to enjoy green laning around the Surrey area. The best green lane near me is Wolvens Lane, which is quite long and fairly narrow in places. I have a loop I have devised, linking together a number of lanes, which makes for a great morning or afternoon out. I’ve driven these with some friends, as well as other Land Rover owners.

My dream is to go further afield, to Wales or Scotland….and maybe overseas. In my Defender, of course. For the time being, though, it’s mostly Surrey…

 

Simon