Last In The Line

Nothing could explain how we feel about the end of production of Defenders, which saw the final model leave the Solihull production line this morning at 9.25.

This Autocar article sums it up really quite well, with a great testimonial video.

 

If you need parts or accessories for your Land Rover Defender, check out our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or give us a call on 01691 657 705

Pedal Power

Bespoke Defender Pedal Car

Bespoke Defender Pedal Car

Should you want to compliment your tot’s Bulgari, get them to sling their Jimmy Choos or Loakes on the pedals of this beauty.

Bespoke, British-made chelsea tractors for the playground shuld be winging their way to a Harrods store near you from Q2 16 (the middle of next year if you’re not a bit of a banker).

Classic elements of design meeting the needs of the modern nursery commuter, the off-road ability of these vehicles will naturally be supreme. Attention to detail includes maintaning the classically-low approach angles front and rear to facilitate climbing steep obstacles, low waist-lines to allow good side visibility for driver and co-driver, rock-sliders to protect the vulnerable side sills and a spacious engine bay for storing Mr Wuggles, the other half of that rice cake Mummy gave me and a full range of crayons.

Expect hard-wearing food-resistant seats, low servicing costs and high residual values. Resuslts of the Euro Kneecap tests haven’t been released at the time of publishing, with some speculating that although crumple zones may be absent, most impact speeds are likely to be low so driver protection should be acceptable.

If you have a real Land Rover and need any servicing, repairs or accessories, visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or give us a call

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

45 Range Rover Facts

4-generations-of-range-rover

If these are the horsemen, give us the apocalypse now.

Land Rover have very generously given us 45 facts based on the Range Rover line.

We’ve chosen some of our favourite and included them here:

3. Charles ‘Spen’ King, the visionary engineer behind the Range Rover, drove a Rover 2000 road car on the farmland around the Solihull site to assess the effects of coil springs on an off-road vehicle – a radical idea for the time.

 

4. During the prototype stage in the 1960s, Range Rovers were cunningly labelled with VELAR badges in order to fool any journalists who were on the lookout for a scoop. Stories differ as to what VELAR stood for: the official story is that it is a Spanish word for ‘to protect or take care’; other accounts say it stood for ‘Vee Eight in a Land Rover’ or that it’s from the Italian velare, meaning ‘to veil or cover’.

 

5. The Chinese characters that represent the name Range Rover in China translate as ‘Capturing Victory’.

 

9. The Range Rover Sport SVR will feature in the forthcoming James Bond film, Spectre. What you might not know is that Range Rover vehicles have also starred in: Quantam of Solace (driven by 007 himself), Casino Royale, Layer Cake, Eastern Promises, Snatch, RocknRolla, Kiss the Girls, Syriana, Ocean’s Eleven (and Twelve and Thirteen), Under Suspicion, The Football Factory, The Player and many more.

What a fantasy garage!

11. The armoured Range Rover repelled eight live ball rounds from the barrel of a Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle, eight bullets from a Makarov pistol, and a 7.62mm live ball round fired from a distance of 32 feet. The bulletproof glass is 40mm thick, and the floorpan can withstand two DM71 hand grenades. An optional built-in Oxygen system protects all five occupants against gas attack, the tyres boast run-flat technology, and the suspension has been fine-tuned – because a fast getaway is still the best form of defence.

 

13. Although it has outstanding off-road ability, when engineers developed the Range Rover Sport, they placed the emphasis firmly on-road. Testing was carried out on the notorious Nürburgring, where it clocked up over 5,000 miles, hit speeds of 130mph, and lapped the track in an amazing 8 minutes, 49 seconds. Each lap has 73 corners and endless combinations of radius, camber and gradient, so it’s not hard to see why the Range Rover Sport became such an accomplished performance vehicle.

 

16. In the 1970s and 1980s, British company Wood and Pickett customised Range Rovers. The vehicles would often be given more power and wider wheels, and the interiors would be kitted out with Recaro seats, sports steering wheels and additional dials, according to the customer’s requirements. The vehicles were re-badged as Sheer Rovers and proved popular with some of the biggest celebrities of the time, such as Peter Sellers. In the late 1970’s, Wood and Pickett were also consultants on the first Range Rover Vogue.

17. In the 1970s, specially-built six wheel Range Rovers were used as fire trucks. Some of them are still in use today.

Let your body move to the music (not to mention the potholes)

Go on, say ‘nee nah!’ in a Terry Thomas voice.

21. Madonna used her Range Rover as a mobile medical unit on the set of her then-husband’s 2008 movie RocknRolla. Madge set up shop as distributor of vitamins to a run-down cast – which included Hollywood darling Gerard Butler – from the back seat of her vehicle. In related trivia, Madonna and Guy Ritchie also used Range Rovers for their wedding at the exclusive Skibo Castle in the Scottish Highlands.

 

29. In 1970, the introductory price of the Range Rover was set at approximately £2,000 – just under half the price of the average house. By 1978, thanks to a decade blighted by inflation, the price of a Range Rover had reached £9,000.

This would now cost over three times the list price. If you could find one.

30. Two Range Rovers were sent to Morocco for extreme hot weather testing before full production got underway. The 3,500-mile journey was documented in the film Sahara South, which is still available to buy at the Heritage museum website.

 

33. When it came to the look of the original Range Rover, Charles ‘Spen’ King (an engineer and not a trained designer) was left to his own devices, because at that time, priority in the styling studios was being given to other Rover vehicles. Like many engineers, King felt that form should always follow function, and as a result, came up with a simple but elegant design. It was so good that when David Bache and his dedicated design team took up the project, they only had to make minor revisions to King’s design.

 

37. In 1985, the first diesel Range Rover, codenamed ‘Project Bullet’, ran at over 100mph for 24 hours at the MIRA test track in the UK. It broke 27 diesel-powered records in the process.

If you have a Range Rover and it needs some TLC, or if you’re the proud owner of any of the Land Rover marque’s range and you need parts, accessories, repairs or servicing, check our our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or call us on 01691 657 705.

Call us even if you’re not currently a Land Rover owner, we can help change that too.

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

45 Years of Range Rover

45 Years of Range Rover

Muddy Luxury  is 45

Muddy Luxury is 45

The Range Rover is now 45 years old

Have you had one?

Ours was the iconic Range Rover Classic V8. By the time we acquired the Rangey it had seen better days. The head lining hung down, meeting the rising almost-physical-fug of smell from the carpet’s mould.

The short, spiky fibres of 1980s plastic used to create the seat fabric would have truly irritated delicate legs, but it was now to carry fat, hairy blokes in muddy jeans or cammo-trousers so that didn’t matter any more.

Faded black paint, touched up here and there with household gloss and Hammerite by someone using not a paintbrush but a dead badger. Whilst balancing on a tightrope.

Bumpers which had been used to shore-up a demolition company by driving into the most concrete-heavy of 1960s landscape-blotts, or else a short-lived carreer shunting trains.

But the engine. Oh, the engine. Tickle of choke, stroke of key, spin of starter and the crescendo of sound from the cheese-grater exhaust system. Bliss.

And the unbelievable ability to find traction anywhere. Absolutely anywhere.

If we could go back in time, we’d never decide to sell such a beloved steed. But that was always the point of the Range Rover. Buy one, revel in the glory, then sell it and buy something which doesn’t cost a fortune to run…

 

If you need welding, waxoiling, wheels, servicing or just re-assurance that it will all be alright, visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or call us (details on the contacts page).

 

This article wasn’t written by Rupert Astbury, who knows how to buy Range Rovers properly, but he knew  what I was doing.

 

Land Rovers Rust

McDonald Automotive Rusty Car

Cars rust. It’s a fact of life which must be accepted, especially if you own a classic car or any vehicle suitable for off-roading.

Only the most modern of cars and motorcycles use alloys to slow down the oxidation process, so if you’re getting wet and dusty, you’ll also be getting rusty.

Don’t ignore the process, though. Even if you can’t stop it, you can slow it down and you really should.

A case in point is this Defender 90 which was brought in by a customer. Dearly loved, when the owner had detected a change in the way it handled on the road, we were asked to have a look at it.

 

Looking at the chassis to start with, it seems a bit rusty with some repairs but nothing out of the ordinary.

20150806_160317This view, as you’d see it from the side, doesn’t show much.

This section would be under the body.

20150806_160326 BAnd the other side:

20150806_160247This was the source of the slip. A chassis rail mostly rusted through…

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20150806_160256 B

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One galvanised chassis later, and our top technician starts his magic juggling skills;

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In  terms of rust remedy, a good covering of waxoil can do the trick and if you’d like to contact us we’ll give you a quote that will increase your happy.

If you need any parts or servicing for your Land Rover, Range Rover or other vehicle, give us a call or visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Getting Even More Muddy

Land Rover want you to get out, out in the wilderness

Jaguar Land Rover have decided to focus on technology, and some of the latest are straight from the future.

1.  First on the list has to be the remote control of the vehicle from a smart phone. First-release pictures featured Range Rovers with mud, cliffs, boulders and mud (as well as HSE-adherent hi-vis-vestage).

Speed bumps in Slough have become the Range Rover Sport’s natural enemy.

The immediate feedback must have been quick and connected as the follow-up pictures featured soft-roader Evoques and parking spaces, which let’s face it is the natural habitat of all but the most sheep-smelling of Defenders.

One can only hope that the technology is more secure than the door locks which, in their chocolate-fireguard-like efficiency have inspired a recall of over 60,000 cars…

Londoners! Beware! There are holes in your roads!

2. Holed Everything!

Crikey DM, it’s a pot-hole, says your car. Fantastic; warning relayed, you ease off the loud pedal for a while to make avoidance easier. A great idea.

Except for the reality of Britain’s roads, especially the urban thoroughfare. If you go down to those woods today, you’re in for a freekin’ shock. London has T-Rex treadmarks in the tarmac deep and wide enough to ruin your day when they trash your sick rims [sic].

If you slow down for every pot-hole, you’ll be overtaken by the rose-sellers, windscreen-smudgers and cyclists you burnt off at the last traffic lights.

 

Land Rover are making things harder, including your throttle

3. Sole Music.

Jaguar Land Rover are moving with the times, and paying more attention to feedback. Not the noisy nonsense which signals a microphone-speaker interface situation (or an OAP having a good old rub of their earpiece) but the ‘haptic’ feedback which involves the car telling you what to do. Granted we’ve all had cars with quirks (who didn’t enjoy the 1980s Ford keys made of pewter or Citroen’s take on the hydraulic suspension as nausea simulator) but this one takes the biscuit.

The faster you go, the harder the throttle pedal gets, forcing you to press harder to achieve ever-greater speeds. And that’s exactly what will happen as a new generation of Playstationeers invert the formula and try to figure out how to measure the highest resistance figure achievable in a 30 zone.

One can only imagine how a jerky stop-start cobbled road will affect those susceptible to a bit of vibration from below. How will Sally Traffic report the extremely slow-moving herds of Discovery Sports migrating through York’s old town?. Tremble tourism, anyone? A prize to the first collator of Britain’s Top Ten Titilation Trips; Cobbles Vs Cause-ways Vs Cattle Grids.

HAL: Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

4. How are you doing?

Your car is now about to give you a check-up. Please ensure that all tray tables are in the upright position and that your footrests are suitably adjusted. The modern Jaguar Land Rover takes care of its driver, monitoring heart beat and respiration rate to assess your suitability to drive. All you have to do is sit back and relax.

We should warn you that you may feel a bit of a prick.

At McDonald Automotive, we work on real cars, you know, the ones you need to drive and drive haaard, maaan.

If you need parts or advice for one of them, give us a call or take a look at our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

But not if you’re driving a KITT car…

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

 

Range Rover Locks Don’t

Range Rover Lock Bug

Range Rover lock bug hits Range Rover and Sport Models from 2013

The BBC Has revealed that remote locking software for Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models from 2013 may be vulnerable to hack attack.

Land Rover is recalling more than 65,000 cars to fix a software bug that can unlock the vehicles’ doors.

Drivers would get no dashboard warning that the doors of their car had been unlocked, the firm said.

The glitch affects Range Rover and Range Rover Sport vehicles sold between 2013 and now.

Experts said problems with keyless ignition and locking systems on some luxury cars had made them favourites with car thieves.

Should you need any help getting into your Range Rover, as long as it is really your Range Rover, give us a call or visit our website at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Sorts of Friction

I know, you are all experts on turning fossil fuels into rooster-tails of mud in the Brecon Beacons, but for those who are interested we found this Youtube Video of the operation of a friction clutch.

It’s particularly well done, both the animation and the explanation.

And it’s better than most of TV’s output from 6 til 10…

 

If you need help with your clutch kits, let us know by calling us, emailing us or else visiting our website which has all the Land Rover Parts Online you could ever hope to buy .

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

 

 

Range Rover’s Himalayan Hybrids


How can you not be proud of the new Range Rover Hybrid?

10,000 miles of continent crossing, averaging 36 miles per gallon and peerless luxury.

Read the full Land Rover account Journey Across The Top Of The World here.

Roads are a simple concept. But they have histories too…

Whether they are mere tracks or sprawling carpets of motorway, roads are laid to enable point B to be reached from point A. Yet over the centuries the reason for wanting to reach B can change. Several thousand years ago, a major reason for people in the West wanting to go East was to buy silk. That demand, and the curious topography of much of the land in between, triggered the development of a network of trails stretching from the Mediterranean to China that became known as the Silk Road. It was a significant spur to civilisation’s advance from the second century BC until the late 14th century.

In a mission to test the new Range Rover Hybrid, Land Rover decided to drive three of them on a journey that will retrace many of those trails, and place a few challenges under the wheels of the most capable hybrid vehicle in the world.

 

If you need a Land Rover or Range Rover in which to ‘cross the hump’, we can help you with vehicles, kit, repairs or advice on the best way to cook goat on a camp fire or purify water, so give us a call or visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

From The Ground Up

 

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Attention to Detail

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Ring Fenced Funding

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Heaps of experience

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The holey land

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Thunderbirds are go!

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Sit! Roll over!

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Working on a chain gang, going down down down..

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Junk in the trunk or slurry in a hurry

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Piles of calculations

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Go on Dad, do the Follow Your Dream song again!

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…and that’s the lever for the Nitrous…

Join us next time where we’ll find out:

Will Alan still be on his knees?

Will Rupert still have a digger with a crazy itch on its PTO?

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

 

If you need an MOT for your car, van, Land Rover or Range Rover, give us a call. From July we’ll be cutting out the VAT.