Monthly Archives: May 2014

Land Rover Know It All

Land Rover Celebrates 65 years
Picture courtesy of Land Rover Media Centre

So you want to know about Land Rovers…

Designed in Wales based on the Willys Jeep, the undisputed heavy weight champion of the car world was first penned in 1947, built in 1948 and will be discontinued in 2015.

Through it’s various iterations, the Land Rover has given all-comers a run for their money in just about all sectors of the car market, even though it was conceived of as a commercial vehicle.

Perhaps the least-realised fact is that the LAnd Rover, its most popular image probably the Series 3 Long Wheel Base Station Wagon with family and dogs pouring out of it at the supermarket/cattle auction/ski resort, is actually not a car.

You can call it a comfortable tractor or a small lorry or a draughty van, but it wasn’t a car. So how did it become a firm favourite of the mud-less urbanite?

Images of Empire had been characterised by scenes reminiscent of Clive Of India, but a new wave of Brits were travelling further and doing more in the colonies.

To do this, they used the Land Rover, both as a tool itself and as an advert for British industry. The car industry was selected as one of the most likely sources of the foreign wealth we needed to reverse our wartime losses, as the reputation of British Engineering was still at that time unsullied by the Austin Allegro linked to national pride and success.

From Oxford University to Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, Pathe newsreels and the films of the day featured the Land Rover in all it’s variations, from savanna-crossing Series to cranes and fire tenders. Even Marilyn Monroe was pictured in a Landy.

Wouldn’t you want to, too? So you see, years before the Americans invented the phrase, the British had invented the SUV.

The Simply Unbeatable Vehicle.

Read Jaguar Land Rover Media Centre’s time-line of the Land Rover here.

Read the Internet Movie Car Database Land Rover page here

Weld done…

We like welding cars, so much so that in exchange for pocket-sized pictures of HM the Queen we’ll even do some welding for you too.

So when we saw some other fine Shropshire Lads making the most of a British Car and some 4 wheel drive technology, we stopped what we were doing and tuned the Babbage machine to channel YouTube.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Project Binky (Kudos to anyone who spots the film reference on the white board)

This post was written by Rupert Astbury.

Let’s Twist Again

McDonald 4x4 Twisted 110

The Twisted 110 hypervan, picture courtesy of Auto Car Magazine

Just when you thought she was dead in the water, the Krakken arises!

Defender models have never lacked for fans, but have only recently been gifted the oomph to go with their grrrr.

From the original Series 1’s 2.25l Petrol engine all the way through to the 2.5L Turbo Diesel, if you were driving a Land Rover it wasn’t because you were in a hurry.

Even the late Series 2 V6 and Series 3 V8, although lovely to listen to, were more workhorse than horse power.

So Yorkshire’s Twisted Performance took a 3.2l Duratorque motor, as used in Ford’s RangerĀ  and Transit, and shoe-horned it into the Defender’s engine bay.

With performance reputed to take the standard 200bhp and 350ft-lb to 230bhp and 530ft-lb, you’ll have a grin like a Cheshire Footballer’s cat as you whistle past Porsches.

McDonald 4x4 Landwind Evoque FraudThe Chinese Evoque rip-off, Land Wind E32, picture courtesy of Autoblog

Bring It On

This story just in from Autoblog;

…patent drawings from China show a vehicle that so clearly cribs from the [Range Rover Evoque] that it’d be funny if it weren’t so sad. In profile, the designs are so close that it’s hard to tell the difference. The Evoque’s roof may sweep downward a little more, but other than that, it’s a wheel-swap away from indistinguishable. Landwind hasn’t even bothered to develop its own font design. At the front and back, the name is spelled out in a similar font and style as its British inspiration.

What to do, Jaguar Land Rover? China and India share a land border, so you could always have a skirmish, but that may be one-sided to say the least.

You could try taking Land Wind to court, but although there are patent offices, what hope can you have of protecting your copyrights in China?

If you need help blinging your beach-buggy or buying bikini-hoods, drop us a line. Contact details can be found at

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.