Category Archives: Land Rover Defender

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.

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.

 

New Vs Old

McDonald 4X4 Discovery G4

Generations of offroaders, picture courtesy of The Telegraph

British offroad veterans have told The Telegraph that they spurn the trappings of modern soft-roaders. Not that they’re rejecting climate control or multi-zone entertainment systems.

What’s at issue here is the very DNA of the vehicle. Pick any modern SUV and you’ll be swamped in a raft of acronyms which let you know that you’re in the best of hands. You don’t have to worry about going fast, or going slow, or going sideways, because #insert name here# is the only manufacturer to keep you and your loved-ones safe.

Except all this techno-wizardry comes at more than a financial cost. It may be a hoary old chestnut, but until turbo-charged engines came along, you could keep your Land Rover going on a shoe-string budget by doing most of the work yourself with the tools you had in your own garage. Even with Tdi engines, the rest of the car was mechanical (and didn’t you just know it if you ever had to push one) so bounced rather well along rutted lanes.

So when you take a Land Rover Discovery 4 for a drive, would you assume it’s natural environment would include mud, or mud packs? Is the intelligent 4 Wheel Drive system going to work this well in 15 years time? Will it do 200,000 miles? How much will it cost to fix when the super-computer in control of everything goes AWOL?

 

McDonald 4X4 JLR Urban Wnindscreen

Technology can show you the way, picture courtesy of Auto Express

And from the sub-slime to the LEDiculous. Jaguar Land Rover has conceived of a time when the computer and the car merge to the driver’s benefit in a Frankensteinian HUD-meets-HAL windscreen, where a series of cameras can be used to replace the view of the car’s internal structure, providing a 360 degree view of the outside world. How likely this is to come to fruition is debatable, as the cost of a TV unit is one thing whereas turning the inside of your car into the outside of your TV is another.

Of greatest interest and use though is the ‘urban windscreen’. Linking a projector to the internet provides a windscreen display with not only a ‘ghost-car’ navigation system but also visual prompts including available parking spaces in car parks or fuel prices at the up-coming service station.

Considering their previous concept of cameras under the body to show the state of the ground under the prodigious bonnets of Range Rovers, we can only wonder when the interior of cars will consist almost exclusively of TV Screen…

If you need parts and accessories for Landrover Defender or indeed any other Land Rover model, from in-car entertainment to air-locking diffs, you can buy Land Rover spare parts and accessories online at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk.

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Print Your Own Land Rover

3d Printer McDonald 4X4

Your new garage?

Time and again, we’re told  that buying a brand new car is the second biggest purchase you’ll ever make. So you want to own a car, but you can’t decide which one to spend your hard-earned on? You like the look of this one but the colours of that one, the driving position of this one and the gadgets of that one. Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all wheel drive?

What if you could have it all?

3D Printing is having a major effect on manufacturing by providing rapid access to prototypes; the sooner you can see a design in real life, the sooner you can assess it and make changes.

The benefit for Joe Bloggs is that the trickle-down effect has meant an ever-increasing supply of machines for home use, and a year-on year reduction in price. With a 3D Printer capable of creating plastic or metal alloy parts already available for under £1000 you could conceivably be replacing parts suppliers for cosmetic parts with a software program. Scan the old part, and print a new one. As the meerkat said, simples!

McDonald 4X4 Jay Leno Blog

Picture courtesy of Popular Mechanics.com

As you can see in this article in America’s Popular Mechanics blog by Jay Leno, including the comments made by car fanatic readers, the vintage car market is already benefitting considerably from the new technology:

One of the hardships of owning an old car is rebuilding rare parts when there are simply no replacements available. My 1907 White Steamer has a feedwater heater, a part that bolts onto the cylinders. It’s made of aluminum, and over the 100-plus years it’s been in use, the metal has become so porous you can see steam and oil seeping through. I thought we could just weld it up. But it’s badly impregnated with oil and can’t be repaired. If we tried, the metal would just come apart.

So, rather than have a machinist try to copy the heater and then build it, we decided to redesign the original using our NextEngine 3D scanner and Dimension 3D printer. These incredible devices allow you to make the form you need to create almost any part. The scanner can measure about 50,000 points per second at a density of 160,000 dots per inch (dpi) to create a highly detailed digital model. The 3D printer makes an exact copy of a part in plastic, which we then send out to create a mold. Some machines can even make a replacement part in cobalt-chrome with the direct laser sintering process. Just feed a plastic wire–for a steel part you use metal wire–into the appropriate laser cutter.

As an example, see Stuff.co.nz’s story about kiwi Ivan Sentch’s project Aston Martin

Ivan Sentsch's 3d printed Aston Martin DB5

Ivan Sentsch’s 3d printed Aston Martin DB5

Using a $500 Solidoodle 3D printer, Ivan Sentch, a programmer from Auckland, is printing a mold of the the car. “I have been printing since January and I have printed about 72 per cent of everything,” Sentch said…

Once finished, he will make a fiberglass mould of the print and fit that to the engine, electrics, suspension and drivetrain of a 1993 Nissan Skyline. He will then have to build the interior. The project is a labour of love that comes second to his day job and family life and Sentch doesn’t expect to have the mould ready for another 18 months. He won’t be driving the car for another five years.

 

McDonald 4X4 3D Printed Car

The Strati 3D Printed Car, picture courtesy of The Guardian

The Strati is made by Arizona, USA company Local Motors, and although it’s an electric car, it points the way to a revolution in kit-car building.

So before long, you could see major manufacturers getting in on the game. This Autoexpress article from 2013 discusses the Urbee 3D printed car;

The first Urbee was custom printed using Fused Deposition Modelling – the spaghetti and glue gun approach – to create a honeycomb structure like a bee hive. This material was only used where necessary, giving a light, strong and green structure that performed well in a crash.

For the Urbee 2, all visible components inside and outside the vehicle will be printed in what KOR EcoLogic calls a factory of the future – a bank of printers working on 40 discreet panels, with ducting and wiring incorporated into each printed part.

Read more: http://www.dezeen.com/2013/03/07/road-ready-3d-printed-car-on-the-way/

So it seems that even if it doesn’t happen soon, it could well be worth saving up not for your dream car, but for your own factory…

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Getting To Grip

Getting stuck in?

McDonald4X4 Differentials

Don’t fixate on the fact that you’re stuck. Stop and have a think.

Off-road driving is only possible thanks to 4 wheel drive.

McDonald4X4 Differential

Henry Alexander, Ben Nevis, Model T Ford, 1911. Nutter.

Actually, there was quite a lot of driving in the days before full-time 4 wheel drive, though you’re welcome to recreate it in your daily motor if you want. I’ll pass thanks.

Slipping around on mud is all very well, but when you start driving on tarmac, things get complicated.

The width of a vehicle means that when turning a corner, the outside wheels are always going to travel further than the inside wheels. If you don’t do something about this, the inside wheel will start to spin and you’ll crash. Or the outside wheel will start to spin and you’ll crash. Or the axle will break. And you’ll crash.

To stop all this needless crashing, those clever boffins who made cars turned to the differential. Now for the science bit.

A differential is a particular type of simple planetary gear train that has the property that the angular velocity of its carrier is the average of the angular velocities of its sun and annular gears. This is accomplished by packaging the gear train so it has a fixed carrier train ratio R = -1, which means the gears corresponding to the sun and annular gears are the same size. This can be done by engaging the planet gears of two identical and coaxial epicyclic gear trains to form a spur gear differential. Another approach is to use bevel gears for the sun and annular gears and a bevel gear as the planet, which is known as a bevel gear differential.

Definition courtesy of Wikipedia

What this really means is that you get to go round a corner without crashing; the benefits are obvious.

To put it in a modern context, ie youtube:

Video courtesy of Allegroracing

There are other options; DAF built cars as well as lorries once upon a time. Their engineering was surprising, as was their design. You did away with differentials and replaced them with CVT (Continuous Velocity Transmission) belts. The style baby got thrown out with the technical bathwater though;

McDonald 4X4 Differential

The Daf Daffodil. Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.

So if you want to cover all your bases, you need a car with differentials front and back, right?

Of course, you also need to consider the trade-off of differentials, which takes us back to the problem highlighted by those brave Ladies Of The Mud at the top; if you get off the tarmac, you’re going to get stuck.

The solution was obvious. Give up on this car nonsense and stick to horses. Except there was so much money in cars, everyone kind of ignored the horse option.

You can limit the slip of the differential, which comes in handy if you want to go racing and need a little bit of slip in the corners, but more grip on entry and exit.

If things get extreme though, you need to go straight to the locking differential, as the best of both worlds.

A Differential. Exploded.

A Differential. Exploded.

If you need help getting unstuck, or if you just want to buy Land Rover parts online, visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Shop Til You Drop

McDonald LAnd Rover Guide To Buying OnlineThe McDonald 4×4 Guide

to buying online.

Of course, you  know how to get online, you’re there already. As for shopping, I’m sure you’ve done some before now.

 It’s just like a real world shop except the changing rooms aren’t all full, you don’t fear the foot measuring machine pinching your toes and you don’t have to cue at the with 500 other people whilst children race around you like giddy fools.

Except it’s not just like real-world shopping, because you can’t see what you’re buying. You can’t fell the weight, see the length, get a real idea of how well it will go with the new sofa. Is that the real colour, not a half shade off?

Shopping online you should expect your goods to be;

  1. What was advertised
  2. Supplied in a timely manner
  3. Fit for the purpose advertised
  4. Reasonably priced

Some top tips for shopping online.

1    Your Flexible Friend

Use a credit card. Not a debit card, but a credit card. As part of the government allowing the creation of credit cards, they insisted on credit card companies helping to protect consumers, so if you have a problem with a supplier and can’t resolve it, tell your credit card company. They will refund you and then chase the supplier themselves.
You even get fraud protection if someone steals your details and goes on a shopping spree themselves. As long as you pay off the balance before the due date, it doesn’t matter what the percentage rate is, you’ll not be paying it.

2   Look for the S

All website addresses start with ‘http://’. This is how computers know you’re looking for an internet address. What you want to see when you’re paying is ‘httpS://’. The S signifies a secure connection, which means that the website has created a James Bond-like encryption key and sent it to you and you’re using it. Nobody can listen in on the conversation and steal details and when you pay, the money is going where you want it to. You don’t really need a secure connection whilst you’re choosing items, but you should expect to see it when you go to pay.

3     Payback

There are plenty of cashback websites now who offer you money for shopping online. They usually work in conjunction with companies to get you to go to a certain company or buy a certain product, but often it’s simply a way to put a company’s advertising in front of you directly. With the usual caveat that you should be careful, and always be safe, you should look at cashback options as a bonus rather than a risk.

4     Never look a gifthorse in the mouth?

You can’t con an honest person. It’s a truism because it’s true. If something looks too good to be true then it usually is, so if you receive emails offering top-quality goods at street-market prices, ask yourself if this makes sense…

 

5     Caveat Emptor

Buyer Beware, as the latin phrase goes, is a sensible maxim. Before you shop online, there are some simple security tips to follow;

a. Update your internet browser to get the latest protection (usually by clicking Help > About) and ensure the best compatibility with internet security programs.

b. Update your antivirus programs. There are plenty of free antivirus programs which make their money by selling corporate licenses to companies for business use, but who use your experience to trawl the web for nasties to protect against. You can also pay for upgraded services, although these are often unnecessary and don’t add to their core purpose.

c. Secure your bank cards. Most banks now have security protocols for your credit or debit cards, so that each purchase needs a password and username before the money will transfer. Pick a password you’ll remember but one with letters, numbers and some punctuation to make it really hard to guess. Don’t use your birthdate (which you will often supply as part of a user account profile) or the word ‘password’.

d. Use a credit card directly. You can pay with online payment methods like PayPal, and can even link cards to them so that the money transfers immediately, but be aware that you only get consumer protection by using a credit card directly. If you pay any other way, you are at the mercy of the supplier when things go wrong. It’s really not worth it.

Don’t be afraid of contacting the seller. You should be able to contact them by email, phone or post if you have any questions. You can ask for details about the item rather than just making a decision on the strength of the pictures and descriptions given, and even ask if the price quoted is the best that they can do. Hey, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, right?

 This also has the added benefit of letting you get an idea of how genuine the seller seems. IF you have any qualms about them, walk away.

Search engines can be just as reliable as comparison websites for showing you items for sale, and you should shop around. Seldom will you find the same item at the same price everywhere; companies are not allowed to get together to set a price (this is illegal) and there’s always someone who hopes to make more money with the mantra ‘pile them high and sell them cheap’.

 This may work to your benefit but don’t forget that large stores will often accept an online competitor’s prices as genuine, and take your business if they can. If you find a washing machine online cheaper than a shop has on the sign, ask for the manager and give them the chance to match the price. It gives you a human to talk to and if necessary to call should things go pear-shaped.
This really does work; we have seen it done.

As far as McDonald 4×4’s webshop goes, we would recommend the following tips:

Have a good think about what you want. Get it straight in your mind. Make sure that you know exactly which vehicle you have, and which part you want.

Shop around to get a good idea of options and prices. We are certain that we can offer any part available to any other supplier, and we’re pretty sure that we charge less than anyone else too. If you find somewhere cheaper, there’s a good chance we can match the price if you let us know!

You can use the search facility on our webshop to look for parts or you can use the index to choose the vehicle, then the area of the car, then surf to your heart’s content, or you can just call us. We’re only too happy to help you find out about your car and how to make it better if it’s poorly. Between the parts and the workshop staff we have as much experience with Land Rover vehicles as you could want. We’ll bet you we’ve seen it before and fixed it.

 For further advice on shopping online,  try these links:

 Citizen’s Advice Bureau

GQ Magazine’s guide to shopping online

UK Consumer Council

Money Advice Service

BBC Webwise guide to shopping online

PC Magazine’s guide to online shopping

Wikipedia guide to shopping online

Which guide to shopping online

 This was written by Rupert Astbury.

Fuel For Thought

The Jerry Can –  a brief history.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Jerry Cans are now available in a host of different colours to help denote their use, whether petrol, diesel or water.

Seen all over the world, on news reels from the 1940s to 2014, the Jerry can is as familiar to most people as the Land Rovers which often carry them.

The distinctive shape and size, the handles, the side patterns; it may surprise you to learn that these have changed relatively little in the almost-80 years since the design was first put into production.

The name Jerry can is derived from the British Army slang for their World War II adversaries; Jerry the German.Originally known as the Wehrmacht-Enheitskanister, the fuel container was designed in 1937 by chief engineer Vinzenz Grünvogel of the Müller engineering firm.

As Germany geared-up for war, so did the military machine’s logistical departments. The concept of Blitzkrieg, or Lightning War, relied upon the swift movement of units ahead of any static line of battle or reinforced position. Swift being the keyword, the tactic needed vehicles to be able to move at will, and stopping at petrol stations isn’t really on the to-do list of your average Tank Campaign.

With flat sides and squared corners allowing both easy stacking and flexible vehicle mounting, the use of innovative ergonomic design made both the handles and the spout all-time classics.

McDonald LAnd Rover Jerry Cans

Kraft Durch Teknik; Strength through technology

Three handles along the top allowed for the carrying of cans to be shared, with two empty cans easier to carry in one hand than any other design.

When you contrast this with the British 4 gallon (18 litre) ‘Flimsy’, which had a distressing tendency to leak, it becomes obvious that you’d much rather be moving jerry cans than flimsies. Read more about the disparity in build quality here at thinkdefence.co.uk

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Can

British Oil Can, 18l Flimsy and Upgraded Flimsy Fuel Cans and a Jerry Can.

The welded rather than pressed construction cured leaks, with the still-recognisable pressed pattern allowed for both a stronger construction and room for the fuel to expand and contract with the weather changes. Although not light at 4kg empty, with General Auchinleck estimating Allied fuel leakages at 30%, the better build quality was worth it.

Even President Roosevelt praised the humble fuel can, attributing it to the Allied success in northern France.

The most appreciated feature, from a user’s perspective, is probably the cam-locking release for the cap. Not only does it make it easy to open and close whilst wearing gloves in cold weather, its operation is simple and vitally tool-free. The same could not be said of the British and American equivalents.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Easy to use, quick to fit and remove.

Even when copied, screw caps requiring wrenches were incorporated. It took the capture of significant fuel depots in the African Desert campaign to provide a sufficient supply and make the original design’s genius apparent.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Jah, fill her up, and I’ll get some Pepperamis and Lucozade from ze shop.

Anything Rommel could do, we could do with Panache. The picture below shows the LRDG (Long Range Desert Group) with SAS founding-officer David Stirling. And some Jerry cans.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Yes, they’re handy these things, if only we made something similar… and the cars too…

At their height the Allies, here pictured at a Normandy depot, were moving over a million gallons of fuel per day in these metal marvels.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Fill her up. and her. And her. And her…

It wasn’t just fuel that they carried though, as the robust cans were also handy for shifting H20. Especially in the desert, where a secure supply of water is essential, the jerry can became as associated with water as it was with fuel.

Indeed, there are even charities who use the Jerry can image to underline the existing problems in deprived areas, where safe drinking water can be half a day’s walk away.

As time marches on , though, innovation rounds the corners and softens the edges, and modern technology supports established ideas. Cheaper containers have come to dominate the market, but plastic has not covered over the original design’s essential genius. From the size to the basic design layout to the re-inforcing braces on the side, the original design’s DNA is clear.

Novel designs such as the ROTO PAX container point the way to the future of the Jerry Can:

 

Whether you’re crossing a desert or laying  the hedges for winter, McDonald 4×4 have the fuel can for you.

See our webstore at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article 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 Ranger  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 www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Same SUV, Different Day?

Kahn’t Resist

McDonald 4x4 Kahn Range Rover Sport

The face of footballers’ cars to come…

Picture courtesy of Autocar

It seems as if Jaguar Land Rover is girding its loins for a revamping of the stock. The image above is apparently the official teaser for Kahn Design’s new carbon fibre body kit for the new Range Rover Sport, which has been shod in brushed aluminium 23 inch rims and painted Bright Orange.

Tasteful.

There are plenty of Range Rover Owner’s Rides to compete, thankfully not often in Bright Orange, but seldom are there any finished to the degree of attention Kahn manage.

Apart from the Brabus one, perhaps…

Brabus A Bargain

McDonald 4x4 Brabus Startech Range Rover Sport

Fly me to the moon, let me play among the Startechs…

Picture courtesy of Autoblog

If you have enough money for a Range Rover Sport, why wouldn’t you have enough to give it a boob job?

The company in question ins Brabus, who have a long history of pimping hugely over-weight V8-powered Merceded Benz corporate cruisers, have taken their nom-de-plume, Startech, and applied it to to Gaydon’s fastest Chelsea Tractor.

With the 3 litre V6 win-turbo diesel coaxed to give 323 bhp and 501 lb-ft, you can now hurtle that little bit faster to 62 euro-meddled miles per hour in just under 7 seconds, improved from just over 7 seconds, looking just fabulous.

Putting the Free in Freelander

McDonald LAnd Rover Freelander Face Lift

And whilst you’re at Waitrose, can you get me some strawberries?

Picture courtesy of carguide.com.au

And it’s not just the Range Rover Sport getting kissed by the bling fairy.

Land Rover’s Freelander is due for a makeover too, as it moves from its current home to become part of the Discovery leisure-orientated family. Design hints from the up-coming Brand New Discovery will likely be matched by improved emissions and fuel economy from the mechanicals of the Evoque, and overall it will probably be just as good offroad and on as the current version, but more prettier for shopping in Chelsea, innit?.

Orange or Teracotta?

McDonald 4x4 Orange Evoque Autobiography

Evoques now available in Bright Orange Autobiography trim

Picture courtesy of Autoblog

Talking of Evoque, the baby Rangey is also to benefit from the Autobiography limited edition signature, with a list of interior and exterior upgrades to add refinement and luxury.

For those who like a little bang with their bling, there will also be the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Dynamique. Lifting the output from 245 to 285 bhp, engineers have also breathed on the suspension and gearbox making things firmer, tauter and more responsive.

Heroes A Plenty!

McDonald 4x4 Land Rover Discovery Challenge

Mad as a hatter, and wouldn’t you love to buy him a pint?

The demise of the Land Rover G-series challenges has been covered here before, but there’s good news!

(Yay!)

A list of worthies are to pit themselves against each other, the weather, the climate and Land Rover’s finest ever Discovery.

Jaguar Land Rover News Room:

  • Land Rover Discovery celebrates 25 years with first of its kind adventure challenge
  • The world’s most acclaimed explorers, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Hannah White, Kenton Cool and Eric Loizeau compete against each other for the first time ever
  • The experienced explorers team with up-and-coming adventurers in their bid to be crowned Land Rover’s ‘Next Generation Explorer’

On Sunday 2nd March, Land Rover will bring together four of the world’s greatest explorers for an epic mountain adventure. For the first time ever, they will compete against each other as they take part in the search for Land Rover’s Next Generation Explorer in the Discovery Adventure Challenge. Marking 25years of the Land Rover Discovery, the celebrated explorers will mentor four promising, young adventurers as they compete in the grueling six-part challenge.

Against a backdrop of snow and mountains in Megève France, The Discovery Adventure Challenge will push competitors to the limit over 24 hours of tense, testing tasks. Ben Saunders, who, with partner Tarka L’Herpiniere, recently became the first man ever to complete Scott’s notorious Terra Nova Expedition, will compere the competition, whilst Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Hannah White, Kenton Cool and Eric Loizeau will get fiercely competitive as they go head to head in the challenges.

The seasoned explorers will be paired with rising adventurer stars from the British Exploring Society, who they will mentor through the physically and mentally demanding tasks. Hannah Wright (aged 21), Cameron Mackay (aged 18), Alex Woodford (aged 22) and Tim Davies (aged 22) will rotate amongst the Ambassadors as they battle it out for the title of ‘Next Generation Explorer’. The decision lies with the Global Ambassadors who will cast votes for whom they think deserves the title. The winner will be announced Monday 3rd March.

The challenges:

  1. Two Land Rover Discovery XXVs compete side-by-side through a slalom course down the slope. Two tense heats, one final.
  2. Precision and speed will be tested in the vehicle Biathlon: one team member will drive a Land Rover Discovery XXV around a purpose built course, whilst the other plays marksman, shooting a laser gun at a variety of challenging targets.
  3. Physical stamina will be put to the test in this grueling task: pulling one of Ben Saunders’ sleds in a race against time.
  4. As night falls the contestants will be tasked with creating a fire from scratch and digging their own snow holes to sleep in. Points will be awarded for fastest build and warmest hole.
  5. The grand finale will be an all-out boat race across Lake Geneva.

Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director Mark Cameron said, “The Land Rover Discovery has been supporting and inspiring adventurers and adventures since 1989, therefore it’s very fitting to celebrate our 25th anniversary with the Discovery Adventure Challenge and a search for the Next Generation Explorer. We are delighted to be partnering with the British Exploring Society for this search and look forward to supporting the winner in their pursuit of becoming an established explorer.”

If you need anything serviced before crossing the Apennines, or if you really, really want something also painted Bright Orange, check us out online at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Land Rover Pics And Flicks

McDonald 4x4 Land Rover Video

Driving skills from the 1970s

Capturing Landies On Film

One of the foremost influences on modern media is the attraction of nostalgia.

You don’t have to create new material, just find black and white footage of Lowry-like figues moving jerkily through faintly familiar tasks, unencumbered by mobile phones, tablets, pads, pods or (most notably) traffic.

So what are your favourite nostalgia sites and sounds for the world’s best off-road brand?

This is what we’ve found:

McDonald 4x4 Dunsfold Collection Forrest Rover

The Dunsfold Collection’s Forrest Rover

Picture courtesy of The Dunsfold Collection

The Dunsfold Collection.

The Collection started life in 1993, as a progression of a private collection started in 1968 by Brian Bashall and continued today by one of his sons, Philip. The vehicle that started it all was a 1962 ex-military 109-inch APGP wader, after that the collection gradually grew larger.

The Dunsfold Collection’s website is a tour de force of simple, effective website design. It’s all there for you, and it’s easy to get to, too!.

Possibly the best collection of photos of Land Rovers in one place, the breadth of collected models is as impressive as the open access to them. From the mechanically beautiful Forrest Rover above to the bling-tastic ‘goldbrick’ Defender, there’s something for everyone.

As the collection was opened to the public to provide the necessary support, their Bi-Annual shows are a great opportunity to view the toys. And if you’ve got a toy of your own, you can join in the fun on their testing off-road circuit.

Don’t miss out on the Freelander test mule built into an Austin Maestro van body. Talk about falling from the ugly tree!

McDonald 4x4 Dunsfold Freelander Test Mule

Dunsfold Collection Freelander Test Mule

 

 

Driving Skills

Land Rover produced, like many manufacturers, copious quantities of promotional material which never acquired a significant audience. Some of these gems have been, copyright issues aside, freed by online video sites.

Here’s one, Land Rover’s own Driving Technique, produced by the Rover Triumph Film Unit!

 

Many videos offer advice, hints and tricks but there’s a difference between user-generated content and expert advice.

It’s the difference between BBC and You’ve Been Framed

Here’s Land Rover Owner’s video on mud-plugging

And a video which looks like Land Rover’s own Camel Trophy training program

Readers Rides

There are also plenty of home-produced videos with hints and tips, but treat most of these with caution. Perhaps they are best used as a guide to how owners have used their video camera, but often they are fun to watch. And we always appreciate the community involvement; respect to anyone who not only spends their hard-earned on a Landy, but who is then brave enough to show the results of their proving session.

Here’s a Series 2 with a 5l V8 and an Australian in it;

 

Mechanical Murals

Time-lapse builds can be a visual feast, and you may even see something which helps!

Changing a chassis

Ground-up Build

 

Documentaries and History

There are plenty of videos of dubious legality, though the ability to find such fascinating material is perhaps what makes video sites so popular.

Here’s on on the history of The Camel Trophy

And one on a Trans-Africa adventure trip (just one lottery jackpot win, just the one..)

Then there are the usual TV Testimonials, when they either run out of things to do or money to pay for the Ferraris they’ve ‘re-styled’

 

So we’ve showed you ours, now it’s your turn.

If you need anything un-built then re-built, and we’ve done everything from Series 101′s (see our previous blogs) to Range Rover Sports, or serviced or repaired or inspected or modified, visit our website to get our contact details www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

 

This post was written by Rupert Astbury.