Category Archives: Range Rover

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.

 

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.

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

DSC_0298

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.

 

 

 

Where now for Land Rover?

McDonald 4x4 Jaguar CX17

Picture courtesy of Auto Express

This is the Jaguar CX17. It will have 2 and 3 litre engines, petrol and diesel, probably an electric hybrid in due course, will cost between £25k and £50k depending on specification and toys, and will be aimed at brand-conscious people who want to stay on tarmac but feel like they could drive anywhere.

 

Oh yes, and it’s a 4 wheel drive car.

 

Its parent company, Jaguar Land Rover, is no stranger to 4 wheel drive. It owns one of the oldest and arguably the most famous 4 wheel drive brand.

Land Rover already has, in descending order of  wage level, Range Rover Sport, Evoque, Discovery and Freelander lifestyle-orientated off-roaders to suit the same market.

The Freelander becomes a Discovery Sport next year, and gains at least £10k on the price, so is the CX17 going to compete with other Land Rovers or will it replace the entry-level (yeah, right, it you’re a footballer or celeb maybe) Freelander and become the soft-roader of choice for the British Public?

A Jag?

 

Still, it’s not the first time Land Rover has been sold on to a company which has taken all the off-road technology and sold Solihull on…

And with Range Rovers set to be involved in driverless-car trials as quoted in Auto Express, will you even need to get a driving license?

 

McDonald 4X4 LAnd Rover DC100

Picture courtesy of Carbody Design.com

This is the possibly-soon-to-be-released Land Rover DC100 Defender replacement. The people who designed the Defender and its antecedents could have also worked on bridges or railways, where as the JLR design group seems to have been drawn from people who could just as well have designed iPods, kettles or vacuum cleaners.

How is that a replacement for this Defender?

McDonald 4X4 Desert Defender

Desert Landrover. Picture courtesy of Overlandia.mx

 

Or this one?

McDonald 4X4 Desert Defender

Picture courtesy of Adrianstomcat.co.uk

OR this one?

 

McDonald 4X4 Land Rover Forrester

Land Rover Series 2A Forrester, picture courtesy of Dev.Grip Magazine.de

Will it only be millionaires who can afford a proper off-road Land Rover?

 

McDonald 4X4 Land Rover SVO

Land Rover SVO, pictures courtesy of Auto Express

 

If you need any bling for your iRover, sorry, Lifestyle-orientated ‘Solely Urban Vehicle’ visit our shop at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk where you will also be able to buy proper suspension and sump guards and winches and the like designed to get you into the mud then back out of the mud without ruining your Ugg boots.

This article was written entirely by Rupert Astbury. Honest.

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.

Britain’s Next Top 4X4 Model?

Disco Sport1Picture courtesy of Auto Express

The Freelander is dead. After your Freelander 2 passes on to the next caring pair of hands, or angle-grinder-wielding off-road nutcase, you’ll become part of the Discovery ‘Family’.

The Freelander replacement, sorry, successor will be called the Discovery Sport.

Due to be released in 2015 and given its debut in Paris this autumn, the Disco Sport will be available in 5 or 7 seat flavours, with the same innovative 2.0l petrol and diesel engines due to power the new Jaguar compact in 2015.

Starting at around £25000, the Disco Sport should under-cut it’s Range Rover Evoque sibling by £5k; every little helps.

The horrific rumour though is that these models will feature 4 wheel drive as an option. Please, tell me it ain’t so?

Vision Of Beauty

Disco VisionPicture courtesy of Auto Express

On top of a new Baby Discovery to replace the Land Rover Freelander, the new Discovery has been shown as a concept car at the New York motor show.

Most interesting is the ‘suicide’ or forward-opening doors on the rear, though don’t expect to see this on a production model.

As well as forward thinking design teams, Jaguar Land Rover also employs some blue-sky thinkers, and they’ve joined up with blue-sky travellers.

Jaguar Land Rover used the New York Motor Show to announce their partnership with Virgin Galactic, who will use JLR vehicles at their test and launch facilities in California and New Mexico, USA.

Disco Vision GalaxyPicture courtesy of Auto Express

Good Sport

RRSport CamoPicture courtesy of Auto Express

Range Rover Sport RS.

542bhp 5l Supercharged petrol engine.

Paintwork to be confirmed.

Probable debut Paris, Q3 2014, release date likely Q1 2015.

£100,000 ish.

Fastest pitbulls in Essex tag TBA.

If you’d like to participate in the micturition weltmeisterschaft, you could look at the yank tank from ICON.

6.2-litre LS3 small-block V8, modified by Icon.

430bhp (bit more still to come perhaps?)

4 Speed automatic gearbox (how very Rockford Files).

Very interesting article on the Hi Consumption blog…

Whether you’ve got a bullion bar or a buggered bumper, we can help. Contact us through our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk.

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.