No Empty Gesture

Range Rover Sport at McDonald Landrover

Range Rover Sport Crosses Empty Quarter

As If it needed to prove the credentials of the Range Rover Sport after the Colorado Climax of winning their class at Pike’s Peak, Land Rover have decided to race around some more dusty tracks.

Land Rover’s Media Centre says;

This coming week, Land Rover will attempt to set the fastest recorded time for a land vehicle crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ – one of the harshest and most challenging desert environments on the planet, using a standard production New Range Rover Sport…

…The driver will be Moi Torrallardona, a 47 year-old Spanish off-road racer with extensive experience of the Dakar Rally, in which he competed for ten successive years with a best finish of 6th overall.

A dangerously arid climate with no reliable water sources and an ever-shifting terrain, the Empty Quarter in the Arabian Peninsula is one of the most treacherous terrains man and machine could face. The driving conditions will be incredibly harsh, with temperatures of over 50 degrees C in the day and towering sand dunes stretching 850ft into the air.

We’re gearing up for mud and hypothermia  rather than dust and sunburn.

Good luck to them, from all here.

If you would like help with your Range Rover Sport, pop along to our webshop and we’ll sell you some stuff; go faster stuff, go muddier stuff, go higher stuff or even bling-tastic stuff. We’re stuff experts. When the going gets stuff… or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury


Out With The Old

DC100 Defender Successor

DC100 Defender Successor

It’s taken a while to get used to the idea of losing an icon.

Your first drive in a Land Rover is something which, to the delight of marketing departments selling you something related to the green oval, will make a lasting impression.

The bumpy ride is to be expected of a car with that transmission whine, as is the fight to get the steering wheel to do what is says on the tin.

Later models of Defender took the Series mantle into new levels of power, but never refinement. Elbows and knees still had to be padded to be sure they’d avoid bruising. You could always spot a Defender-driver on an aeroplane; in conversations about how little room you get, their blank faces are a dead give-away.

Great for shifting recalcitrant rams and elusive ewes, even in County trim there was an unbreakable genetic marker, a Neanderthal eyebrow, a hairy top lip, which couldn’t be beaten. Even if you broke it and needed Land Rover Parts, chances are a small sapling could stand in for a leaf spring, or a railway girder for a chassis arm.

The Land Rover Serviced us, in its Series and Defender guises, as a working machine. You drive it somewhere and get it muddy, then you get muddy, then you drive back. Then you leave it in the rain, or else get it more muddy inside and out, as you need.

Washing could be done with a hose pipe inside or out (until computers and ‘entertainment centers’ wormed their way inside).

This may have been the root of why we love them; it’s like having a farm dog. Chase across a field, through a bog, into the yard and chuck some cold water over it. Job Done. It’ll sit there and (I may have been hallucinating) wag it’s tail at you.

But times change and the current owners need something else, something they can sell on a smartphone gel-cover. The i-Rover, innit bruv.

So some time in 2015, with 4 other soft-roaders in the line up, the DC100 will to follow the herd.

Round corners rather than rounding up the sheep.

Bluetooth rather than blue tongue.

Chelsea Tractor rather than chase-a-tractor.

It’ll still be technologically superb, still a ground-breaking,  mile-munching, Sierra-Striding (the mountains, not the repmobile) offroad behemoth. Probably.

So let the cry go out.



For Land Rover Parts, servicing or accessories, see our webshop at or see me on Google+

We don’t sell saplings or railroad girders, but we can order them in.

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Historic Finds

How could you not want to take them home and love them?

Our office mole was just digging through the history of the interweb and found an old post on Landyzone about vehicle archaeology:

UK Land Rover enthusiasts John Craddock (of John Craddock Ltd) and Julian Gostling (of Exmoor Trim) have saved the collection of almost 100 Land Rovers and other collectable vehicles.

The two Land Rover specialists have jointly bought the collection, which includes various Series Ones, a One-Ton 109in and a huge variety of rare models including fire engines, ambulances and a Cuthbertson tracked vehicle in excellent condition. They were all stored in property at Sandnes near Stavanger in the south-west of the country and were due to be auctioned on December 4. Any which remained unsold at that auction would have been scrapped.

Some of the vehicles, which were being disposed of by the local police, are being transported back to the UK and many will come up for sale to enthusiasts next Summer. However, because of the immense task – and cost – of shipping every vehicle, some will be disposed of shortly in Norway. You can view this collection on-line and deal on the vehicle you require from Wednesday 1st December to Sunday 5th December 2010. This will be on a first-come first-served basis. Prices from £200 upwards.

Pictures of the collection can be seen here (Originally posted in 2010!)

What a collection! Given a lottery win and a free hand, it’s much the same as we’d end up with.

It would be great to know what happened to the stash. Answers on a post-card to the usual address please… or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Diagnostics R Us

Bearmach Hawkeye Pro

Bearmach’s Hawkeye Pro – available at

Once upon a time the technology invested in cars moved most rapidly in their manufacture. Everyone knows about the production line and Henry Ford, and the search for faster and better production methods.

Oh how times have changed. Your Freelander, Defender, Evoque, Discovery or Range Rover will have in it more computers than you can shake a soldering iron at.

Since Volkswagen first introduced fuel injection in a mass-produced car, the Type 3, computers around the world have made a bid for freedom and colonised your car.

In case they go wrong, workshops and garages across the world have been buying more computers to talk to your car’s computer.

It doesn’t get any easier to explain when you look at the profusion of gadgetry in the cabin, as we sit in sumptuous comfort afforded by programmable adjustable seats, multi-zone air conditioning and heating, on board GPS and computerised vehicle settings, adjustable gearboxes and suspension and engine power and aerodynamic aids; the list goes on and on.

We’re happy with the Bearmach Hawkeye, Hawkeye Pro, Britpart Lynx and IID Tool home and workshop diagnostic computers we’re stocking.

So happy that we bought a Hawkeye Pro for the workshop. It doesn’t get more real than that.

Seek out our website for further details. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Series Business

McDonald Land Rover Trophy winners newly-weds Chris and Sarah Mumby who were taken to the wedding ceremony in St Asaph in a rare 1949 Series 1 Land Rover

We are very proud to show this wonderful restoration project, a 1949 Series 1 restoration by Wyn Jones, co-owner of Jones Bros of Rhuallt.

A RARE Series 1 Land Rover, restored for use as a wedding car, won a new trophy at last week’s Denbigh & Flint Show.

Wyn Jones had been intending to refit the 1949 vehicle for  more than a decade when daughter Sarah declared she wanted it for her wedding at St Winefride Church, St Asaph.

Originally owned by Capt Frost, Llanbedr DC, Wyn bought it from Ruthin builder Roland Turner 25 years ago, intending to do it up.

Son Jonathan made a start at the Jones Bros workshops, Rhuallt, owned by his dad and uncle Mervyn.

But the job was left unfinished after Jonathan’s death 11 years ago.

“Last year Sarah said she wanted it for her wedding, so I had to do it,” said Wyn.

“These days it’s hard to get hold of the parts but I’d bought most of them 20 years ago so it was fairly straightforward.

“Even so, I finished at 5.30pm on the Friday evening and the wedding was on the Saturday.”

The resprayed vehicle, with original log-book, was among 21 Land Rovers that paraded at last week’s Denbigh & Flint to mark the brand’s 65th anniversary.

Courtesy of The Daily Post  or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Range Rover Sport’s Peake Performance

McDonald Land Rover Range Rover Sport Pike's Peak

Range Rover Sport Dominates At Pike’s Peak

So finally, the Range Rover Sport can justify its moniker.

Yes, it can Range. And it can Rove. And it’s horrifically expensive. We knew it was a Range Rover.

What we weren’t sure of was whether it was, in schoolboy terms, one of the kids you fought to pick first or last for your footy team.

And it’s a winner! Not only was the Range Rover Sport chosen as the official Pace Car, it dominated the Production SUV class with a time of 12:35.61 for the 12.42 mile circuit. The 5.0L Supercharged V8 kicked out 510PS and hurled the Range Rover Sport up a mountain so high (4300m) that as it crossed the finishing line there was less than 60% of the oxygen we take for granted at sea level.

American Pikes Peak specialist Paul Dallenbach, who piloted the beast, said:

There’s no margin for error at Pikes Pike – you only need to misjudge one of those 156 turns and you’re into the trees or over the edge of the mountain. To take on this place the way I did today, you need complete confidence in your vehicle, and the Range Rover Sport sure gave me that – it’s fast, responsive and agile. I was able to place the car exactly where I wanted it on the road to keep to the optimum high-speed lines through corners. This is a hugely capable vehicle and I’m proud to have been part of demonstrating that by setting a new Pikes Peak record

Courtesy of the Land Rover website

Sebastian Loeb currently holds the internal combustion record of 8:13.878 in a modified Peugeot 208. No, really he does and it really was. Quite heavily.

Here’s Jaguar Land Rover‘s promotional video to help your daydreaming.

Now go to our webshop and buy something. Ta. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury