Same SUV, Different Day?

Kahn’t Resist

McDonald Land Rover 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.


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 Landrover 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

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 Landrover 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 Land Rover 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!


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’s 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

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.


Land Rover Pics And Flicks

McDonald Land Rover 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 Land Rover 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 Land Rover 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


This post was written by Rupert Astbury.

Wading In Washout Weather

Series 1 WadingPicture courtesy of Dove Publishing

With the worst of the winter’s weather hanging on for dear life, it seems appropriate to discuss the wading prowess of the Land Rover, and the importance of kitting your Land Rover out properly.

How To Wade

You’ve got two feet of ground clearance, and chunky tyres, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you are invincible. On the road, you’ll need to use your noggin as well as your knobblies.

mcdonald landrover Range Rover Wading

L405 Gets To Work

Picture courtesy of Clanging Bell.

The best advice for car owners is to move to the middle of the road, go slow whilst keeping the engine revs high and don’t stop but try not to go too fast.

Be aware that the bow wave you generate may affect other road users, but may also affect local homeowners, as the ripple tops doorsteps or walls of sandbags. It’s always nice to push the rugged boundaries, but it’s always a good idea to gather as much good-will as you can.

mcdonald landrover range rover wading

Range Rover Coming Home From Work

Picture courtesy of Business Car

With the added ruggedness mixed into the LR DNA, you don’t have to worry about the roads too much until you get to serious flowing water. Be advised that even a 4X4 can be affected by flowing water only 2 feet deep.

As the maximum wading depth of most Land Rovers is 500mm, or 20 inches, you can see that knee-high water is more dangerous than you may think;

Land Rover Series 1 500mm (20″)

Series 2    500mm (20″)

Series 3    500mm (20″)

Defender      500mm (20″)

Discovery 1     500mm

Discovery 2      500mm

Discovery 3      420 – 540mm (Using air suspension to increase ride height)

Discovery 4      420 – 540mm (Using air suspension to increase ride height)

Freelander 1     400mm

Freelander 2    500mm

Range Rover Classic  500mm (20″)

Range Rover P38   500mm

Range Rover L322    500mm

Range Rover L405    500mm

mcdonaldlandrover Discovery wading

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable

Picture courtesy of Landyzone forumite MBURTON2

Dangers of Wading

To the ordinary car driver, the major problem is the air intake. If this is low enough, or the water high enough, then the puddle may make it into the air box and from there to the combustion chamber. In that case, there’s a good chance you’ll stall and won’t be able to restart because your con-rods have been bent. The piston is supposed to compress fuel and air, not water which will not compress at all. You’ll need to be recovered and will have quite a large bill generated at the garage of your choice…

At best, you’ll have covered the electrics with water and shorted something cheap and easy to replace. You’ll still be puddle-jumping to get to dry land, but it won’t mean you remortgaging the house.

To the 4X4 driver, the greater danger lies with all the breathing the vehicle does; you probably don’t even know the half of it.

The air filter is a problem, but the air intake on a 4X4 is obviously higher as the engine itself is higher. There are plenty of snorkel kits available to solve the issue, and they’re not hard to fit.

The axles, gearbox and transfer box all have breather points fitted, as the cavities inside heat and cool and so need to inhale and exhale air.

If you plough head-first into a puddle, there’s a good chance that the axle/gearbox/transfer box cools rapidly and the air inside cools and contracts. The breather then sucks in not air but water, and the lubricant becomes a soupy mess poorly-capable of doing its job.

Consider however the electrickery which goes into modern cars though; do you know where the lowest electrical connector is on your car?

The manufacturers make these vehicles so that they can take on the world, but in a world of school runs and shopping trips, wading kits to take care of any deluge dampness are optional extras.

Gearbox and axle breathers and pipes, flywheel plugs and snorkels helping to raise the wading depth are available for all models, and are certainly necessary if you’re staring the Limpopo in the face or “Doing Dartmoor”. If you’re just headed for Marks and Spencers, though, it’s best to be circumspect about the heroic driving and go slow through the puddles.

For snorkels and wading kits, or if you’re past that point and need piston/con rod assemblies and a a shoulder to cry on, check out our website

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

mcdonald landrover Discovery 3 wading

Discovery 3 Going Over The Top

Picture courtesy of Landroversonly forumite BBYER

Check out Expedition Land Rover for expert preparation guides and the Land Rover Driving Guides for tips on driving in muddy conditions

All That Glitters Isn’t Blue

McDonald Land Rover Blue Lights

Can you fit blue lights to your car?

It’s quite clear that the Police, Fire and Ambulance services are valid users of blue lights to warn us of their passage, or to guide us to them necessary.

There has however been a trend of fitting blue lights to ordinary cars, perhaps to help the owner forget just how ordinary the car.

However, a Range Rover L322 was seen featuring this modern accessory, which begs the question; why?

Norfolk Constabulary has a guide to ensuring your car modifications are legal;

Lighting Offences:

Blue lights – Under the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989, it states “except for emergency vehicles it is an offence to fit a blue warning beacon or special warning lamp or device resembling such whether working or not”

This, however, does not cover the difference between the colour of the light and the type of light used.

According to Wikipedia, the stalwart of internet-sourced quotes;

Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 […] as amended by various other pieces of legislation […] The 1989 restrictions state that no vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle, shall be fitted with a “blue warning beacon or special warning lamp”, or a device which resembles a blue warning beacon or a special warning lamp, whether it works or not.

If the lights are simply blue LEDs, are they legal?. It seems so.

If they don’t flash, are they legal? It seems so.

As far as the aesthetics of a car are concerned, it’s hard to phrase a question which calls for some kind of judgement on this issue.

You really don’t want to lay down the law of ‘what looks good’ if you like Defenders; svelt and swoopy, they ain’t.

And yet in a world where Corsas and Saxos and all manner of small cars for generations have been manhandled by those with more individuality than either money or panel-beating skill, there’s surely some consensus as to whether a modification improves the look of a vehicle?

So how to respond to the position “putting blue lights on your car or truck makes you look like a tit, tempting Police to stop you so that you can rant at them and argue that you’re right and they’re wrong, and head back to the roadside burger dispensary of your choice feeling proud of yourself”?

Or indeed “why shouldn’t I be able to make a statement if it doesn’t brake the law, you tweed-clad Victorian reactionary, barking your patrician palsy at people who don’t care about appealing to a consensus they don’t share, before you retire safely to the net-curtained parlour of your choice and listen to Radio 4 until your Horlicks is ready?”.

For those on either side of the debate, we now stock PMH Lighting’s finest LED lights, in both blue and white, as well as LED replacement lights from both Britpart and Bearmach, at our webshop

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.