Posts Tagged ‘land rover’

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January 2016. A memorable month perhaps for not many good reasons. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Lemmy and even Terry Wogan all gone from our world in a couple of weeks. Gone but of course never forgotten since each has left a legacy that will remain with their respective fans forever, including yours truly.

In the world of cars another British icon said farewell this month too. The Land Rover Defender is no more. Exactly 2,016,933 have been produced since 1948 and the car is probably one of the most recognised vehicles anywhere in the world and quite likely one of the most loved too.

Famous owners have included the Queen (of course), Winston Churchill, Steve McQueen, James Bond, Richard ‘The Hamster’ Hammond and The Car Spy (haha). There are many more ‘famous’ owners, of course, worth mentioning but that’s enough name-dropping for now.

Because you like music does not mean you would be be obliged to appreciate the many albums of David Bowie and because you like cars you might not appreciate a Land Rover (Series I, II, III, 90, 110 , Defender etc) and that is ok.

Notwithstanding individual opinion in cars and musical taste both the names of ‘Bowie’ and ‘Land Rover’ have been engraved into the stone tablet milestones of British history. You just know that in 100 years from now they will be a part of our ‘historical culture’. Just like Shakespeare.

Today this blog article was to be about a highly collectable Italian exotic that is the subject for a photo-shoot next week but instead it has turned out to be a eulogy for the Defender. But ‘eulogy’ means praising somebody or something that has just died so it’s really more of a ‘lifetime achievement award’ speech.

To appreciate a Defender (we’ll just stick to that moniker for simplicity’s sake) you have to consider a car that did not pretend to do anything else that what it was originally designed for. It was meant to be basic but very fit for for purpose.

Stick it on the edge of a muddy field on the side of a steep hill and tell it get to the top of the hill. Whichever variant you picked it would get the job done. No computer-assisted driving aids but pure mechanical engineering genius to carry out the task in hand. That is why farmers the world over relied on them. You could do the same thing thing in a tractor but you couldn’t park it in Waitrose for the weekly shop on the way home. Well you could but you just wouldn’t.

A Defender didn’t need aerodynamics, satnav, electric windows, aircon or airbags. It was the antithesis of today’s ‘modern car’. Our workshop mechanic said you only needed a Philips screwdriver and a pair of pliers in your toolbox to look after one. A slightly optimistic view but nonetheless not that far from the truth.

And therein really lies the problem with the Defender and why it had to be terminated- it does not make any commercial sense for a car manufacturer in 2016.

Cars have to be complex these days. Profits are made not from just building the thing in the first place but from the spare parts and workshop bills accumulated thereafter. We live in a world of consumerism and therefore everything has to be disposable. We have suddenly got used to upgrading to a new iPhone very year even though deep down we know don’t really need too.

But hey ho this is how the world turns now.

However, just like the music of David Bowie the Defender hasn’t died at all. You can buy a 70’s variant and have access to the same after-market support offered to the latest (and last) model. You can do almost anything yourself to keep the car on the road. It is the last of the Meccano-cars and if you have even the basic of interests in car mechanics and engineering then buy yourself a Defender. It is a deeply satisfying experience and it should be a mandatory part of any engineering course at university.

So why all of the fretting of the so-called replacement for the Defender?

One of the reasons that Land Rover have not rushed in with a new ‘evolutionary replacement’ is that they don’t know what to replace the Defender with. They haven’t got a clue. Defender purists want a car they can strip down and rebuild themselves but the market wants designer handbags or at the very least a ‘lifestyle’ accessory. Good luck with that one JLR!

On the other hand if you are not a fashion victim and fancy getting your fingernails dirty over the weekend then you have a big pond to fish in and for some time yet. Over 2 million ‘Land Rovers’ have been made and most are likely to be on the road still so get stuck into the classifieds!

Until the EU bureaucrats and Whitehall mandarins ban these types of cars forever then there is still life in the Defender yet.

Dead maybe but not gone for a while yet. Long live H166 HUE!

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Finished in Metallic Grey with a Black roof plus Black Sports vinyl seats this August 1987 registered, right hand drive Defender 90 Tdi has recorded 161000 miles and comes with the following specification:-

Manual 5 Speed Transmission, Taxed until end March 2015, MOT valid until September 2015, 16″ Black Modular Wheels fitted with Insa Desert Track 265/75 Tyres, MUD Dash Panel fitted with Kenwood Radio/Single CD and Auxiliary Switches, Cubby Box, XS Leather Steering Wheel, Side Windows, Rear Privacy Glass, Rear Bench Seats with Seat Belts, Rear Step, Tow Bar and Electrics, Side Steps, Black Chequer Plate on Bonnet, Wings and Sills, Mudflaps, Waxoyl Treated Chassis, Spare Keys, Scorpion Alarm/Immobliser System, HPI Checked, No VAT.

The previous owner of the car carried out an extensive refurbishment programme between 2010 and 2014 including the following:-

  • Original standard 2.5 TD engine replaced with the later 2.5 200 Tdi engine mated to a 1.22 transfer box – lower revs/better mpg
  • New rear cross-member fitted
  • Later model bulkhead fitted
  • Rear tub with galvanised cappings fitted
  • New windscreen and rubber
  • New rear door fitted including heated rear window
  • New ProComp shock absorbers plus heavy duty springs (standard ride height)
  • Polybushes fitted all round
  • Terrafirma RTC steering damper fitted
  • Front and rear diff guards fitted
  • New lights/lenses fitted
  • 100w bumper spotlights
  • Rear work lights and front roof lights
  • Exmoor trim refurbished/recovered front seats
  • Rear insulated and lined with LaSalle fibreglass kit
  • Heavy duty floor mats
  • Radiator, alternator, battery, power steering pump, cambelt, fuel tank, exhaust, prop bearings and ball joints all replaced
  • Front brake pads, discs and calipers recently replaced

This Defender is an absolute credit to its previous owner and for its age this Defender is in excellent condition although a few age-related marks will be found on the bodywork (but nothing that wouldn’t be found on a five year-old equivalent example).

A great investment for those wanting to buy a classic Defender before they become even more rare!

This Defender 90 Tdi is now SOLD!

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or 07809 890969. You can also email sales@thecarspy.net.

 

Finished in Belize Green with a Chawton White roof plus Denim Twill vinyl interior this December 2002 registered, right hand drive Defender 90 Td5 Hard Top has recorded 125000 miles (but looks like it has done less than 50k) and comes with the following specification:-

Manual 5 Speed Transmission, Taxed until end September 2014, MOT valid until July 2015, 16″ Boost Five-Spoke Alloys, Five New Continental 235/85 Tyres, Alpine Radio/Single CD with AUX for iPod and Bluetooth Function, Centre Seat, XS Leather Steering Wheel, Tow Bar and Electrics, Excellent Service History (just serviced), Boost Alloy Spare Wheel, Side Steps, Load Liner, Aluminium Chequer Plate on Wings and Sills, Mudflaps, Waxoyl Treated Chassis, Spare Keys, HPI Checked, No VAT. Superb, cared-for example and looks stunning – try and find a nicer one of this age!

Sorry this car is now SOLD!

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or 07809 890969. You can also email sales@thecarspy.net.

Finished in Metallic Alveston Red with Techno Cloth Interior this April 2002 registered, right hand drive Defender 110 Td5 County Double Cab has recorded 105000 miles only and comes with the following specification:-

Manual 5 Speed Transmission, Taxed until end December 2014, MOT valid until July 2015, 16″ Freestyle Alloys (Refurbished Land Rover originals), Excellent BF Goodrich 265/75R Tyres, Kenwood Single CD with AUX for iPod, Cubby Box, XS Leather Steering Wheel, Air Conditioning, Front Electric Windows, New Exmoor Carpets, Tow Bar and Electrics, Service History (just serviced), Spare Wheel Carrier, Aluminium Load Liner with Lockable Lid (professionally built by N&J Aluminium Linings Ltd), Side Steps, Black Chequer Plate on Wings and Sills, Waxoyl Treated Chassis, Alarm, Immobiliser, HPI Checked, No VAT. Superb example and looks stunning – try and find a nicer one!

This Defender Double Cab is now SOLD!

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or 07809 890969. You can also email sales@thecarspy.net.

The Geneva Motor Show originally kicked off in 1905 and somehow it is hard to imagine what the event must have looked like back then considering that Ford, Mercedes, Renault and a handful of others were only just pioneering the car as a means of transport for all and sundry.

Somewhere the records might show exactly how many exhibitors were in attendance back then but we can only assume it would be a tiny number compared to the 200-odd that were showing their wares this year which marked the 84th time the event had been held.

Yes we know there are 109 years since 1905 but presumably the odd World War or two got in the way and much of the other political shenanigans that seemed to occupy most of the 20th century contributed to a few of the missing years.

Palexpo, where the event is held, is looking a bit tired and dog-eared these days but the convenience of almost falling off the plane steps into the exhibition centre is very appealing. And for those travelling the one-hour-plus flight from London Gatwick a visit to this particular motor show is a very palatable one indeed.

The smell of continental coffee and croissants is forever present as you walk through the arcade to get to the main entrance for Palexpo and the whiff of Emmental is a gentle reminder that you have arrived in pleasant Switzerland.

All of the accessory and parts suppliers are stuffed into Hall 7 which seems to go on forever until you reach the escalators for the main event on the upper levels. Not sure why the centre has three levels (not floors) because it didn’t appear to be built into the side of a mountain from the outside. Maybe they just like climbing steep things in Swiss land.

On to the cars and most of the main European players attend this event plus the big names from Korea and Japan. Surprisingly though only Qoros appeared to be representing China but gut-feel suggests that is merely the calm before the storm.

Many manufacturers pick Geneva for their first model launches but even this tradition seems to be a declining one. With the growth of new markets around the globe some manufacturers were referring to a ‘European Premiere’ rather than a ‘World Premiere’ for various models.

Wandering around the show and taking in all of the new models on display there was an underlying picture emerging. Cars, for the mass-market at least, are getting ugly. Almost all of the big guns had at least one model that had been subjected to a ‘make-over’ that quite frankly made us squirm. OK the look of a car is a very subjective one but when there are so many Frankensteins on show it prompts a few questions.

Is it the ever-pervasive EU with their daft regulations related to car-design that are having a detrimental affect? Has it become fashionable to be unattractive in the car world? Are the car designers on hallucinatory drugs? Sorry but we are not talking about the odd car here and there which suggests that a very broad-brush is being painted with for some reason or another.

It’s not even worth listing the culprits but you as the reader will decide in due course whether this might be true or not and besides there were enough stunners on show to distract us from the monsters.

Highlights of the show for The Car Spy? Well actually quite a lot but rather than bore you with the finer details we will summarise them for you as follows and follow that up with an album of over 200 images for you to digest. In fact so many shots were taken with the main camera that the battery died (that’s right – no spare with us) but the iPhone 5 made a great substitute that kept us going until the bitter end. So on with the show:-

KAHN – well-established UK make-over artists for premium brands but this year their stand focused on British prime beef from Land Rover in the form of Range Rovers and Defenders. The seriously sumptuous interiors in the Rangies are a sight to behold and the mean, wide-bodied Defenders look like they could scare off gargoyles.

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Mercedes Benz – The new S-Class looks sharp and svelte particularly in Coupe form and the C-Class also earned an extra look – much nicer with bigger wheels though. The model choice is becoming mind-bending with umpteen A’s and B’s too so good luck to anyone looking to buy into that category.

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BMW – the company has now pretty much used up the allocation of numbers from 1 to 8 with the addition of the 2-series and the expansion of the 4-series and again the model choice is dizzying to the head. Prettiest car in the range has to be the 6-series for us especially in Gran Coupe form but sadly the 4-series Gran Coupe looked a bit sterile by comparison. Maybe it was the colour choice for the stand but it just didn’t leave an impression.

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MINI – a car that is fast becoming a contradiction. It is no longer small or mini-like. It is huge. The new nose stretches the car and the Countryman looks as big as an Audi A3. It just doesn’t look cute anymore but the Clubman Concept looked pretty good. Again, not at all small but the proportions look right and if the final version looks similar it should be a winner.

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Morgan – a real antidote to all ‘modern cars’. The stand had a cutaway of one of the models showing the solid ash frame which has been used on Morgans since the beginning of time. Surely the EU will declare it as a fire hazard before long to finally remove from the world one of the few companies to still build a car by human hand using proper craftsmen skills.

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Mansory – Not always a bastion of good taste when it comes to gilding a lily but the metallic turquoise and satin silver Wraith on the stand would have made Rolls Royce proud. It sounds a bit blingy but somehow the colour combination worked very well with the ivory interior and the car deserved a few re-visits from us.

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Rolls Royce – seeing the ‘new’ Ghost up-close gave a chance to see that RR don’t believe in making radical changes to their cars which is a mighty relief amongst a sea of unnecessary nose-jobs. Previous Ghost owners can rest easy – you need (very) sharp eyes to spot the differences.

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Maserati – always a joy to see their cars and not a bad apple amongst them. Star of their stand was the Alfieri concept which proved that cars can still be beautiful. Please make that car Maserati and save us from mediocrity.

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Alfa Romeo – The 4c was much in evidence especially since the Spider is on its way and a white example took centre stage on their stand. Even prettier than the Coupe (without that slightly awkward kink around the B-pillar) it would be unfair to call it a mini-Ferrari but we will anyhow.

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RUF – how do you make a 911 go faster? Take it to the guys in Pfaffenhausen and they will work their magic to produce a Porsche that will embarrass most other Porsches. No real surprises on their stand this year apart from a canary yellow RCT which is basically a two-wheel-drive Turbo and in terms of power neatly parks itself between Porsche’s ‘basic’ Turbo and the Turbo S model. Alois Ruf also had his own personal Connaught Green 964-based RCT which sadly is not (and maybe never will be) for sale.

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Lexus – The RCF GT3. Seriously mental. Enough said. The LF-NX concept. Looks great. They won’t make it.

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Honda – Type R Concept. Just do it Honda and where is the NSX? We are getting very impatient.

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Renault  – A Twizy in Formula 1 guise. So mad-looking they would sell them by the bucket-load if the company accountants were put into solitary confinement.

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Skoda – Vision C concept. There was little bit of Audi A7 going on from certain angles but the Skoda version would be a hell of a lot cheaper to buy and probably one of the best-looking cars to come out of the Czech factory ever.

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Gumpert – a brave company that made a comeback from collapse a while back and while their outlandishness should be applauded it is hard to see how the cars will fit in with a new landscape of P1’s, 918’s and LaFerraris. Outdated is probably the word now. The ‘Explosion’ concept is pointless too quite frankly and totally at-odds with the image of Gumpert.

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Koenigsegg – same comments as Gumpert. In order to survive they need to attract customers away from the new-technology kids on the block but seemingly some people must be buying them.

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Audi – The new TT is definitely better-looking than the out-going model. There are shades of the original model in the design which is hard to pin-down in any particular aspect but the new car looks good from every angle. The more powerful versions will also increase desirability. An original RS2 Avant was also featured on the stand which looked a tad old-fashioned next to the current generation RS4 but has nonetheless confirmed its classic status in the history books.

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Porsche – where was the 918? Not invited to Geneva apparently but the 919 on the stand attracted a big enough crowd anyway. The 911 Targa looks great in the flesh and should be far more popular than Targa models of old.

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Lamborghini – The Huracan was the car hogging the spotlight on the stand and rightly so too. Not as dramatic-looking as the Aventador but a car that will be purchased surely by looks alone. This car will make buying a 458 a much harder decision from now on. Nice choice of colours on the stand too.

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Zonda – the maddest, baddest car-maker of them all. Carry on as usual guys.

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Touring – the Disco Volante (or Flying Saucer) just makes you want to stare at it all of the time. A strange but intriguing shape that draws the eye around the car and although on this outing the car was painted in a metallic green with gold detailing it was as stunning as ever. It is certainly a design that will be talked about for years to come.

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McLaren – the 650S was having its first public showing and in spite of the presence of an ice-blue P1 on the stand it was pulling its fair share of attention. A curious mix of (almost) P1 front-end and (slightly updated) 12c rear-end the car is tipped to be a big seller for the company. Can’t help feeling that the Spider version pulls it off better than the Coupe – the 12c stays in production by the way.

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Subaru – the VIZIV2 concept showed that the designers in the back-office haven’t completely lost their way with some pretty dull shapes that have come out of the factory over the past couple of years. Hopefully this concept will point them back in the right direction.

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Aston Martin – just like Maserati the company still manages to pull a crowd with some of the prettiest sports cars and GT’s available. No big announcements from the company apart from a range of bespoke options for all of the models using the moniker ‘Q’. Might as well milk the Bond connection for all it is worth.

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Jaguar – probably the loudest stand at the show with a huge screen presenting a short film full of expensive actors, Union Jacks and loud, growly V8’s. One thing Jaguar no longer is and that is understated. The F-Type Coupe of course featured star-billing and deservedly so – it is a very handsome car indeed and could easily hold a candle to the Astons only a spitting distance away. The new XFR-S Sportwagon made an appearance in very un-Jaguar bright blue but if that is where the company thinks its market is then who are we to argue? After all they are still the profitable car-maker in the world.

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There were dozens of other smaller exhibits worth a mention too but it’s time for a glass of wine and some Swiss cheese now. Ah yes, they also make very nice chocolate too so we’ll have some of that for desserts. In the meantime enjoy our album of images from the show.

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Finished in Fuji White with Ebony Hide Interior this new, unregistered, right hand drive, diesel Range Rover Vogue SE comes with the following options in addition to the standard specification:-

Grand Black Lacquer, Morzine Headlining – Ebony, Privacy Glass, Front and Rear Carpet mats with contrast edge.

This Range Rover Vogue SE is available to purchase today at £85359 inc VAT (Shipping/Delivery costs extra)

Please note this car is VAT qualifying.

For further details please give us a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net.

Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Vogue SE in Fuji White

N.B. This image was created using the Land Rover configurator. It is not an image of the actual car for sale.

Finished in Santorini Black with Ivory Oxford Hide Interior this new, unregistered, left hand drive Range Rover comes with the following options in addition to the standard specification:-

Colour concept Ebony / Ivory, 20-inch with 5 twin-spoke (Style 2), Full Glass Panoramic Roof, Piano Black Veneer, Morzine Headliner in Ebony, Terrain Response 2 Car, Automatic Headlights with Auto Dimming, Fog Lights, Full Size Alloy Spare Wheel, Illuminated Aluminium Door Sill Plates, Volumetric Anti-theft Alarm, Parking Assistant, Collision Warning System, Blind Spot Warning System, HomeLink, Infotainment Touchscreen with Dual View Technology, Meridian Sound System with 825 watts.

This Left Hand Drive Range Rover Vogue is available to purchase today at 106000 Euros excluding VAT and Shipping/Delivery costs

Please note this car is VAT qualifying.

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or email sales@thecarspy.net.

Range Rover Vogue in Santorini Black

N.B. This image was created using the Land Rover configurator. It is not an image of the actual car for sale.