Project XKR

new-jag-headerHere is a progress report on my 4.2l Supercharged XKR, which has been at Bentley Vehicle Solutions at Raydon for a few months now, I have never been happy with the car ever since it went north for the bonnet to be remodelled as a one piece unit, the fit was bad, it flexed to much and the vents sat proud, the finish was also poor, the headlamps flopped about and the colour match was not good, I found it depressing to drive and so only used it on a small number of occasions last year.

This coupled with the fact that I had reversed into a flower pot cracking the rear bumper paint meant I had to bite the bullet and have it sorted properly, which is why I took it to BVS into the expert hands of Nick and Karl.

jag new twoFollowing the initial consultation, the job grew from a bonnet restructuring exercise to a complete glass out body respray, walking around the vehicle with them they were able to point out several errors and areas of thinning paint i would never have noticed, poor panel alignment and poorly fitted trim.

A huge improvement in the bonnet has already been achieved, the vents sit flush, the panel gap and headlamps fit perfectly and is starting to look once more like the car I always wanted.

It should all be finished by next Friday….and I can’t wait!

Project S-Type

jag-headerRestoration update on Sandy’s Jaguar 1965 3.8L S-Type, this is currently located at Lee Scott Jaguar Restoration in Frating, where it is safe in the very experienced hands of Lee and his son Ollie.

In the original picture of her car in her garage, she looks Beautiful….the Car, not Sandy…well she is of course Beautiful as well, but this is about the Jaguar…Unfortunately the S-Types beauty was not even skin deep, the paint looks shiny from a distance but when up close it had crazed badly where it had been applied to thick when it was last restored 20 years ago, there was some rust coming through and there was a dent in the right hand front wing, and so I took the decision to go for a bare metal respray, and so took it over to Nick and Karl at BVS, who very quickly had the car stripped to bare metal.

On initial inspection the bodywork was very good, with little trace of filler or rot, however, a few panels were required and some specialist welding needed, and so she was trailered over to Lee Scott’s to appraise and report.

jag 2The report was not good….corrosion was found in the Sills, inner panels and boot, after much soul searching and thinking I came to the same conclusion as Lee, the only was a complete vehicle strip and restoration, just repainting was a false economy….a complete nut and bolt job it is then, the only stipulation was that it has to be done in 12 months….as we do not know how much longer Sandy can drive for due to her Parkinson’s and I want her to get as much enjoyment out of her pride and joy as is possible.

Over the last 2 months Lee and Ollie have completely stripped the car to a bare shell, she has been sandblasted once more in and out, which has exposed the full extent of repairs required, and repairs are now on going, I will supply many pictures over the next months, and show how progress is developing, the quality of work carried out so far is excellent, and she could not be in better hands, if anyone is interested in learning more about either BVS who are the bodyshop that stripped the paint, and who will eventually paint her, or Lee Scott Restorations, contact me and I will be happy to pass on their details. They use the graco paint sprayer which allows them to give a perfect airless paint cover on all their cars thus providing excellent quality of paintjob to their customers cars.


BLE TPMS from Terrafirma is a universal, easy to fit tyre pressure monitoring system that displays all your tyre information on your smart phone.

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Simply download the App, screw the TPMS valve caps onto all 4 wheel valve stems and follow the step by step instructions to pair the TPMS valve caps with your phone via Bluetooth

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Multiple display screens show everything you need to know about your tyre performance to keep you driving safely. Alarms bring to your attention, fast leaks, slow leaks, high pressure and low pressure even no signal and low battery alarms identify when a TPMS valve cap has stopped transmitting.
Terrafirma Part Number TF308


Security Products

The number of reported thefts of Defenders has skyrocketed in the last couple of years, with a reported increase of 69% in North Yorkshire between 2015 and 2016. Insurance specialists are advising owners of these iconic vehicles to be aware of the risks, and take adequate precautions to discourage and prevent theft.

Understandably, there has been an increase in the number of security products for Defenders in the last year, with a range of solutions available for every budget. We’ve collected some of the most popular here.

Skytag – Tracker DA9012


With a increasing amount of Land Rovers being stolen, why not install a Skytag tracking system to help increase the chances of your vehicle being recovered? The Skytag Vehicle Recovery System was recently featured on the BBC programme “Thief Trackers”, where a Defender was quickly recovered thanks to the Skytag tracking device that was fitted. Skytag are now largest independent stolen vehicle recovery company in the UK, providing state of the art location equipment to recover your property quickly and efficiently. With an outstanding recovery record and an 11 minute fastest record, they are proud to offer a service second to none. With unique features like monthly operation checks and direct police access to live location information.




This neat solution is a sleeve for the lock barrel assembly machined out of steel. It is strong enough to prevent the barrel being removed or the end broken off. The best thing about this solution is it’s completely passive – i.e. nothing to lock or unlock. It stays permanently fitted to the vehicle providing 24 hour protection and deterrent value. The column lock will fit all Defenders LHD or RHD – up to 2014, including Puma/Tdci. One exception is that some ex-military vehicles do not have a steering lock. While the column lock will fit – it serves no purpose as there is nothing for it to protect.



stub axle kits

Ensure your precious accessories remain firmly on your Land Rover by using these tamper proof nuts and bolts; ideal for securing expensive parts like your winch and bumpers. Each set contains 4 nuts or bolts and 1 key.

DA7333 Bolt set – M10 x 110
DA7334 Bolt set – M10 x 35
DA7332 Nut set – M10
DA7331 Nut set – M8
DA7330 Nut set – M6



The International Security Register (ISR) system has proved successful in deterring and detecting theft and fraud for over 30 years. It works on the principle that if a vehicle’s windows and parts are marked using robust techniques and details are recorded on a secure database – supported by a 24/7 verification service – criminals stealing the vehicle will run a real risk of being caught and prosecuted.The pack contains full instructions, and materials for marking glass, body panels, and plastic parts.



DA6601 (1)

The X-Defend Pedal Lock prevents the clutch, brake and throttle pedal from being operated, making a vehicle almost impossible to drive! Unlike other pedal locks, this remains bolted to the floor of the vehicle. When not in use, it folds flat on the floor and seat box, forming the floor of the cab. In this position it can be covered with your usual floor mat, meaning you don’t have to store a 20kg lump of metal which could be lethal if it hit you in the event of an accident or while off-roading. It also means that locking is incredibly quick. Just release the catch which holds it against the seat box and lock into position. A 10mm thick steel claw grabs the brake pedal shaft and ratchets in tight against it. It can be locked in a couple of seconds! To unlock turn the key which releases the pedal and fold flat on the floor.The Pedal Lock is supplied in tough, corrosion proof 304 stainless steel and uses formed hinges with a 6mm stainless pin. It is supplied with an anti-drill, British made Lowe & Fletcher RPT Lock. Find more details in this article – Choosing a locksmith: tips from Metro Locksmith Of Calgary.

DA6601 Right Hand Drive
DA6602 Left Hand Drive



The hinge guard is built to exact specification and was developed to fit all Defender models and years. It has been engineered for maximum protection and ease of fitment. Each Hinge Guard kit consists of two CAD engineered stainless steel plates which fit inside of each hinge point, restricting outward movement of the door with the bulkhead bolts removed. Fitting the Hinge Guards is incredibly easy with comprehensive fitting instructions supplied. Each door kit can be easily fitted in 20-30 minutes. After installation, only the top of each plate can be seen, providing an unobtrusive modification and deterrent to would-be thieves.

DA1398 2 Door Kit
DA1399 4 Door Kit

Related: Locksmith Denver.

British Cross Country Championship – Round 5 at Bovington

21751884_10159266539035321_6269642254158603493_nWe have just returned from round 5 at Bovington and they played out like this….

Arriving at Bovington camp on the Friday afternoon, the forecasted weather was upon us and we set up service in wind and rain Once the car was passed scrutineering we retired and focused on the day ahead.

Once the car was passed scrutineering we retired and focused upon the coming race as the season is drawing to a close and we needed to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd to maintain our lead in the overall standings. Jim arrived and joined us for the weekend and it was great to have someone from Britcar to come and cheer us on – to be honest, by the end of the weekend he was fully integrated into the team and is welcome back any time…

21761841_10159266538925321_3464528707046229845_nSaturday started bright and sunny and we set good times across a 6 mile lap that was predominately rolling sand and grit with large amounts of standing water interspersed with gooey sand and very rough forest. We finished day 1 in 1stplace with a small margin of time.

After heavy rain during the night it was no surprise that the circuit was very very wet on the Sunday, what was a surprise was that on the first corner of the day there was a large noise and the cars handling went very poor. I took a decision to try to complete the rest of the 6 miles as stopping in stage would lose enough time to put our position in jeopardy. Two or three times the car tried to veer suddenly to the right and threatened to take us into the undergrowth, the steering was quite bad and at some points the steering wheel was 180 degrees out just to maintain a straight line.

21752208_10159266538915321_6838408882169213660_nOnce back it became clear that we had sheared off the top of the right hand front damper and this had been flopping about under the wheel arch for the entire lap over all the bumps. Although it cost us about 2 minutes in time, having seen the damage I was quite pleased to have got back to service!

Mongo the mechanic changed out both front struts and replaced them with standard Freelander items, used the best torque wrench really, as these are lower it gave us a dragster style nose down look!


21761434_10159266538930321_7655406919895957959_nWe continued through the day although with the nose down we hit every bump on the track and that slowed us down quite considerably. The worst run was when we had a sudden rainstorm halfway through the lap which reduced already poor conditions to those of extremely hazardous to be racing in with no clear line over obstacles and a flooded track. I have uploaded this to the teams YouTube channel and I have posted a link in the teams FaceBook page.

We pressed on and at the end of the event found that, even though we had lost several minutes due to the suspension issue, we had finished first. Well actually we finished joint 1st as we had amazingly set exactly the same time as another competitor – however the win went to us as we had set the fastest 1st lap.




Open day – Grand Raffle prizes

Britcar are having an open day on the 3rd September 2016 to promote the move to our new premises, and raise money for Parkinson’s UK. There will be a range of activities on the day, but the headline event is a Grand Raffle with some really rather good prizes.

Our final list of goodies is made up of:

  • A fantastic 9,000lb T-Max winch
  • 20″ Land Rover child’s mountain bike
  • Hawkeye diagnostic tool (suitable for home or professional use)
  • Land Rover factory tour
  • Meal for two in a local restaurant
  • £30 Amazon voucher
  • Scorpion Martial Arts Academy voucher for 3 months’ free training in universal karate / kickboxing / fitness (choose when redeeming your voucher)
  • Magnum of Champagne


BA 2609

  • 5.5HP/12v
  • Remote control included (cable 3.7m)
  • Gear Train – Planetary 3 Stage
  • Gear Ratio – 172.8:1
  • Clutch – Sliding Ring Gear
  • Brake – Automatic in-the-drum
  • Rope – Wire 28.5m x 9.2mm diameter
  • Fairlead – 4-Way Roller
  • Recommended Battery – 650CCA min for winching
  • Weight – 36.5Kgs
  • Dimensions – 557 x 205 x 160mm
  • Mounting Pattern – 254 x 114.3mm
  • Drum Size – 224 x 64mm diameter

 Retail value: £308.96 +VAT!



Land Rover no longer produce kids’ bikes, so this could be your last chance to grab one! A lot of ‘brand’ bikes are based on a cheap frame and built with unbranded components, making them a bit of a gamble. This isn’t the case with the Land Rover bikes; they’ve got solid frames and proper, branded components (brakes and gears).

The Cordonza features:

  • Lightweight 7005 Aluminium frame
  • Suntour M2025 front suspension forks
  • Shimano Tourney 6-speed gears
  • SRAM MRX gripshift
  • Tektro alloy V-brakes & levers
  • Alloy rims with Innova 20″ x 2.1″ tyres
  • Front mudguard

For the full specification of this great kids’ bike, see the full listing on our site.

Retail value: £230.69 +VAT!


ba5070_4This popular tool connects to the on-board diagnostic port on your vehicle (OBD-II ports only), and allows you view and reset stored fault codes. This Hawkeye prize comes with a J1962 cable (BA5071), zipped protective couch, quick reference guide, and one vehicle type unlock code. Once you’ve unlocked the Hawkeye to work with your vehicle (P38 / Discovery 2 / L322 etc), you’re able to use the tool on other vehicles of the same type. If you need to use it on more vehicle types, further single unlock codes (BA5075) can be purchased separately.

  • Robust and self-powered hand held unit
  • No PC / laptop required
  • Free unlock code for one Land Rover vehicle type
  • Can be unlocked for additional Land Rover vehicle types
  • Free updates for future applications
  • Reads fault codes with descriptions
  • Live data real-time monitoring
  • Service reset option
  • Ideal for DIY enthusiast as well as specialists

Retail value: £236.25 +VAT!


This prize is for 2 people to have a free meal in a local restaurant. If you win this prize, we’ll get in touch to discuss the final details and get your meal booked.


If you win this prize, we’ll send you and a friend on a guided tour of the Land Rover manufacturing plant at Solihull. This fantastic prize takes you behind the scenes at one of the most high-tech factories in the world. See more information on this amazing prize on the Land Rover website.

We’d like to say a special thanks to all the companies who have generously donated prizes to support our charity open day, we very much appreciate you all!

New product: Defender vent repair panels


New in from Britpart are these Defender repair panels. These are an incredibly simple way to repair the bulkhead surrounding the front vents, which is unfortunately a common area for rust on older vehicles as per the experts from windshield repair Portland indicates us.

The new panels retail for £38.16 +VAT each, and are primed and ready to finish to match your Defender. The part numbers are:

DA4597N Nearside (Right hand side)
DA4597O Offside (Left hand side)

Related: The best list of Master Locksmith of New Orleans services.


SHIFTING SANDS EXPEDITION UPDATE: Two women return from Series IIA Land Rover journey through North Africa and the Middle East

In March we left England to drive our Series IIA Land Rover around the Mediterranean to experience and document everyday life in North Africa and the Middle East. We wanted to tell a positive story from the Arab world to balance the general negativity that we see in the mainstream media, a personal tale interweaving the stories of the people we met with our own.

We had a fight on our hands before we’d even left. Planning our expedition had pretty much taken over our lives, but we had no money and no car and it seemed that nobody was interested in backing two women to make this journey. (Talk to the best car loan experts from here who assist everyone that has credit Issues in buying a car with no immediate cash).

So we worked and saved, dedicating our evenings and weekends to planning our trip and applying for every grant under the sun. We still failed to find sponsorship but continued to battle through the highs and lows, rejoicing when a friend lent us his beloved Landy and gritting our teeth when she subsequently failed her MOT to the tune of £600. Fleet Wrap HQ served our purposes well.

We eventually realised we could talk about our trip forever but that nobody was going to take us seriously until we actually started doing it. So we fixed a leaving date, started organising visas and accommodation, and quit our jobs.

Just before setting off a chance phone call to Duncan at Britcar yielded useful advice and the fantastic offer of cost price Land Rover parts. David at All Wheel Drive next door helped us out with some last minute mechanics.

To save us travelling with a load of heavy and expensive spares, Britcar suggested we use their international shipping service to obtain parts as required along our journey. We also sold our excess car junk and unwanted accessories to cars perth to lighten the burden off our shoulders and make for an easy trip. It wasn’t long before we had need of this…

We’d got as far as France when we heard (and felt) a monumental clunk, which was Landy’s rear differential breaking into pieces. We’d massively underestimated how long it would take to drive through Europe so – bodging a temporary repair – we drove for 26 hours without stopping, crossing over the snowy Pyrenees at midnight.

By the time we reached Marrakech – where Britcar had sent our new diff – we’d identified a whole new problem: the noise from the engine bouncing around Landy’s sheet metal interior had become unbearable. Our ears were ringing day and night – even on non-driving days – and we knew we’d be deaf by the end of the trip if we continued. We faced the embarrassing prospect of coming up with a solution or giving up entirely.

Some Moroccan artisans came to our rescue, so – on the only day it rained in Morocco – we found ourselves sitting in an icy puddle installing a new diff while they lined the whole of Landy’s interior with thick slabs of soundproofing cork – and gorgeous brass detailing.

It looked incredible, worked a treat and gave us an idea.

At the age of 43 Landy was a thing of beauty but pretty basic so we decided to adapt her to meet the needs of the expedition. Having left England as a classic British car Landy would pick up a flavour of every country we travelled through.

How Landy looks today tells the story of our trip in a way that nothing else does:

Now we could hear we wanted a sound system…and Tunisia was the place to do it.

Our friend Sihem embroidered beautiful seat backs in Algeria.

Our plywood bed was ripping our sleeping bags so Abu Deraa painted it – Bedouin style – in Wadi Musa, Jordan.

Libyan curtains were stitched by Moussa in Tripoli old town.

We installed a super loud horn to fight off trucks in Egypt.

We upgraded our gear stick – Tunisia again – paying homage to the home of Star Wars.

In Lebanon we were told we looked military – so adapted our spare wheel cover in response.

Finally Landy was decorated by ‘Leo Lunatic’ the most famous graffiti artist in Istanbul.

Despite the attention she was getting Landy continued to cause mechanical havoc for most of the trip often testing our strength, tolerance and creativity to the extreme. We got to know her pretty well…and learnt quite a lot about ourselves at the same time.

We learnt how to drive with no brakes…no clutch…no handbrake…and a sticky accelerator. And we learnt that it’s OK, so long at is doesn’t all happen at the same time.

We replaced the brake master cylinder three times in Lebanon (all the local spares we found were faulty in different ways), had the front brake pads relined by a garage in Jordan, reattached our accelerator cable in Algeria and a dangling exhaust pipe in Jerusalem. We changed the oil and filters in Jordan, replaced two brake cylinders and carried out a basic service. Our fuel pump was reconditioned in Cyprus by local Land Rover mechanic Socrates.

We learnt to never trust anyone else to direct the car and that the term ‘mechanic’ is to be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

We discovered that it’s more terrifying to be driven around by an overexcited Tunisian friend than to lose our own brakes on a mountain pass in Lebanon, but that the scariest part of our project bar none was leaving our jobs in the first place.

We found a side to life in the Arab world that is barely touched in the mainstream media as we made friends and experienced generosity like never before.

Arriving in Algeria we were greeted off the ferry with ‘Hello Mrs Land Rover!’ from a beaming customs officer. Two old women argued in the street over who would give us coffee. We only had to wander into any shop (whatever it sold) to come out bearing more cakes than we could comfortably consume without being sick, and a random serviceman in a service station presented us with 350 litres of free diesel coupons.

A family in Baalbek took us in for the night when they found us replacing the brake master cylinder in the dark – and gave us a sensational Lebanese breakfast. And when we got stranded overnight in a Land Rover workshop on the outskirts of Amman the owner went home, returning an hour later with a steaming lamb mensaf dish made by his mum.

We realised that being two women in an old car was by far the safest way to travel and our vulnerability was our biggest strength. Everywhere we went people just wanted to help us.

But few understood this.

People in each country warned us against neighbouring countries and frequently enough we were warned by our new friends against the people in the next town – where we would arrive and be met by equally friendly people who could hardly believe we had passed through the last place unscathed.

We discovered that people everywhere have an innate fear of the unknown and that the biggest problems we’ve encountered both at home and on the road – the stereotyping of race, gender, religion and nationality – are direct consequences of this fear.

And we found more than generosity. Everywhere we went we met people setting up book clubs, exhibitions, websites, festivals: cultural activism was rife. Social media has got people from different backgrounds engaging with one another on a grassroots level like never before. The creativity and initiative we encountered was inspiring and it was amazing to see the fear of the unknown being broken down in this way.

People in every place bought into our project and told us time and time again how important it is to them that people back here don’t think they’re all gun toting extremists.

We came home at the end of August having driven through every country bordering the Med with the exception of Syria. After two years of planning, 22 countries, 174 days on the road, hundreds of new friends and thousands of miles we were back in one piece and – with a bit more help from All Wheel Drive and Britcar – Landy even passed her MOT.
We would like say a huge thank you to Britcar for supporting our project and for their help and advice along the way.

Our next challenge is to bring the tales of our journey alive in a mobile exhibition with our beautiful Landy at the centre. Starting in London we plan to drive our exhibition around the UK and then back to Morocco in 2016. Please see our website, Facebook and Twitter for further information and updates:

Christmas and New Year Opening Times

General opening hours
Our offices will be staffed for the hours shown below through the holiday season:

24th December 09.00 – 13.00
25th December CLOSED
26th December CLOSED
27th December 09.00 – 13.00
29th December 09.00 – 17.30
30th December 09.00 – 17.30
31st December 09.00 – 13.00
1st January CLOSED
2nd January Open as normal

Non-stocked parts
Our suppliers will be closed from the 24th to the 2nd. Any orders for parts that aren’t held in stock won’t be dispatched until after the 2nd. Orders for stocked parts will be processed and dispatched as normal.

Last shipping day for Christmas – UK and Europe
The last shipping day for UK and Europe for stocked parts is the 23rd December (if shipped by next-day courier service).

The last shipping day for non-stocked parts is the 21st December (if shipped by next-day European courier service).

Thanks for your business!
We’d just like to say thanks for your custom over the past year, and we wish you the very best for the holiday season and the coming year.

Another addition to our fleet


We’ve just bought a 2.2 CRDI diesel Freelander 2 in striking Santorini Black. We’ve gone for the top-spec HSE model with Leather/Suede interior. The car is being supplied by Marshall Land Rover in Halesworth (big thanks to salesman Phil Crank).

Duncan has plans for this Freelander – he wants to fit low profile tyres on the largest alloy wheels he can find, and replace all of the contrasting body trim with body-colour parts instead.

Thankfully he’s not mentioned neon lights yet.