Refurb: GENUINE County Station Wagon 90″ Defender

Ah, the car that dreams are made of, a 1994 200TDI Land Rover Genuine County Station Wagon 90″ Defender with 120,000 miles on the clock. What differienates this from many other Station Wagon’s out there is that this came as a Station Wagon straight out of Land Rover’s factory.  

Duncan recently picked up this beauty from a friend who bought a brand-new Discovery 5 and wanted to clear up some space on his drive (shock-horror). 

This is how the motor looked when Duncan purchased the Station Wagon. It comes complete with a whole load of history too.

Duncan and Martin have done a lot to the car since! This Landy enjoyed a major service and a thorough check to ensure all is working perfectly. Duncan added new alloy wheels and tyres, a new bumper, and a new windscreen (to name a few changes). 

Sadly, the paintwork had grown scabby over time but it has now been stripped and is ready for a full professional respray.  This work is being carried out by our good friends and Land Rover experts, Si and Bel, over at Hangar 53.

Do not fear though, it will be the same colour with the same fantastic Defender decals to complete the look. 

After this is completed, Duncan is fitting a swing away spare wheel carrier to the rear (like this one) and plans to upgrade all the lights.

Duncan hopes to have this up for sale by the end of January, so, if you are interested, be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook post as we will notify everyone on there when the time has come! 

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.

Sandy’s Freelander 2 project

We had a brilliant opportunity before Christmas to modify a late 2012 Freelander 2. The modifications were part of Duncan’s Christmas present to Sandy, so the whole thing had to be completed while she was in Canada for two weeks. Sandy was ecstatic with her customised Freelander 2; here’s what we had done:

  • Wheels – Duncan brought the biggest OEM wheels he could find for that model. 19’s replaced the standard 16-inch boots and were powder coated in black.
  • Bodywork – A full genuine body kit in Java Black was completely resprayed in Santorini Black and installed. This was finished off with a genuine Freelander 2 sport tailpipe.
  • Grille – The grille was a challenge as Duncan wanted it in black. Land Rover doesn’t supply them separately so the body shop had to remove and re-spray the whole bumper assembly. Safe to say, it rolled out looking mean!
  • Finishing touches – The badges were replaced around the vehicle with replica ‘supercharged’ style badges in a lovely black and silver, blending perfectly with the rest of the vehicle. This was all finished off with a genuine light guard kit, black side vents, smoked side indicator lenses, black name badges (both bonnet & tailgate), and colour coded door handles.

All the parts added to the Freelander (apart from the black/silver LR badges) are currently available from our site; why not pick up something to personalise your own Land Rover?

I’m guessing you want to see some pictures? Scroll down and see the progress below.

2B or not 2B, The Series 2B Forward Control Restoration Part 3

While Richard’s  Chassis manufacture our new chassis, we are looking ahead, and getting parts ready for the reassembly, the Radiator has been re-cored and a standard 109 Series 2 fuel tank has been modified to fit the forward control by an excellent local company: Sheldrake & wells Ltd (


Whilst browsing though eBay, we found a company – S P Land Rover – who manufacture rare body panels which includes forward control doors; I have been searching for these for years. The doors have now arrived and the quality is excellent, they also make the Lightweight doors and Station wagon rear side door bottoms. The company is well worth checking out, and their prices are like from the 70’s (


2B or not 2B, The Series 2B Forward Control Restoration Part 2

Over the last few months we have completed the strip down of our Forward Control 2B, the chassis was much worse than we had at first realised, serious tin worm had rendered it past its best and beyond repair, as a result a decision was taken to go for a brand new Galvanised chassis from our friends at Richards Chassis in Mexborough, these chassis are rare and difficult to make, but luckily they had all the plans and templates there ready to go, as well as another chassis on the books from another dealer, so it made sense to build them both at the same time.


On Friday the 11th Sandy and I took the old chassis up to them, so they could confirm a few small details, apparently there are several differences on the chassis over the lifespan of the forward control, on arrival we were met by Alistair and Duncan Banks, the owners of the company, who proceeded to give us a tour of the premises as well as an explanation as to how the chassis are constructed from scratch. I was very impressed with the end product, and recommend this company to anyone thinking of purchasing a new chassis, their knowledge and experience, as well as their easy and friendly approach make this a great company to deal with.

Whilst this is away being manufactured we now have to strip down and rebuild both axles, but I have a feeling the chassis will be back long before we get this task completed!




2B or not 2B, The Series 2B Forward Control Restoration Part 1


Since buying the Forward Control 2B two years ago, we have been asked frequently what has happened to it, well, just over a year ago it was moved undercover into our Ipswich Depot where it sat untouched for another 8 months.

2013-12-07 15.40.54Finally in October we bit the bullet and started on a full rebuild program, and bit by bit the vehicle was dismantled down to a running chassis, the vehicle was up and running prior to dismantling so we knew that the major components worked after a fashion.The chassis proved to be extensively corroded to the point that after careful consideration it was deemed to be beyond repair, and so a new chassis is now on order with Richards Chassis.

Image024 Whilst we await the delivery of the new chassis our attention has turned to the engine and box, over the last week we have stripped the engine to its component form, the block and crank have been passed over to the capable hands of Pat Segar of Seager Engineering, in Ipswich, an old friend with many years’ experience in the reconditioning trade, we are awaiting his report on what is required. Whilst the engine was very clean inside there is evidence of wear on the crank although I am hoping we can get away with a hone and new rings for the pistons.

2014-01-25 16.55.01The Carburettor and Distributor have been sent away to be reconditioned, new replacements are impossible to find now which is a shame.Rather than tackle the gearbox ourselves we sent this away complete to Colin Whitehouse, the renowned Series Gearbox specialist to be completely stripped chemically cleaned and rebuilt So now we are awaiting the return of the engine so that we can rebuild it and have it ready to drop straight into the chassis when it arrives, our next task will be to strip and overhaul both axles prior to the return of the chassis too.I will keep the blog up to date as to how progress goes with this project, good news and bad, in the meantime if anyone reading this happens to have any 6 cylinder engine parts especially a water pump, and any Forward control 2B parts I would be glad to hear from you.

Duncan Mansfield

Forward Control Chassis –

P Seager Engineering –

R Whitehouse & Son (Gearbox Rebuilder’s) – 01384 221 304