Creation of Nelson our Expedition Land Rover

This is a picture of Nelson our land rover on the day I bought him at a motorway service station on the way to Edinburgh from Barnsley. The first step in the creation of the overland camper was the selection of the right base Land rover.

This is a 1996 Land Rover Defender 110 van, with only 36k miles on the clock from new and pretty much in mint condition, the key elements which led to the selection of this particular Defender were

truck 004

  • It has a very solid chassis with almost no rust as it had been dry stored for most of its life and waxoyl coated from an early stage in its life
  • This year was one of the last years of production of the renowned 300 TDI engine which is famost for its reliability and being easy to fix as it has only simple electronics
  • It has the later easier to use R380 gearbox (which failed after three months so in reality not so good then, but replaced by a toughened Aschroft unit with a higher top gearing)
  • Very low mileage so we should get a lot of years and miles out of it
  • Simple specification, no A/C, wind up windows, no power steering,
  • Three door version giving lots of room for spare tanks and lockers underneath and on the sides
  • Bodywork and bulkhead was rust free, actually the whole engine bay was in “nearly new” condition

So that was the basis of the conversion and took four months of searching before I found it at Silkstone motors in Barnsley, probably paid a bit much for it but if you are going to live in the truck in the future you want to start with a solid foundation !

In the next articles I will show how it was converted to the Landy we have today


About Gerry Mulligan

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