THE Land Rover Discovery has always been an SUV perfect as a lifestyle accessory. They look good, have decent off-road ability and have been favoured by all walks of life up to and including the British Royal family.
All Discoveries are not equal, however, Mark Calder at Forest Glen Land Rover specialist, British Off Road, has transformed his 1994 300 TDi example into a showcase for his company’s hardcore aftermarket accessories.
“The body is still standard except the wheel arch flares as we wanted it to still look like a normal Discovery,” Mark said.
The familiar shape is still instantly recognisable, but this Disco has had a large helping of steroids. “We use it as a product testing machine to check the stuff we sell is durable,” Mark explained.
The Discovery competed at the Opposite Lock Challenge 2010 in Toowoomba, gaining stage wins and an impressive second overall. It also saw action at the Logan Challenge achieving fifth overall.
“In these events they are generally technical courses, and the further you get the harder the challenge becomes,” Mark said.
“It’s unusual to see Discoveries at these events, and rivals are surprised at how well it goes.”
Mark bought the rather tired ’94 Land Rover a few years ago, and set about fitting Terrafirma accessories imported from the UK. These include more extreme springs, shock absorbers and brakes, plus serious six degree radius arms and cranked trailing arms. Basically, it’ll now go practically anywhere.
Aside from the cabin’s roll cage that was built locally, everything on the Disco is for sale through British Off Road, making it an ideal marketing tool for Mark’s company.
As president of the Sunshine Coast Land Rover Owners Club, he is often on local trips with like-minded enthusiasts, and fellow Discovery owners. Not many will be able to rival this SUV’s almost monster truck-esque rubber however.
“It still drives really well on the road,” Mark explained, “and the handling is as per normal. Off road it’s brilliant, but unlike many of my rivals it still has a full body rather than rear tray. The rear window has been smashed a few times when competing.”
Mark’s creation is a striking beast of a Land Rover. To some the Discovery has always been a soft-roader of sorts favoured on the school run, but dressed up like this it looks as tough as nails.
Owner: Mark Calder, Landsborough.
Model: 1994 Land Rover Discovery Series 1 300 TDi.
Details: Mid-size 4x4 SUV built between 1989 and 1998.
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder generating maximum power of 83kW @ 4250rpm and peak torque of 264Nm @ 1800rpm.
Transmission: Five-speed manual.
Wheels and Tyres: 15-inch rim with 35x12.50R15 Federal Tyres.
Value: $4000-$8000 for Series 1 Discovery; value unknown with the modifications.
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