Posted by: TomA | 1 July 2008

Off-roading with Land Rover Owner International Magazine

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After our TV appearance in Durham, we drove up to Weardale Outdoor for some tuition and to meet up with Land Rover Owner International Magazine. The location is beautiful, atop the fell with sweeping views of the surrounding hills.

Excitingly, it was also the first chance I’d had to drive the Defender 110 (or any Land Rover for that matter).

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All four of us received half an hour or so’s instruction, learning how to climb and descend rough terrain, use the low ratio gearbox and the locking differential. Most of the day was spent in the quarry area on top of the fell, scrabbling up and down the rocky terrain. Hopefully, it was more extreme than just about anything we’ll encounter on the trip, safe in the knowledge both we and the car conquered all!

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The Defender (or “Bertie the Beast” as its known within the team!) performed admirably, though overly hard tyres made grip occasionally hard to come by, as did the very new and still hard suspension. Still, besides crashing the differential on a rock as I lumbered up and over some rocks for some cross axle photo opportunities, all was good.

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The car didn’t quite escape the off road terrain without noticeable injury. Our free roof rack decided it wasn’t quite up to the job, with one, then two and eventually the third support giving way before we arrived back at base. Better for it to pack in then, rather than in Azerbaijan or later though! Durham 4 Wheel Drive have done a bit of welding since and it s reattached and looking much stronger, so fingers crossed it’ll hold out the next 10,000 miles.

DSC07096The rest of the day was spent with Mark and Tom from Land Rover Owner International Magazine, doing a series of action shots and stills to appear in a feature in a forthcoming issue, being interviewed and generally having a bit of a play with Land Rovers on the off road terrain.

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