Words and images by Chris Maas
I have been a Land Rover fan all my life. I have had more than 20, which range from Series 1s to my latest: a 90 that I built because I wanted something different. The trigger for me to embark on this venture was when I noticed that the bulkhead of the Defender had changed, that the engine was now computercontrolled, and that a new instrument cluster had been added. My budget did not allow me to buy a new one, so I saw the changes as a challenge.
To make my own version of a 90 Defender, I started buying all the bits I needed from e-bay in the UK (principally the engine, gearbox, bulkhead and fenders), and had them delivered to friends’ homes, where I’d collect them. That entailed a cost of some 2500 pounds: R45 000 at the time. Back home in Zimbabwe, I bought two long-wheelbase donor Defenders – one a station wagon, the other a pick-up – from a local scrapyard, at a cost of about $1000 (R12 000).