Sunday, 8 January 2017

2016 Round Up

2016 was a fun if slow year with Katy the Land Rover. I can't entirely call it quiet as you will read. below

At the start of the year there was definitely a need  for some sort outs which I needed some help for. I was working out of the country a lot in january and February so it was not until March when i got started

The first was some electrics which I definitely needed my friend Dave's help with over the course of a couple of excellent days we got the lights and the reversing camera working, but we did have an unexpected result with the lights as you can see in the video

After that it was off to Newport caravans in May for a new skylight and then some work I did myself getting the Radio to work properly and we attended our first show of the year with the SWLRC

Then a real mystery came in when a Geoff Fletcher author of British Military Land Rovers sent me an interesting picture

Katy then became a regular commuter as Rhian's Mini was in for some work in June and July and she definitely got some attention in the BGS car park and in Cheddar gorge

I eventually tracked down that picture and Rhian and I were made welcome by the Scots Guards at the Bourlon Barracks at Catterick camp in August after a trip to Scarborough

Then it was off to Margam with the SWLRC again in September before a year end put away in November because I knew I would be working away a lot again in the run up to the end of the year. This  year I invested in an intelligent charger and so far the investment has been worthwhile as it's been very good to have it on and the battery looked after

The final Land Rover event of the year was our trip with the SWLRC to the Land Rover Reborn tour at Solihull

The final event for 2016 came in as a complete surprise when we were listed on as one of the best Land Rover blogs to read. I need to add that I have not used them as a supplier, but as they have been so nice I am happy to give them a link back

All in all not a bad year for being so busy doing other things, but I do hope to be out and about more often and doing a few more upgrades in 2017

Monday, 28 November 2016

Conversions. Cuthbertson Tracked Land Rover

I took a visit with the South Wales Land Rover Club to the Gaydon British Car Museum recently and as it's Cold and Dark and often it's Wet when I get home, I am spending a little time reading a few more things about some of the Land Rovers I saw on that visit.

One of the more unusual vehicles in terms of drive train is the Cuthbertson Tracked Land Rover 

James A Cuthbertson Ltd of Biggar, Lanarkshire Scotland were an early manufacturer of rubber tracks, dating back to World War II. They took a standard Land Rover and fitted removable tracks to it to create the Cuthbertson Land Rover. This greatly lowered the ground pressure, to 1.9 lbs/sq in (0.2Nm), and allowed the Land Rover to traverse snow or swampy ground.

The Land Rover wheel is replaced with a sprocket which drives the rubber track around lower rubber wheels which are attached to a subframe which takes the pressure off the normal Land Rover running gear.

From information on-line it seems that around 15 were made which range in age from apparently a Series 1 version in the late 1950's (see Cuthbertson website link above) through Series II and Series III vehicles (of which there are many pictures on-line) with both short and long wheelbases used.

From various video's and on-line resources it seems the tracks are not good on road and very noisy on hard surfaces and are not good at "steps" where there is a high rock or ridge to climb, so not a perfect vehicle for all terrains, but they do seem to deal with the soft stuff very well.

There are a number of interesting pictures and some information on their use by the bomb disposal team here

The excellent Remlr site has a set of pictures of an Australian trial Cuthbertson

Here's a video of one in action in some very muddy conditions and it does not miss a beat in progression

And there is an excellently old fashioned Pathe News film where one can be seen at about 34 seconds

I've enjoyed reading about them, but I don't think I want one which is quite good news as I don't think one will fit on the drive.

I have to admit that a vehicle that claims to be demountable, but seems like you need a second vehicle to carry the accessory items seems not practical, but it seems the idea has not been lost because Sir Ranulph Feinnes had 110 Land Rovers fitted with Mattrack tracks for an expedition. They were successful in the prototype runs, but the expedition was cancelled

You can read about that here: -

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Land Rover Reborn

November being cold and wet (and boy was it wet yesterday with the aftermath of Storm Angus wreaking havoc across much of Southern Britain) it was a good day (apart from the driving) to head off to Solihull again with the SWLRC to take a look at the new Land Rover Reborn Tour run by the  Land Rover Experience Team at Solihull

This new tour features the work of the Classic Workshop team who are taking old, but generally structurally sound vehicles from generally dry parts of the world and restoring them to the state that they would have left the factory.

Some may consider that this removes the history and patina of age, but it does result in a wonderful vehicle and it is according to the team there generating a number of side benefits in the way that the history and heritage is being rediscovered, documented and practised by the current generation of JLR people.

Well that's the sales pitch from JLR, and from the comments and attitude of the couple of people we were able to speak to on the line it really seemed that they were living this attitude not just saying it.

Key things I took from the visit (leaving our an awful lot that our hosts told us but I do not want to spoil the adventure for anyone planning a visit)
  1. They look for good quality vehicles to start with, that generally means ones from dry climates although there was discussion about one may have come from Wales and we all know that's not a dry climate
  2. The rebuild is based on what the car had originally with only very minor upgrades possible (lap straps and heaters were mentioned)
  3. If it can be repaired it will be, otherwise original parts or age correct parts will be used
  4. Original paint colours for the specific vehicle are being researched from the records and matched. 
  5. You can get an age related plate even if its an imported ones so no nasty yellow reflective plates on your Series 1
I have to say that the workmanship on the vehicles looked absolutely superb!

Like I said land Rover can do most of their own advertising and of course they do, so if you do want to follow up, take a look at their website and these couple of nice video's

Sorry no pictures of the actual rebuilds, but we were able to take some pictures of the club visit to the Land Rover heritage displays which is housed in the Reborn workshops

That's a clean chassis

And a nice car to look at 

You can find a victim to re-create a classic Land Rover historical picture

Health and Safety prevent the full test as was done in the early days ...

They have created a homage vehicle for the First Overland vehicles. I had to check the number plate from the book when I got home but when you look it is part one set of colours and part another, with accessories in G4 orange. It was used in a re-creation of part of a "sort of" repeat journey when it joined some modern vehicles on their way to China as far as Munich

With so few wires in the loom Dave was a bit puzzled what went where... 

And finally a team shot around the series

At the end we were privileged to meet up with Mike Bishop who runs this section for JLR and was instrumental in its founding and success. So we had another team picture...

Thanks to all at JLR for the nice visit. even if we didn't yet see the new Defender, maybe next time :-)

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Katy's Winter Put Away

November is a cold time of year, it's not a good time for workong on vehicles outdoors and there are no car shows to visit either so its the time of year for putting things away and making things ready for winter.

In Katy's case this means taking out the soft furnishings and anything else that can be damaged if it gets damp through any water ingress or simply condensation build up. It means making sure she goes for a run now and again to charge the battery and if I can't manage that plugging in the intelligent battery charger I bought.

These next generation battery charging devices are becoming more common and from the reviews I have read do a much better job than the old ones.

From initial use on both Katy and our classic mini the initial summary is that the device is a lot more informative about the state of the battery, the state of the charge and the status of the recharge. There are multiple devices in this market place. The one I purchased has won a "best buy" award from a Land Rover magazine, but to be honest it was the one available in our local auto spares shop when I went in so little more thinking than that

I've not used all the features, but so far so good and I hope to have a more reliable start whenever I need a vehicle this winter, andI don't want to rely on my previous best buy in this area the "Instant start charger".

It gets you going, but with the mains start it means you have not been looking after your battery and it's a sledgehammer approach to this problem. Hopefully  by the spring my review will be as positive as others I have seen. I will also be using it on the leisure battery as I do not think that the Solar panel we have is effective at keeping that charged. it was fitted in 2001 so there have been a lot of developments in that area and it is one I will need to investigate across the winter looking at a possible upgrade

Friday, 14 October 2016

Feeling deflated ... and reflated

2 tyes with faulty valves in 1 month... time for some action as that leaves no working spare tyres

Me with a bad arm so not capable of dealing with it

Many thanks to Pete from SWLRC and Steve from Dscount Tyres Cardiff for their prompt and efficient help and we are back to the full set of working wheels

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Margam Again

A lovely day out with the SWLRC at a classic British location 

Here we are lined up with some friends on our club stand 

Katy looking good with the blue lights flashing and her original number plate, both for show use only of course

At the end of the day we took all the vehicles up to the front of the castle for a group shot 

And as I was faffing around more than everyone else we had a personal shot to finish the day back in her on road configuration and ready for off 

Now if you want to watch the video click on the picture below 

Saturday, 20 August 2016


A few weeks ago I took the unusual step of posting a picture I did not own in the hope of finding out where it was taken as it had katy in it.

Some suggestions were made on line and via email, but finally I had to write an actual letter. A few days later I got this wonderful response from Major Hunter officer commanding the 4th Scots
Good afternoon Andy ,

The photo of Katy was taken in Bourlon Barracks Catterick , I currently command HQ Coy 4 SCOTS who now occupy the Barracks and can see the image minus Katy from my window.

I don’t see why we cannot organise a visit for you to take a similar photo of Katy in the same position, let me know if this is something you would like to do and I will try my best to facilitate.
So we took him up on his offer, sadly he was not there to meet in person, but the guards on the gate were very helpful and we were able to get in as promised.  First we drove around to find roughly the right place

Then we dressed her with her original number plate we have for display use.

And were able to re-create the original picture minus of course all the civilian ambulances in the background

We all had a wonderful visit with the guard team having a good look around (I think they were more checking the quality of the bedding than the security aspects, but we all know soldiers have a hard life at times)

If any of the team read this all we can say is the same we said on the day - Many thanks!

I would like to visit the remaining places she was stationed some time, Manston is non operational but is the home of the Spitfire Museum so that is as good a reason as any, Croatia is possible, but I think at the moment Rwanda is not possible

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