This is our 1998 Land Rover Defender 130 300tdi, who goes by the much simpler name of Mandy and she is now a fully kitted out 4 wheeled home, having undergone a full transformation from a severely knackered German utility truck, found rotting away in Frankfurt, to the super capable vehicle that you see today. Amongst the host of high end off-road and expedition equipment, the vehicle features an outstanding Darche Outdoor Gear camping solution from Trek Overland. The set up includes 1.6M Hi View and 1.4M Panorama Roof Top Tents with annexes and a 270 degree Eclipse awning. It seems that they are more than ready for the great outdoors!

She didn’t always look this way though.. Back in May 2019, after a long search across Europe for a LHD Defender 130, we found her limping forlornly around Frankfurt Germany and despite her decidedly dodgy steering and her alarming lack of brakes, we completely fell in love with her…. she was the one.

Unlike most German girls, she was neither tidy nor reliable, so we knew that she was going to need a lot of love and affection before she was ready to be our Overland house on wheels.

She is a Left hand Drive 1998 Land Rover Defender 130 with a 300 Tdi engine. She comes with heavy duty everything and certainly looked the part from the get go…

Why a Defender you ask? Wouldn’t a Toyota be more reliable and wouldn’t a Jeep be cheaper? Well, probably, yes… Obviously, I just love the smell of warm engine oil on my shoes and also enjoy the regular company of a varied selection of mechanics who specialise in these wonderful but temperamental bits of kit…

Seriously, there as only even one possibility for the vehicle that we would choose, and they were all made in Solihull, UK. The Land Rover v Toyota v Jeep debate is as about as old as a Series II…. It’s rather like my love of Canon over Nikon, in that there is little point in delving too deeply into the reasoning as you will find precious little to study. I know what I like and that’s what I like – nothing more scientific than that!

So there we are, and after an action packed trip from Frankfurt to repatriate dear old Mandy to the land of her birth, she will spend the rest of 2020 in the UK, being fettled, pampered and upgraded to be the Overland beast that is surely lurking inside her!

The first time we heard her heart beating…

Check out our blog here for the full story of how we got Mandy from Frankfurt to the UK in one piece!

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