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Joe’s 1997 300Tdi Land Rover Defender Tourer

Joe went looking for a tidy 300Tdi Defender and struck gold. Close to 20 years old, it is in near perfect original condition and came with an obsessively complete service history.

It is in such great condition that Joe has a balancing act on his hands: how to turn the Deefer into the tourer he’s always wanted, without destroying its originality.

With this in mind, Joe decided to start with a basic tidy up.

1997-300tdi-Defender-Joe-0012First to go where the original and faded Defender factory decals, which for now, Joe has chosen not to replace. The original factory paintwork only required a lick of polish to return the showroom shine.

Next to go where the old, hard and very tired Michelin highway terrain tyres. Joe painted the steel rims in black and fitted some 32″ Kuhmo MT51 tyres. Not only do they look the part but they are far more capable out on the tracks.

1997-300tdi-Defender-Joe-008The tread plates on the front guards also received the ‘black out’ treatment.

The biggest job was removing the impeccably installed diesel-gas system, fitted by the original owner. It was beautifully installed but took up space in the load area and wasn’t really to Joe’s liking. He’s now got more load space and an even more original Defender.

1997-300tdi-Defender-Joe-0013Joe’s added a roof rack and Foxwing awning to make camping a bit more comfortable, and that’s pretty much it… for now.

Future plans include a new set of shocks and possibly springs and just maybe a Mulgo camper conversion. While not original, the Mulgo conversion is certainly in keeping with the overland expedition heritage of the Defender.

Decisions decisions…

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