In 1997 Paul & some friends were out for a blast on their bikes. He was riding a 2 week old Fireblade & had just overtaken a line of cars when he was hit from the side by a fellow rider. His biking days abruptly ended at that point with him spending over 10 months in hospital & “dying” several times. Eventually his right leg was amputated & he’s been left with short term memory loss problems. I don’t know how I’d cope with that -or even if I could cope, but Paul remains remarkably cheerful whenever I see him.
A lifelong PetrolHead, he was more than happy to show off his machine, but the memory problems mean that although he built it himself long before the accident, he can’t actually remember doing so, which can make the conversation quite surreal at times. He’d point out a feature & admit to being impressed by his own prowess or say that he couldn’t recall why he’d built it the way he had.
This is a serious off roading machine & Paul regularly puts it through it’s paces at local weekend courses. At first glance it appears to be an early lightweight Land-Rover but some clever panel work disguises the fact that the Landy body’s been widened by 6 inches & lengthened by 12 to fit over a Range-Rover chassis. The doors are wider than standard which, although not planned, makes it easier for him to climb in & out. In addition he’s fitted a second accelerator pedal which he operates with his left foot. A Range-Rover 4 speed auto gearbox & transfer box are mated to a Daihatsu 4 track 2.8i TD motor, cooled by a Discovery radiator & intercooler. While an auto wouldn’t be his first choice for mud plugging, he says it works well. Braking is handled by a Range-Rover master cylinder & servo. Paul also fitted a very hefty roll cage which passes down through the pick-up bed & bolts directly to the chassis, along with side “rock slider” bars tucked under the sills. The minimal interior is a mixture of standard Range & Land-Rover parts with clever touches like the lockable storage box between the seats which also houses the stereo, & the 3rd wiper & washer to help clear the extra wide screen.
I really like this. It’s solid, rugged & built to be thrown about, thrashed & enjoyed.
Nice one Paul.