Welcome to
AB4x4s Cleveland

Keeping Tradition

Production started in 1948 with the Series 1 up until 09:30 on the 29th January 2016. This ended 67 years of production for Land Rover. Over the years Land Rover have released a huge range of vehicles; Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 through to the Defender.

This was not to be the end of the most iconic vehicles ever made. As practical as it was impractical that had conquered the world and our hearts and in doing so ignited a passion among enthusiasts wishing to preserve the sheer brilliance and vision of the Wilks brothers.

Together we will continue the history and remain true to the Land Rover heritage.
Start your historic journey with AB 4x4.

AB 4x4s Cleveland is an independent Land Rover specialist that deals with tax-exempt, galvanised chassis Series Land Rovers. In addition to the sales, AB 4x4s Cleveland Ltd is able to repair and service any vehicle. We specialise in restoring original Land Rovers

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For the Land Rover enthuasist who is really hard to buy for…

We all have that person in on lives who we love. But when it comes to getting them a gift they seem to have absolutely everything and our minds are totally blank as to what to get them.

This year at AB4x4’s we have been putting together a list of bits and pieces that someone on the team has used, has or otherwise loves the look off.

We will be updating this post each day with what we think will put a massive smile on the face of your Land Rover enthusiast. These gifts will cover the full price range and be from many different locations. We hope you find something you like and with our biggest ever build in 2020 currently underway you might have guessed that we are a little more than excited this year.

IDEA:1

We are starting at the top of the spectrum with this idea but we thought it was an unreal idea. With two options to choose from you can have a watch that not only goes with your Land Rover but is in fact made out of parts of one.

The first choice is is the Beach Runner which the company describe as;

The RNR Beachrunner is our first-ever Swiss Made timepiece with a dial handcrafted from the roof of a 1981 Land Rover. Limited to 552 pieces.

The Beach Runner comes in at £1,343 and can be found on the company website;

RNR Beachrunner – REC Watches

Or if your tastes are more modern the company has the R.O.C.K Fighter which that build up as;

The RNR Rockfighter is our first-ever Swiss Made timepiece with a dial handcrafted from the door of a 2003 Land Rover Defender. Limited to 463 pieces.

The R.O.C.K Fighter also comes in at £1,343 and can be found on the company website;

RNR Rockfighter – REC Watches

We know we have set off with a very high bar but these stood out as cool but if you want to set the bar even higher we always have vehicles for sale.


IDEA:2

This idea is to help your Land Rover loved one improve their vehicle. I first came across this amazing product while restoring a personal vehicle. The product I am referring too is the Syncro Gearboxes, Slick Shifter.

Who are Syncro Gearboxes?

Syncro Gearboxes is a UK based company that specialises in Land Rover Gearbox parts and upgrades. We also offer a wide range of engine/gearbox adapters

While it sounds like a part that should be more associated with a racing car than a Land Rover this product turns the wayward wondering of the Land Rover gearbox into something that feels more positive and modern.

The Slick Shift is made in the UK by a friendly and industry leading firm of engineers. To say this is simple to fit is an understatement and in contrast the changes to the drivability is frankly stunning.

It is safe to safe that these guys are experts at what they do and we have only picked out one of their products that we found makes a real difference.

Syncro Gear boxes describe their Slick Shift as;

The Syncro Gearboxes Slickshift® is arguably the best modification for any Defender, Discovery, Range Rover or Series Land Rover owner. The Slickshift® improves the gear selection making it easier and more comfortable to drive your cherished Landy. With drivability in mind, the Slickshift® was designed to make the driving experience more pleasurable. 

Checkout their company website for their range of products;

Defender LT77 & R380 Slickshift inc TD5 | Online Gearbox Parts Shop

If you are in the process of restoring or improving your Land Rover Defender or Series we have a range of parts available in our online shop.


IDEA:3

For today’s present idea we are including the perfect stocking filler. From Car Keyrings UK we have found a lovely Stainless Steel Defender Keyring that is made in the UK.

The company describe them as;

Land Rover Defender Stainless Steel Keyring

Designed and Made in the UK using high quality materials – finished in 2mm Stainless Steel with a brushed effect.

Size – Approximately 50mm in length.

You can pick yours up online from the company website

CarKeyrings


IDEA:4

For Friday we are looking at a topic that is at the fore of every Land Rover Defender owners thinking… Security.

There are a variety of products on the market but one of the easiest to use that is very effective is a good quality pedal lock.

Here we are suggesting a product that is designed and made not only in the UK but down the road from our base right here in Yorkshire.

MUD-UK is a family owned company founded in 2003 and underpinned by a lifetime of Land Rovers. They are based in the heart of the Yorkshire Pennines.

The product from their range that we have picked out is their Ardcase Pedal Lock

A vehicle that is at ease with itself whether carrying royalty or ploughing through a field with farmer and collie. The Land Rover Series has been an iconic sight on our roads for many years and featured in one of my all time favourite episodes of the BBC’s Top Gear.

This takes us all the way back to Feb 2015 with the description of the episode reading as follows;

Caution: contains explicit language. Jeremy Clarkson tests the new BMW M4 at the track, while Richard Hammond pays tribute to a 4×4 that has been in production for 66 years. Meanwhile, James May tests the brand new, 500 horsepower Mercedes-AMG GT. On top of all that, the stars in the Reasonably Priced Car are actress Margot Robbie and Hollywood superstar Will Smith.

You can of course watch the full episode by buying it from the BBC;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjU3SeUvvek

or I have found (not a great picture) but the section that if you are here will be of interest most to you. Enjoy!

Or to quote the headline on the front of Autocar;

DEFENDER IS BACK!

I cannot say that I did not have a smile on my face as I read the headline in anticipation of seeing what JLR had planned to rival the Ionos Grenadier.

Out of the factory in pristine condition with everything tuned to perfection a stock 110, Land Rover Defender Puma 110 2.4 TD produced in the region of 121 HP.

Spec Sheet

Brand :Land Rover
Model : Defender
Version : Puma 110 2.4 TD
Engine Power : 90 kW (122 PS – 121 hp)
Cylinders : 4 cylinders (Inline configuration)
Volume : 2402 cm3
Fuel supply system : 16 valves
Torque : 360 Nm (2000 RPM)
Transmission : Four Wheel Drive, manual
Weight (average) : 2708 kg
Weight/Power ratio : 30.09 kg/kW (22.2 kg/PS)
Power-consumption ratio : 3.7 kW/L
Average fuel consumption : 24.2 l/100km
ACCELERATION (62mph) : 20.5 sec

Had they used the Defender and not a DeLorean in the Back to the Future Series it would have been a long film.

But our Iconic, much loved vehicle is back in production. Not quite! Back in 2019 the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations Division acquired the struggling specialist tuning company Bowler for an undisclosed amount.

Bowler are famous for producing high performance competition Land Rovers that are highly sought after by competitors all over the world.

The JLR/Bowler partnership extends all the way back to 2012 when the companies teamed up to produce the Defender Challenger. Bowler have a solid credentials in customising and tuning Land Rover Defenders and the purchase of the company and subsequent grant of a license to use the body from the 110 brings JLR back into the fray of the Defender debate and market. Again, this is a sort bitter sweet statement for us mere mortals. The JLR/Bowler/SVO purchase and plans looked to set them up against the styling companies like Twisted and Overfinch.

We know the guys at Twisted well and the quality work they produce. Being on our door step in North Yorkshire we often see their styled vehicles around the area. A Twisted vehicle (at the time of writing on their website) started from £70,000


There is no doubt that these vehicles are stunning and if you are in to your Defenders these guys are well worth a trip to see.

Unpicking the facts.

The Land Rover Defender 110 body shape is back produced by a new SVO division of Jaguar Land Rover. Unfortunately that is about the only similarity. The Bowler will hit the road with 567bhp produced by a supercharged v8 and get you from 0 to 60 mph in an eye watering 4.0sec.

Now, while I am not all about speed I would love to see one of these go head to head with the electric Land Rover using the Tesla engine we commented on previously.

Unlike the vehicles of Twisted and Overfinch the new Bowler from JLR will be rolled out with a price tag of £200,000.

That is a lot of cash and the vehicle will only be produced in limited quantities of under 20 per year.

The Good News for us Defender owners is that JLR have recognised the growth in the restoration and customisation market over the recent number of years. JLR have suggested that the new Bowler styling will be expand the range of official projects for the old Defender body-style, alongside the restoration programmes and upgrade kits offered by Jaguar Land Rover Classic.

In the near future more styling and tuning products for us to bring to our restoration projects giving our customers more scope when it comes to defining the look of their vehicle.

We are the leading Land Rover Restoration Specialists in the North East. We can restore any Land Rover!

Thinking of a project with a Land Rover Series or Defender?

Vehicles for SaleBespoke Conversions

Off the top of my head I can think of about 14 engines that have powered the mighty Land Rover Defender (and Series vehicles) over the years and not counting the latest Defender incarnation. That is for another article I think as I have not yet had the pleasure of driving one.

Some say it was add out of the necessity to meet the European Emissions Regulations, some say it does not meet the needs of the truck? Whatever your disposition on the matter the 2.2l TDCI is a a refined engine with lots of power and torque.

Personally. I have a 300tdi parked on the drive and it is a great blend of simplicity with enough grunt to make road journeys at a decent speed possible. Refined it is not. Compared to the 2.2l engine the 300tdi is less refined, noisier but in my view one of the last true Defenders.

The 300tdi is the sort of engine that if you give it some love and attention it just keeps going and going. The limited electronics compared to the 2.2l engines are also a great bonus as I have seen these go very wrong first hand causing expensive repair bills.

To keep the boss happy we best throw a couple of the Series engines into the mix. Lets start with the word agricultural and work from there. The 2.25l engines that adorned the Series III vehicles evoke memories from their beautiful and unique aroma to the vibrations through the vehicle.

But the 2.25l Diesel that appeared in Series III vehicles in 1983-84. We probably know this as the 2.3l engine but it was actually a 2286cc lump. This engine was a bit of a contrast. Give it the necessary attention and it was unstoppable and would run forever. Yet on the converse it is a high maintenance bit of engineering. However, the simplicity of the mechanics made it easy to maintain or fix in a field, if a bit of an art form.

Live with the vibration and other quirks and this is a quaint bomb proof engine if you look after it. Also, as an aside these engines also got some use in London Taxi’s back in the day.

Following this you obviously have the;

  • 2.5l petrol
  • 2.5l diesel
  • 2.5l Turbo Diesel
  • 3.5l V8
  • 3.9l V8 Injection

Ok, by now you are wondering what is this bright idea? I know about all these engines.

The Bright Idea

Keeping an eye on what is happening in the world of Land Rover and of course restoration we came across an artisan company in the depths of Wales who have completed a Land Rover Defender 110 conversion with state of the art Telsa running gear.

You read that right! The team in wales have taken a stock LR 110 and converted it with Tesla’s 450hp Model S 4×4 drive unit.

Expensive

Exactly what I thought. But this canny set of engineers have been sourcing these modern engines from our very eco friendly neighbours in Norway when they have low mileage write-offs. Looking around there are plenty to choose from!

What is to compare

Well for starters the stock engine, the 2.2l diesel we mentioned above has a 0-60mph time of somewhere in the 16sec range (if fully tuned services and with a following wind) whereas the Tesla running gear propels the Defender down the road to 60mph in an astonishing 5secs eventually topping out at an more than respectable but scary 120mph.

Can it go off road?

Yup! The permanent 4×4 has apparently improved the experience. With the standard transmission and transfer box having been swapped out for a full-time four-wheel-drive system operating on an uprated limited-slip diffs the electric motor is ready to deliver peak torque from a standstill. In reality this means off-road it can crawl along at very low rpm when required.

This cannot be perfect?

Nothing is perfect and its Achilles is located in the knock to towing capacity. Where our beloved diesel engines and setups are able to pull 3.5T the Tesla with all its torque is only rated to 2.5T. That said with a reported 450Nm of torque it will still manage to pull a 2.5T load without trouble.

Distance/Fuel Economy

It isn’t too bad, producing around 150miles of travel from a set of Tesla Lithum Ion Batteries.

Is this bright idea?

It is definitely a way of breathing new life into vehicles and putting a modern twist on historic restorations. It is something our engineers will be keeping a close eye on as the technology is mainstream in modern cars and we are sure that soon enough with all the rules and regulations around motoring the time will come when we are tasked by customers to fit our Series restorations with modern electric running gear.

Watch this space, you never know when we will be showing off our first electric vehicle and adding the Tesla’s 450hp Model S 4×4 drive unit to our list of available engines.

We are the leading Land Rover Restoration Specialists in the North East. We can restore any Land Rover!

Thinking of a project with a Land Rover Series or Defender?

Vehicles for SaleBespoke Conversions

Beautiful weather, georgous beaches with idillic ports and towns to explore. Jersey is somewhat of an exotic holiday location pretty much just off our UK shore line. It is also a little way apart, a little bit different, ever so slightly exotic.

Just like our latest project. This stunning 1971 Land Rover Series II petrol has been finished off to our customers bespoke requirements. Rebuilt onto a galvanised chassis before a full nut and bolt rebuild. The results are absolutely stunning.

Now that we have completed our final checks this lovely example of our bespoke conversions and restorations will be transported to our customer on the island of Jersey. Whilst it is a small island with a top speed limit of 40mph who can think of a better place to explore in this eye catching Land Rover.

At AB4x4s Cleveland we specialise in restoring Series Land Rovers to customers exact specifications. We have a team of mechanics, fabricators and paint shop technicians who can assist with your project. Our office will handle all your paper work whether this is a national or International project.

We can advise on any aspect of your conversion or conservation plans and even on shipping worldwide.

Enquire about a bespoke conversion

Contact Us
First
Last

Over the course of 35+ years of ownership most vehicles will have changed colour once or more than once as owners changed, adapted and most likely convert to galvanised parts to beat off the infamous rust.

Military, commercial and special specification vehicles leaving the factory could be covered in any paint scheme but civilian Land Rovers in the years, 1959 to 1968, covering the series II, IIA and III had official paint schemes.

From our research across multiple Land Rover publications we have compiled a list of colours and years

  • Pastel Green 1959 – 1984
  • Bronze Green 1959 – 1988
  • Deep Olive Green 1970 – 1971
  • Lincoln green 1970 – 1984
  • Java Green – Stage I only
  • Marine Blue 1958 – 1987
  • Tuscan blue 1972 – 1987
  • Pageant Blue Stage I only
  • Limestone 1959 – 1984
  • Poppy Red – 1959 – 1968
  • Masai Red 1970 – 1985, Stage I & County models only
  • Russet Brown – SIII County model only
  • Sand 1959 – 1984
  • Bahama Gold – 1971 – 1989
  • Inca Yellow Stage I only
  • Mid grey 1959 – 1984
  • Dark grey (burnt gray) 1959 – 1968
  • Sandglow “Camel trophy Yellow”

Some colors require white primer, others grey.

  • Alpine White RTC6870A
  • White Primer RTC4055A
  • Grey Primer RTC4056A

If you are considering a restoration this list may be helpful in your decision making but we can assist with converting and painting your Land Rover to any colour specification you can imagine. Check out our Bespoke and Land Rovers for sale pages for some ideas.

Why are we researching the colours?

Well apart from general knowledge and to allow us to undertake accurate restorations when needed we are also going to start offering a unique service. Our plan is when you purchase your galvanised doors from us we will be able to offer you a spray and deliver service. For now we are planning to get this live on the website but if you want to make use of this service now please get in touch with Anthony for more details and prices.

We are happy to help..

We are more than happy to talk about anything Land Rover related. If you would like advice or are considering a project one of our expert team will be delighted to answer any questions.

The foundation of the Land Rover is ultimately customisable to support a variety of body styles. So, what we have noticed over the last few months is a concept image appearing of what is unmistakable a Land Rover Defender base.

If you have ever wondered what a Land Rover Van would look like, well a specialist conversion company in German has produced some concepts which of late have been going viral on Twitter and Instagram.

The shaping and styling are unmistakably based on the Defender creating a uniquely cool vehicle. Much more modern than the traditional camper van conversions using military control vehicles.

At AB4x4s Cleveland we specialise in restoring and converting Series vehicles. You can view our bespoke customer builds from here.

So this got us thinking about the different models there have been over the years. So, like all good projects we started with a list

  • Land Rover Defender
  • Land Rover Series
  • Land Rover 101 Forward Control
  • Land Rover Wolf
  • Shorland armoured car
  • Defender Ice Edition 2010

Having looked around the web we came back to the makers of the vehicles, Land Rover themselves and found a brilliant history from series one to the present day

https://www.landrover.co.uk/explore-land-rover/one-life/design/series-one-defender-history.html

With an influx of new utility 4×4’s entering the market or very close too Tata owned Jaguar Land Rover made a bid to protect their original Defender design.

This is the latest in a long history of legal cases Jaguar Land Rover have brought on companies building similar or adding styling too the Iconic Defender.

There is no doubting the outline of the vehicle as instantly recognisable to us that love, live and work on them. But the recent case against Ineos for their Grenadier sets a bit of a land mark ruling. In the case the judge dismissed Jaguar Land Rovers attempts to trademark the iconic shape ruling that it was not distinctive enough.

Land Rover Defender 110
Ineos Grenadier

There is no denying the striking similarities in the shape from any angle. Even down to the alpine windows. The distinctive front grille and headlights settings all feel familiar. A tactic in part to woo the Land Rover Defender loyal customers to their brand.

It’s not the first time Land Rover have got a little hot under the collar. The nearest example I can recall was only put to bed in April 2019 and had been a long running saga in which Jaguar Land Rovers design boss Gerry McGovern had been famously flamboyant about putting after market companies who styled the Defender “out of business” via Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations. He is reported as having said

“It’s easy to take a product that’s already been created and put a little spoiler on it or whatever, but I’d like to see them design their own car. We see them taking our property and make a bit more profit,” Gerry McGovern

This case followed into a name dispute with Twisted in North Yorkshire. A company famous for styling defenders. In this instance Jaguar Land Rover took issue with the companies use of the LR Motors name claiming it was too close to their own JLR. This case was put to bed in April last year after it was shown the Jaguar Land Rover have never actually used the JLR initials as a brand.

The future

Whatever your background you have to feel some pity for Land Rover. They created an iconic and amazing vehicle that has a cult following many other would be jealous off. However, they stopped production in 2016 with too many regulations impacting the new car market and set about developing a new Defender.

The new Defender launched early in 2020 and received a bit of a mixed reception. Whilst there are nods to the Defender with the Puma style bonnet that is really about as far as it goes. The new Defender is more alike in stature and shape to the Freelander or new Discovery series vehicles leaving the door wide open for the competition to slide with something more like a Defender.

The rulings all point to one thing. There is going to be plenty of competition scrambling to produce something that appeals to lovers of Defenders.

Bespoke in the future

It will be interesting to see if any of the young pretenders entering the market from the Ineos to the Toyota Hilux over the next 40+ years manage to build a cult following and manage to create a host of specialist businesses dedicated to customising and rebuilding their vehicles.

Bespoke Now

For now we at AB 4×4’s we are dedicated to restoring bespoke Series and Defender vehicles. We carry a wide range of galvanised parts for all types of Land Rover vehicles.

We have a large number of vehicles for sale. Whether you are wanting to being your own build journey or have something to drive away please take a look at our stock or get in touch with Anthony.

Practical

It has been described as the classless car. From royalty to farmers these vehicles have their place. From hard wearing interiors to plush comfortable finishes the choice is yours.

Whether you are carrying dogs in a 110 or towing horses or plant equipment. These rugged vehicles perform the task effortlessly and with an array of body styles to suit all applications there will be something to suit everyone.

There’s few civilian vehicles you can still purchase in the following body options:

  • Chassis cab
  • Truck cab
  • Double cab
  • Hi cap
  • Hard-top
  • Soft-top
  • County spec
  • Utlity wagon
  • XS plush options of above
  • 3 different wheelbase lengths

Off-road Capabilities

The go-anywhere vehicle of choice for farmers, fire service and mountain rescue services. These rugged vehicles have a reputation for succeeding in environments other lesser vehicles fail.

If you need to get a job done then look no further.

Easy Maintenance

Land Rover designed a vehicle that could be repaired on the move. Whether a farmer in a field or an adventurer in the Sahara. These vehicles are simply put together requiring minimal tools to be able to achieve a lot. Lets face it, if you own a 19mm, 17mm and 13mm plus a few screwdrivers you are well on your way to being able to dismantle a Land Rover.

Adventure

Adventurers like Ben Fogle love the Classic Land Rover and have owned them personally and used them to get to many report parts of the world.

The beauty and appeal of these vehicles is their modular build that can have numerous add-ons and jerry cans bolt on through to the insane load carrying capability with or without a full length roof rack installed.

Whether or not you want to travel from London to Cape Town or simply carry all the canoes, bikes and camping gear of a trip these vehicles deliver with ease.

Depreciation

What depreciation! Buy the right Land Rover and you will find that you have a modern classic that is appreciating in value.

Demand for these iconic vehicles is high and since production stopped there have been attempts with the likes of the new Defender and the Grenadier to recreate the magic of the Wilks brothers. Its is very hard to capture spirit as is being proven.

Community

Anyone behind the wheel of a Land Rover Classic or Defender will find nods and waves a standard passing greeting. Get into difficult and you will find other owners more than happy to help.

Want advice on customising your prized procession and you will find lots of owners with opinions only too happy to have a chat.

Restoration and Conversion

If you have a project in mind or are looking to restore a Classic Land Rover or build an Iconic Defender get in touch with the experts at AB 4x4s Cleveland. We love nothing more than to chat with fellow enthusiasts.

We have a number of vehicles for sale or awaiting conversion. If you are undertaking your own project we have all the parts you require in stock. If you cannot find what you are looking for get in touch.

We are happy to help..

We are more than happy to talk about anything Land Rover related. If you would like advice or are considering a project one of our expert team will be delighted to answer any questions.

The new Peter Rabbit film, which features the voice talents of James Corden and Margot Robbie, entered cinemas in the UK on Friday 16th March, 2018.
 
Don’t worry, we haven’t decided to take up the art of film reviewing! Instead, we will be sticking to what we know, and taking a look at the (almost) 50-year old Land Rover that was used by the villain of the film, Mr McGregor.


 
Mr McGregor, the villainous farmer who is portrayed by Irish actor Domhall Gleeson, can be seen driving the pastel green Land Rover Series 2a into a warehouse while Peter and the other rabbits cling onto the bottom of the iconic 4×4. It also features in a number of other scenes throughout the film. 

This particular Series 2a was manufactured in 1969 and features a 2250cc petrol engine, which has been said to be in ‘excellent’ condition. It also boasts a refurbished tan interior and bodywork that is in near mint condition. It was supplied for the film by Action 99 Cars, who also fitted it with a false registration plate.

The Land Rover has now been sold at the ‘Duxford Motor Car Auction’, which was hosted at the Imperial War Museum on the 21st March. The sale was held by collectors’ motorcar and motorcycle specialists, H&H Classics, and the Series 2a eventually fetched a price of £11,362.50.
 
A spokesperson for the auctioneers, H&H Classics, had this to say about the restored Land Rover Series 2a:
 
“This lovely-looking 88-inch Series 2a is something of a movie star, being one of two used in the 3D live-action animated comedy film Peter Rabbit based around the famous characters created by Beatrix Potter.“
 
“With values of Series 1 Land Rovers reaching giddying heights, it cannot be long before the Series 2s follow and such a fine example with the added bonus of movie stardom is a very attractive proposition.”
 
If you are interested in acquiring an original, restored Land Rover of your own, make sure you check out the wide range available through our website!

We are happy to help..

We are more than happy to talk about anything Land Rover related. If you would like advice or are considering a project one of our expert team will be delighted to answer any questions.