Deziree, our Land Rover Defender Series 2A, made her first public appearance at the Gauteng Getaway show at the end of September. At the time it was as surreal as watching the comical American presidential debate: by simply twisting Deziree’s ignition key through two degrees, the straight-six engine sparks to life, idling like the day the 1971 Land Rover rolled off the production line.
What a contrast to a month or three before that, when we were left stranded more often than not next to the road, thanks to a dodgy battery and some mechanical components in urgent need of replacement.
She now sports a new battery, and the engine has been comprehensively serviced with new plugs, points and coil. The interior received a big clean and refitment of some auxiliary gauges, and we refitted the original seats – which had been given a complete makeover, with a new sponge and vinyl covering (thanks to Autopaint & Windscreen in Lazer Park in Randburg).
We also fitted all the accessories such as the Front Runner jerry cans and the powder- coated wheels and Firestone Jeep Service tyres. One of the most time consuming jobs though, was replacing all the door rubber seals, and also finishing the interior surfaces with a thin layer of rubber mat.
But all the main tasks were done and dusted in time for the Getaway Show, and Dez took up her position near the main entrance. Of course, she did leak some oil – but as one punter remarked: you only have to worry when there is no oil leak, because that means there’s no oil in the engine.
Deziree has come a long way since we acquired her. Now she’s 95% done, with only some detail work to be completed. And she’s due a new exhaust too.
In our current December issue (on sale now), we follow up with all the details and costs of her makeover.