Land Rovers come in all sorts of colours, especially once the aftermarket re-sprays come into play. Jason Redfern’s 90, though, must be one of the most colourful Landies around – and one that certainly puts the red in off-road ready…
Land Rovers are very customisable – it’s something that has been going on for years. Whether it’s changing the engine, adding mud-terrain tyres or simply giving it a revitalised exterior, putting your signature on your own Landy has been as popular as fish ‘n’ chips.
Holding on that exterior for the moment, you’ll see a wide array of colours splashed over various Land Rovers; everything from bogey green to baby pink, canary yellow and bronzed orange – you name it, it’s been done.
But why spent thousands on re-spraying your brilliant Landy when all your design solutions can be found on eBay for the price of your favourite pint of beer, say.
Indeed, Jason Redfern – as with many of the world’s Green Oval owners – decided he didn’t want to stick with the standard palette expressed on the surface of his Defender. He therefore sought the assistance of one of his most trusted allies, eBay, and has managed to add more than a lashing or two of rejuvenating colour.
‘All the decals I’ve bought have simply been finds while browsing through eBay,’ says Jason. ‘They’re cheap to buy and help protect the paintwork too. Plus if I ever fancy a change, I can just pull them off and slap some new ones on instead.’
Jason’s Defender, a 1990 example, may look like a parrot that’s been paintballing, but it can squawk the talk on the pay and play sites just as much as the next Land Rover.
Rife with modifications across every inch of the vehicle, Jason has transformed this stock Defender into a weekend warrior – again through help from that online accomplice.
‘I think it’s great that you can just buy stuff from the shop and bolt it onto your truck,’ says Jason. ‘It means that you can drive your vehicle still while building it up to how you want it.’ While some may oppose the bolt-on side of off-roading, Jason does hold a valid point.
‘With the Defender I started off with virtually a blank canvas. It was a nice solid truck – another eBay find – which I went down to view at a place in Norfolk,’ explains Jason. ‘The body and bulkhead had been overhauled, which is why I bought it. From there it has been more of a conversion than a project; slowly building it up from there.’
One of Jason’s initial purchases was a kit supplied by MM4x4. This took care of most of the suspension, with a lift totalling five inches, dislocation cones and shocks by Terrafirma. From there it’s been a steady stream of upgrades, usually following on from a short bout of Internet surfing.
Having reached what Jason considers to be his ‘limit,’ should anything happen to the truck now – a broken half shaft or suspension bush for example – then it will be simply a matter of replacing the relative part.
Jason continues, ‘I want to look after it now and have almost made this into something that I consider too good to be thrashed off-road.’ The irony here is that Jason only bought this 90 because didn’t want to wreck his other Land Rover.
Yes, Jason is also the proud owner of a Series II Landy, garnished with full V8 power. It’s this particular vehicle that links to the early days of Jason’s allure into off-roading.
‘My second ever car was a Land Rover, which I owned for a bit before switching back to more ordinary cars,’ Jason remarks. ‘After a while, I found myself wanting a cheap car with a V8 in it, and Land Rovers were the only ones that seemed to be fitting the bill at the time.’
Not long afterwards, an old school acquaintance in the shape of Andy Fleming (who had his Discovery trayback featured within these very pages only a few months ago in our January 2016 issue) tracked down Jason and invited him along to one of the many green laning trips that the Staffs 4x4 club host.
‘I had the Series II and used it for off-roading for a couple of years. It’s tidy truck, and while I’m not going to restore it or anything like that, I do want to try and take care of it now,’ admits Jason
The only thing he says he may do is convert the engine from the V8 currently lodged within its bowels, to a 200Tdi he has spare and waiting in the wings. This way his Series Landy, and the Defender which is also runs a 200Tdi, would have the same parts requirements – a tactical and shrewd strategy for the future.
‘Working on the vehicles is no problem; they’re pretty easy things and I’m a HGV mechanic by trade. The problem is finding time to work on them!’
Over time, Jason’s taste has evolved from the introductory laning into hardcore play day stuff. According to Jason, he reckons that quite often you can drive for a whole day and your skills at the wheel could only be tested on the sole occasion. Go to a pay and play, though, and you’re looking at a free-for-all where you and your vehicle can seek out the most challenging of terrain, just like Jason demonstrates here at Silverdale.
‘I also try and attend some of the shows with the club throughout the year as it gives me a break from work,’ laughs Jason. It also gives visitors the chance to look at the great truck Jason has brought together.
It’s a fully-ready, off-roading champion, equipped with the lift, tyres, cage… everything you could need to have fun in a Defender on that spare Saturday in the month
‘One modification I’d recommend is the Detroit limited slip differentials. They’ve made such a difference. Just when you’re approaching the brow of a hill or when you need the traction the most, they give you that little bit more,’ concludes Jason.
Few trucks out there will go as far as Jason’s can go – and even less will be able to wow a show crowd so happily. It’s a truck that has been given confidence, and is now loud and happy to show off all of its quirks. It’s no wonder Jason wants to keep it that way.