There are restorations and then there are restorations in a league of their own. And after Twenty-Ten Engineering put the fi nishing touches to this Td6-powered Range Rover Classic, it’s easy to see why
As time rolls on, it’s becoming quite clear that the Land Rover community is becoming more of a classic market with each passing day. This is primarily down to the old school Land Rovers being very different to the likes of the Discovery 3 and later models, with them holding little appeal to the DIY mechanic or the enthusiast who loves the vintage Land Rover for its basic ruggedness and workhorse roots – in other words, not the highly-digitised, prim and proper machines Land Rover produces today.
So naturally, restoring some of these relics is popular within the Green Oval fraternity. You want to keep old Larry The Landy or Rufus The Rangey going, in a bid to hold onto a time when Land Rover was more about function than form.
But you’ll see all sorts of restored Land Rovers out there. Some may have just had new underpinnings, with a galvanised chassis being fitted and a lick of paint flicked over the body to give it a solid platform for another decade or so. And then you have rebuilds that go beyond the major refurbishment work and get down to the minute details that all add up to create one restored masterpiece. Which brings me onto Twenty-Ten Engineering.
The Redditch-based outfit specialises in the Range Rover Classic. That’s right, there’s no general Land Rover garage here, but instead, a dedicated workshop that focuses on the original Range Rover, whether that be an early two-door variant or one of the later four-door models from the mid-Nineties. They have developed a reputation for turning out pretty exceptional rebuilds, with some being more extraordinary than others. The one we have here is particularly unique, but not because of any standout reason.
There’s a whole raft of intricate alterations that make this truly one of a kind. However, we’ll start with the bigger changes and work our way down. But we’ll need Phil Holland for this, owner of Twenty-Ten Engineering. ‘This is a full restoration of a vehicle that was originally a 1993 3.9-litre V8 Vogue SE,’ states Phil. The significant word there is ‘was’, because it’s changed substantially under the roof of the Twenty-Ten workshop. ‘It’s now powered by the BMW Td6 engine and has the automatic gearbox from a P38. We’ve also fitted it with the Compushift system from Ashcroft Transmissions, which allows us to program the shift points and adjust for smoother changes.’ This Td6 Classic has even got a fuel pre-heater system, which is programmable so you can get the engine warm before you’ve even stepped inside the car, just like on the current L405 Rangey.
That makes this Range Rover Classic one of the most modern examples around, at least in terms of what provides its power. But the Td6 does a fine job of doing so, with the 174bhp motor free to express itself more now it’s made the swap from the shell of the heavier Mk3 L322 to the more slender frame of a Classic. Phil continues, ‘The build took around two years to complete, although if it was a fresh job with no complications then it would be more like 12 months.’
This was always far more than just a straightforward engine swap, though, even if this Classic’s new heart is what grabs your initial attention. The restoration took such a long time because it’s the sort of project where every single detail is up for consideration. To begin with, the vehicle was actually in a bit of a mess and had suffered some accident damage. A donor vehicle was bought in on the understanding of how much work would be done over the coming months, and from there everything was stripped and rebuilt.
A brand new old stock chassis – genuine Land Rover of course – provided the base, whilst most of the original body panels were cleaned up and painted (on both sides) with just one new wing bought in. We reckon this is one of the most striking Range Rover Classics you’ll see – its colourway closer to that of newer Range Rovers than the old Classic machines. ‘It was blue originally, but just not the same shade,’ tells Phil. ‘The new blue is actually the same as you get on one of those…’ he says, whilst pointing towards a P38 sitting outside the workshop. This is a Classic that shares its parts and themes with Range Rovers from all eras, but there is also a fair bit of Discovery in here too – though you’d need a magnifying glass to spot it. Inspect the door seals and you’ll notice they’re the same as you get on a Discovery 2, bringing extra refinement and a better black to keep things all colour-coordinated. ‘Those door handles are off a Discovery as well,’ reveals Phil. ‘The Range Rover ones were silver so we needed to find a substitute, but it has to look like it’s supposed to be there.’
‘It has to look like it’s supposed to be there.
The faint line that runs down the side of the vehicle was also silver before, but rather than get rid of it and lose those Classic touches, Phil had the line repainted in black to keep that factory-finished aesthetic. It all works so well because the elements used are still from the same manufacturer. The badging on the rear, for example, is adapted from a Discovery 3’s TDV6 lettering. It’s all very clever. Inside you’ll find another exemplary interior completed by Nationwide Trim, with the old grey upholstery replaced with the cleaner, more extravagant beige. It’s in the cabin where some of the really impressive modifications lie. The steering wheel previously lived on a Lotus but has since gained a familiar Green Oval. And then there’s the rev counter, where digital outputs are needed with the Td6 rather than the Classic’s analogue methods.
There’s even some effective LED lighting to highlight the new interior. And with the sunroof removed and seats no longer electric, there should be less to worry about too! Few restored Range Rovers ever get this much thought and consideration poured over them, but where Twenty-Ten Engineering is involved, that’s something that comes as standard. At least 99% of the time… ‘The only hiccup we encountered was when we fi rst came to put fuel into the car and we realised we hadn’t changed the fuel nozzle from petrol to diesel,’ laughs Phil. A slight oversight was immediately fixed in these capable hands. Since this Range Rover has been completed, it’s been lapping up the attention everywhere it goes. By no means is this an ordinary restoration – the aim was never just to take it back to how it would have looked in 1993.
However, it’s because of all those little changes and tiny tweaks as to why this restoration really stands out from the crowd.
Published By: The Landy