Tim's Defender 110 Hi-Cap

Tim Cann is a landscape gardener from Keynsham.  Tim is a Land Rover devotee - since learning to drive, he has always owned a Land Rover.

Tim has owned his Camel Trophy Land Rover, L435 VAC, since 1996.  He went to his local Land Rover dealer, MJ Fews, to buy a spare part for his old Series III Land Rover and came back with the Camel Trophy vehicle.

The vehicle is a rare beast - we believe only three Land Rover Defender 110 High Capacity Pick Ups ("hi-caps") were made for the Camel Trophy.  For the 1993 Sabah-Malaysia event, a K-reg HCPU was specially built to carry a dismantled raft on which the Camel Trophy convoy was able to cross rivers and lakes.  Tim's L-reg is almost exactly the same specification as the raft unit, even down to having mountings on the roll cage to fix the outboard motors.  However, the vehicle was probably never used for this purpose as video footage from the event shows the K-reg HCPU carrying the raft.

Tim has collected a stack of documents, pictures and video footage (including the official 1994 event video) to support the history of the vehicle and which show the vehicle was used for an unprecedented four events:

In 1994, the vehicle was shipped to Antofagasta and used to carry nine crates of Discovery and Defender spares for the convoy.  For the 1995 pre-scout, radiators and differentials were replaced with more general equipment.  For the Mundo Maya event itself, the vehicle was used as a "HQ2", a headquarters pool vehicle marked with the badges "Marshall 7".  The vehicle returned to Land Rover for a full rebuild before being shipped to Balikpapan for the 1996 event, during which it served as "Logistics 1", the cook's utility vehicle, marked "CT22".  It was during the 1996 event that the vehicle was rolled after colliding with an obstruction on a road.

The vehicle's hard life didn't end when it was demobbed from the Camel Trophy.  Tim's landscaping business and his voluntary work take the Land Rover "up hill and down dale" across the country.  The vehicle has attended 4x4 events across Europe, including the Belgium Nationals and Bad Kissingen, Germany and been used to test an Atlas Overland route across the Alps.  Tim also took the vehicle to Bosnia, packed to the rafters with donated equipment.

Although Tim has fully researched the history of the vehicle, there remains two mysteries.

Firstly, where on the vehicle was the pickaxe handle fixed?  There is a bracket for the axe blade, but none for the handle.  It may seem like a simple question, but it is one that Camel Trophy experts have discussed around a campfire for many hours.

Secondly, and more mysteriously, when Tim paid a visit to GEM (Global Event Management), the company that organised the Camel Trophy, logistics planner Louise asked which vehicle he owned.  Tim pointed out of the window at L435 VAC.  "Oh," said Louise, "You've got that one ..."  She wouldn't say what she meant by that ...

  Land Rovering on Bob Ives' farm.


  Mikey tests out the hi-cap's articulation, Summer 2004.


  Tim drives through an undriveable hole.


  Winching is an option ... but only if you have prepared the winch cable by hooking it to your roofrack.


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  Winter wonderland at Chelwood, March 2006.


  Finding out how many people it takes to change a tyre.


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  Creeping through woodland at Churchill, April 2006.


  High capacity is highly capable.


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  Thumbs up!


  Exploring the tropical rainforests of Somerset, April 2006.


  Tim applying the finishing touches to Ben's Defender, L433 VAC.


  Driving the "Camel Dips" on the off road course at the LRO Show Malvern, August 2006.


  The Keynsham Camels' annual New Year expedition on Salisbury Plain 2007.


  Creating a bow wave - backwards.


  Mud plugging through tank tracks near Copehill Down.


  Dipping a toe in?


  A little fine adjustment...


  Winch back in working order and in action in Wiltshire.


  On expedition with the CTOC in Morocco, August 2008.


  Tim working on a 110 hub. 



More pictures are available from the "out and about" page