I purchased my first car a Land Rover Discovery-1 that the previous owner had decided to give up after "upgrading".
The car was relatively cheap (may be a little too cheap!) and I went about preparing the car and myself to enter a "British Cross Country Championship" event.
This initialy turned out to be an unrealistic expectation as I found the chassis and body badly damaged and in need of a lot more work than I anticipated to repair, this did however gave me an opportunity to understand the way the vehicle had been built in some significant detail and enabled me to add some of my own modifications and changes.
The interior or the car stripped out to allow access for the repairs.
All of the front body panels and inner wings removed to enable the repairs to the chassis and Foot-wells.
The front body mounting point,or at least what should have been the body mounting bracket.
The inside of the chassis rail, the crack is more obvious here and it continued across the top of the chassis rail, again if you look carefully you will see some evidence where someone has tried to repair the crack with a spot of weld?
Where the outrigger supporting the front leg of the roll-cage meets the chassis. If you look carefully you will see the crack propagating out from the top corner going forward along the chassis rail.
A view of the chassis leg repairs, Plated across the top and new plates either side using 3mm sheet material to reinforce both the chassis and the outrigger mounting etc. It is also obvious how much of the floor was cut out to enable the repairs.
note the shape of the floor as this made the subsequent re-manufacture of the new foot-well very difficult as it slopes down to the outside of the car.
Another view of the chassis leg repair.
A view of the repaired foot-well from inside the car.
The new foot-well repair and the new home made and slightly over engineered body mounting bracket made from 3mm 50x50 box section.
Starting the reconstruction of the front body panels, The front panel and scuttle etc. is totally home made. This removed a lot of weight from the front of the car (A full body discovery is still very heavy). the inner wings are normally supported by a reinforcing section welded to the outer walls of the foot -well, these where replaced with 15x30 box section bolted in place, the idea being that if this kind of access was required again all of the front could be dismantled and removed by unbolting everything.
Drivers side front inner wing. You can see the use of the box section bolted to the foot-well.
Passenger side front inner wing.
Some of the detail of the inner wing and home made front scuttle.
In 2012 we entered the BCCC "Trophy" class, in the now very distinctive purple livery. Still learning all the time.
The first event of the 2012 season was at Pikes Peak and was quite eventful with a roll toward the end of the first day, embarrassingly on what should have been a simple corner. I think I clipped a log or boulder on the inside edge just enough to flip the car around. Being a top heavy discovery did the rests and the car "fell over".
On the Sunday the engine started failing with loss of oil pressure possibly as a result of the roll the preious day.
The second event at Epynt, did not start well, after having replaced the engine (with a spare form a donor car) it kept stalling and feeling low on power.
We were able to compete and finished the weekend completing all rounds for the weekend, with considerable help and encoragement from other competitors.
The third event of the season was Forest Lodge in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. This means a full days drive for us just to get to the venue.
The engine problems had now been fixed, identified as crossed wires between the engine water temperature sensor and fuel temperature sensor on the fuel rail sending false signals to the ECU.
This event again provided a steep learning curve as it is largely made up of long very fast gravel surfaces interspersed with quarries, but this was to be my best event of the season (even managing a podium place for my class).
Forest Lodge has subsequently become a favourite venue even though I still find it a very intimidating venue to compete at because of the speeds that can be attained here on the long straight gravel surfaces.
I like it here so much you will now also go in the autumn as well, at the Boarders Hill rally, but as stage set up crew and marshal this time.
Round four of the season was at Radnor in mid Wales.
This was to turn out to be our last event this year and the last ever for this car.
After an aborted first run (getting stuck behind a stranded car) we went out for a second lap, it became obvious early on that we had a puncture. We continued on around the lap a "little" more cautiously. On the last major descent, a very long rough section down a muddy and rutted track, something "picked up" the back end and the car got cross-rutted resulting in a major roll, the car barrel rolled over completely landing hard on the nearside front corner quite hard, eventually ending up back on its wheels fcing the wrong way (up the hill) blocking the track.
Establishing that both myself and the navigator were OK we were able to reverse on down the hill and out of the stage and return to the services.
On subsequent inspection it very quickly became obvious our weekend was over.
The roll-cage in the car had done exactly what it was designed to do and protected the ocupants, however, it had become seriously damaged in the process.
The car was loaded back on to the trailer and we became marshals for the Sunday.
A very sad and and battered Insanity 1 loaded on to the trailer ready to go home, But only after we spent Sunday Marshalling.
On getting the car home a making a closer inspection from the outside things do not appear too bad.
The picture below on the left shows the top corner of the cage has been bent. It looks like the bolt securing the roof bars to the outside of the roof has Punched into the top of the bar and deformed it.
With 20 20 hind sight it might have been prudent to remove the roof bars, would this have helped, I don't know?.
The picture below on the right, however, taken from the back of the car looking along the line of the roll-cage shows how badly damaged things are and how much force has been applied to that corner of the car.
At the end of the day I am just glad the roll-cage did what it was intended to do and protected my Navigator and myself from a more serious incident.
I had already decided by this point that this car was too "tired" and uncompetative to compete any further and with the damage to the roll cage the car was beyond economical repair.
Due to the loss of the car we spent the rest of the 2012 season as marshals, however, by this time I was "bitten by the bug" and had already decided that I wanted to do more!
Time to start the new project "Insanity Too".
You can follow the continuing story of how we get on building, running the new car and all the modifications (intentional and otherwise) throughout the rest of this site.