A Life of Adventure in Land Rovers

Brian smiling left, Alan not smiling at the Land Rover 50th anniversary tour send off

Alan and Brian have a combined Land Rover experience of over 90 years. Our adventure in Land Rovers thus far have included everything from early Series I to late Range Rovers and Discoverys, and everything in-between. Like traveling, buying, selling, rebuilding, modifying, driving, owning, fixing, cursing and most of all loving.

Life of Brian (and Alan)

Our first involvement was in 1973, when as two toddlers, the out of the way camping trips being undertaken in the family car, were becoming increasingly difficult. So the solution was to get a go anywhere vehicle, so Dad and Mom (Terence and Ina Cotton) promptly bought a new Ivory SIIB LWB hard top. From then onwards it was a steep learning curve. Like working out what the red and yellow knobs were for, and getting stuck for the first time. That first time was an adventure in a Land Rover on a trip to Ponta Chemucane. Here we spent the night stuck in a marsh, mozzies in swarm, all alone, trailer in tow with the in-laws! Joining the Land Rover Owners Club soon sorted that out and in no time all the necessary driving skills had been acquired.

Gonarezhou Zimbabwe 1975

The trusty LWB was modified to sleep the four of us. Mom and Dad at the back, Brian on the front bench seat, and Alan on a stretcher above. This Series 2A is still in daily use after receiving and engine transplant and a chassis up rebuild. Camping trips to some of the most unique and unspoiled destinations included Mozambique, Transkei, Botswana, Rhodesia and the North Coast.

So as we grew up, adventure in Land Rovers were always an integral part of our daily lives. Right up until today you can be guaranteed of finding either Alan or Brian tinkering on some or other vehicle or some or other Landy related activity. For many years in fact it was more than tinkering. Brian running a reputable Land Rover repairs and service workshop – LandyOnline Workshop, and Alan running the LandyOnline.co.za website.

Brian on Alan

At the age of 16 Alan did his first restoration job on a SIIA SWB. This served as his daily transport for almost 14 years thereafter. Subsequently he and I built another SIIA SWB. His meticulous nature and need to do everything absolutely right led to the eventual unveiling of a beautifully converted SIIA 109″ TD Camper. Which went on to do many overland trips.

Since his feet could touch the pedals he has been driving Land Rovers. With the proviso that if you get stuck you’ve got to get it out. He adopts a very conservative driving style, never going deeper than necessary, but always getting the job done with the minimum of fuss. Over the years he has become a competent and experienced driver with several LROC rally titles to his credit.

Alan was the webmaster and creator for the LROC SA website back in 1998 and then established and gre Landyonline.co.za. He is currently rebuilding a Land Rover Series 1 107 and building up the Youtube channel @theoverlandlegend.

Alan on Brian

Brian was resident technical fundi at LandyOnline, his general and mechanical knowledge on Land Rovers is amazing. He has had hands on experience on most Land Rovers and has a sound knowledge of the detailed mechanics of the range of Land Rover engines, drive trains and suspensions. A qualified electronics engineer by training he is very mechanically minded and extremely ingenious. No challenge is too great for him when it comes to modifying and rebuilding Land Rovers.
Brian was one of the first to put up a South African Land Rover Website back in 1995, with “Brian’s African Travel Guide” detailing his proposed trip through Africa. His other Land Rover Web ventures include the GMC DV8 conversion pages.

Brains skills and daring behind the wheel are also well (read notoriously) documented. He has won numerous LROC rallies as well as LROC driver of the year.

Brian is the inventor of the Madman engine monitoring systems and currently owns and runs Madman Developments which develops and markets these EMS devices around the world.

In this video Alan and Brian chat about their amazing life of adventure in Land Rovers

Leave a Reply