Over the Christmas break, a mate and I decided to take on a little project by turning an old Land Rover Discovery into the ultimate Jurassic Park Safari Vehicle.
The goal was to have a car ready to take down to the farm for the Christmas holiday break, and in true farm tradition, it needed a theme. Over the past few years I have done up 2 old V8 Range Rovers, one as an American police car with full siren, lights and sticker kit and the other as a NYC taxi with working meter, roof light and sticker kit, so it’s safe to say, I’d had some practice. After a late Friday night, it was decided, the next car to go to the farm would be the car from Jurassic Park!
Finding the car
We had been hunting around for a while on Gumtree, eBay, Carsales and just about anywhere else where people could list cheap cars trying to find the right one. Having 7 (yes, 7) old V8 Land Rovers/Range Rovers down at the farm already as bush bashers, we decided there may as well be another one.
Finally after getting mucked around seller after seller and Christmas getting closer and closer, one came up that sounded promising and looked OK in the photos and wasn’t too far away…
1993 Land Rover Discover
“Good condition, engine runs well, gearbox shifts smoothly”
We teed it up with the seller to come have a look at the car, but decided, we more than likely going to buy it so we decided to take the car trailer with us. We set out early on the Saturday before Christmas on the round trip (4hrs) to check it out.
With a bit of an inspection checking over the basics, we bought it for the asking price ($700) loaded it on the trailer and headed back home with our newly appointed project vehicle.
Servicing the car
We got home, in the early afternoon and proceeded to do a bit of work to the motor. It was all really minor stuff really:
New alternator belt
Oil filter, fuel filter
General tidy up of loose wires hanging out from under the dash
By the time we were finished it was dark and we had to put the car away for a week. This meant Christmas passed and we hadn’t had a chance to do anything more to the beast. Boxing Day was our next real opportunity to get her ready to go. We were leaving to the farm the following day so we planned to do a full day’s work getting her prepped and painted ready for the trip down.
Painting the car
To get the beast painted in one day meant we had to be pretty fast and couldn’t spend too much time perfecting it. After a few trips to Supercheap during the week, I had already got everything we needed to get started so we kicked off first thing in the morning.
The first step was to sand the entire area we were planning to paint. Lucky I already had the air/power tools ready to go. I used the dual action air sander attached to a compressor while Mitch used the 240V multi-purpose polisher which takes both Velcro polishing pads and sanding discs.
Having these tools made the job so much faster and having 2 people sanding really helped speed it up. In saying that, it was defiantly the longest part of the entire project. Boxing Day probably wasn’t the best day to do it either as it was around 32 degrees on the Gold Coast.
After a hot couple of hours we had completely sanded the car down. After a bit of Wax and Grease remover we were ready to start painting. We wanted to get the coats on as fast as possible to take full advantage of the Australian sun, so without any mucking around, we taped up the windows and masked all the areas using masking tape and plastic sheeting and gave her the first coat of paint.
After the bottom layer of yellow had been applied we worked our way up to the green which would cover the bonnet, and up to the roof.
After a full day’s work of sanding, masking and painting the car was looking pretty good and better than we had anticipated. We had planned to wait to the next day to put maroon markings on the sides and bonnet which were the final part of the painting process but couldn’t wait to see how it was going to look and ended up doing it in the dark. We used newspapers to cut out the shapes we needed and marked the areas that needed painting, although not perfect, they really finished the car off nicely.
The next morning with the maroon markings still drying, we added the finishing touches, the stickers. Mitch had bought these and had them sent over from the States in the weeks leading up to Christmas, they arrived just in time a few days before.
The completed car!
Finally, the car was finished! We loaded the car trailer (again) and headed down 3hrs to the farm. The next few shots are over the period of a few days as we tried and tested the new farm!
Overall the project went really well. For a paint job that cost less than $100 on paint and a day of solid work, we were pretty happy with how it turned out.
Stay tuned for more Bush Basher Builds!