Journal

09/17/ 2017

It is great to see how clients use their Defenders.  This local owner feels just as comfortable upon his paddle board as he does hill-climbing Mount Norquay (with permission, of course!).

09/01/ 2017

The Huntsman's Pride is moving along!  A Calgary buyer rode it away last week.  I built this one for a celebration for my aunt in the U.K. - it was a recognition of our family connection to a certain "sporting event".  Hard to see, but my sisters are in the cabin taking photos.  Being that the hounds are untamed, it was complete coincidence that they tracked by the truck.  You can see my motivation for this Defender's colour scheme below.A careful look at the brass buttons will reveal "GH" for "Grafton Hunt", which my family has been associated with for centuries.  The Huntsman's Pride has good roots!

07/29/ 2017

Heat Wave!  Check out these Defenders in air-conditioned comfort at The Gear Shop, recently moved to Bay 1, 2501 Alyth Road S.E., Calgary.  The roof-top tent on The Knightsbridge is a nice touch.   

05/ 18/ 2017

This one is just back from the set of a major motion picture being filmed in the Rockies.  After a major snowstorm that closes the town, it busts through the snow to clear the road for the good guys to get the bad guys (or something like that)!

03/ 04/ 2017

I raised a pint for an old friend in the centre of York tonight.  Back to Canada in a couple of days.

03/ 02/ 2017

This Defender caught the sunlight beautifully on a side-street in Newcastle upon Tyne this morning.

02/ 13/ 2017

Family friends, the Mackintosh family, with their station wagon - and the Holt's with their Land Rover - circa 1972, going camping on the Arrow Lakes in British Columbia. 

 

01/ 28/ 2017

A frosty hike through some of the canyons just south-west of Santa Fe, New Mexico, yielded some magnificent petroglyphs. 

01/ 14/ 2017

The year started off with another quick run to the U.K. and a drive almost the full length of Wales - starting in Llandudno, through Snowdonia, down to Brecon, and finishing in Abergavenny.

12/ 15/ 2016

Best wishes for a good, healthy and safe Holiday Season.

10/ 30/ 2016

Just back from a very quick trip to the U.K.  That is the lovely Fawsley Hall church in the background.  Fawsley Hall was home to good friends of my aunt and uncle, but times have changed - it is now a 5 star hotel.

10/ 16/ 2016

The first Defender I ever made (The Bronze Beast) was spotted in the Kensington area of Calgary last week. Looking sharp!

10/ 11/ 2016

A family picnic was the excuse to take High Speed Titanium in the snow just west of Waiparous. 

10/ 01/ 2016

For many years my father and John Lecky were guests of Lord and Lady Ropner at their U.K. home Thorpe Perrow, where they took in the formal pursuit of hunting and shooting.  I was flipping through a 1981 photo album of such an occasion, and thought I would share a couple of photos of their activities on the moors of Durham, Northumberland and Yorkshire.  No wonder I inherited a passion for Land Rovers!

In the photo below, Lecky is second from the left; Holt second from the right.  

 

09/ 23/ 2016

The Knightsbridge is back in Calgary, so feel free to give me a call and come and see it in person.

 

07/ 20/ 2016

Be sure to pick up an August copy of Calgary's AVENUE magazine, and have a look (pg. 96) at the starring role! 

08/ 03/ 2016

You might see The Pound Sterling starring in a commercial soon; you can see the lights camera and action played out here in Kananaskis.

07/ 05/ 2016

Stampede is just about to hit Calgary, which turns this place into a circus.  Avoiding a Defender with a cowboy hat,  I decided to go with the circus theme - this 1959 Bertram Mills act.  I like the "learner" sticker on the fender!

06/ 20/ 2016

I fell in love with the Classic Champagne Defender when I first test drove it in Birmingham, but it is time for a new home on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Raise a glass for its future adventures!

05/ 26/ 2016

Nothing better to support a gorgeous model for a summer fashion shoot than a Defender.  Look for the full story in a glossy fashion magazine - coming soon!

 

05/ 13/ 2016

It is a great pleasure when clients stop by to show me what they have done to customize their vehicles.  I have purposely made my trucks simple, with ample opportunity for customers to create whatever look they want.  On a hot, sunny day, what would be more fun than this?

 

04/ 28/ 2016

Whilst digging through old family documents in the basement, I found this photo of my father and his friends taking lunch during an Iberian Partridge Shoot in 1979.  Quite a collection of Land Rovers!  What on earth is the one on the left?

04/ 20/ 2016

 

Spring has hit with a flourish, and you just never know what will sprout from the ground.  

03/ 25/ 2016

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

We have three Defenders at the show, with another one parked just outside ready to test drive. Come on down to see the special show pricing!

03/ 23/ 2016

Please come and see us at the Vancouver International Auto Show this week.  We have three vehicles (The Pound Sterling, The Java 90, and The Knightsbridge) on display, and we have very special show pricing.

02/ 06/ 2016

LAST DEFENDER EVER!!!

Is it really over?  Yup, 68 years after the first one rolled out of the assembly factory, it is now over.  After many threats to cancel the production of the Land Rover Defender, it has finally come to pass.  This Heritage 90 Softtop is the last and final one.  I enjoy the honesty of some of the news stories covering this event - "even in the last Defender, the top will let in the rain, and the engine will let out the oil." - so accurate!  A very sad goodbye as we see the end of the most iconic and recognizable vehicle in history!

01/ 18/ 2016

Did you miss the chance to buy the 2-millionth Land Rover?  This vehicle sold a few weeks ago at a charity auction in the U.K. for a mere $800,000.  Not bad...

12/ 18/ 2015

WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE

LAND ROVER

Alexander Colville's 1975 painting "Harbour", featuring the artist with his dog "Sasha" in a Series III Land Rover, sold at a Vancouver auction for an outstanding $1.8 million dollars, making this the most expensive Land Rover ever sold!

12/ 18/ 2015

The new  Jaguar Land Rover Dealership just opened in Langley, British Columbia, and we loaned them two Defenders to display for the party.  Stop by the new dealership and have a look!

12/ 16/ 2015

Just down in Santa Fe to meet a client, and what do I find?  This Series II at the Land Rover dealership!  Though in very rough shape, this vehicle is still worth a fortune in the States.  

12/ 01/ 2015

Windy and rainy in the U.K. at the moment, but that doesn't stop me getting out and around.  I like the simplicity of some Defenders here - just work-horses really.  Here are some red ones to kick off the Christmas Season!

Spotted in Pitsford, Northants.

Spotted in Stowe Nine Churches, Northants.

11/ 10/ 2015

One more vehicle has left the flock!  The Dark Knight roared into a new life this afternoon, so look for it around Calgary (hint - it may have some new safari regalia).  Here it is sunning it's self at Granville Island last summer.  

10/ 28/ 2015

Again in the U.K. to visit "all things Land Rover"!  I spend most of my time in the farming areas of the Midlands, and I am constantly amused by the iterations of Defenders - some hideously ugly (though useful, I guess) and some dazzlingly handsome.  It is nice to see so many in service, whatever the need.

09/ 07/ 2015

I have been flipping through my aunt's old "Country Life" magazines - the quintessential British hunting/fishing periodical in the U.K. - and found this 1956 advertisement.  Land Rover production was only in it's eighth year.

07/ 27/ 2015

Back to "The Old Country" for week to have a look at more Defenders.  It is tough at the current exchange rates to make sense of things, but it is a good excuse for a moorland drive and a pub tour

07/ 20/ 2015

The Calgary European Classic Car meet was a great success. "The Commander" was out in its full glory, and many commented on the fantastic customization my client did to his Defender.  It really was a show stopper! "The Pound Sterling" and "The Huntsman's Pride" (below) made a good showing too!

07/ 14/ 2015

Please join me and four Defenders at the European Classic Car Meet this coming Saturday!

07/ 09/ 2015

Yee-Haw!  Grab yer partner - The Calgary Stampede is in full swing!  The Classic Champagne, poised with a full view of the Stampede grounds, gives grace and elegance to the rollicking and cavorting below.  

06/ 30/ 2015

John from Crown Surplus Stores (proud owner of The Beach Bronze) took a corner a little too sharply, and ended up with this log jammed into his rear tire.  Certainly a deflating experience - of course it happened during a snow storm on a cliff-hanging mountain road - he managed to change the tire, and he kept the dagger as a trophy.

 

05/ 22/ 2015

Wake up to the early morning sun on your Defender!  

05/ 05/ 2015

It is picnic season soon, so be ready to drag out the cooler!  This gem is on one of our family outings (1975) - my father is the one waving his hat, and my sister is in the middle.  Climbing on our Series IIA Land Rover was a popular pastime, but don't try it on a current Defender!  

05/ 01/ 2015

A quick trip took me to Canada's east coast for a look at a dozen or so Series trucks, and a lobster dinner.  The vehicles were in various conditions (these are only a few) and the barns were packed with Land Rover panels, parts, and paraphernalia. 

04/ 20/ 2015

We had fantastic response during the recent auto shows - thank you to all whom attended.  As the show season is now over, we are now offering three demo model Defenders at significantly reduced pricing.  Please see the showroom.

04/ 08/ 2015

Join us if you can at the Edmonton Motorshow at Edmonton Expo.  We are in booth 129, Hall B.  The show runs Thursday, April 9 until Saturday, April 11 from 10 am to 10 pm, then Sunday, April 12 from 10 am to 6 pm. 

04/ 03/ 2015

I love this 1972 photo of my mom and dad sitting atop his Series IIA Land Rover. (I use "his" because my mom didn't quite have the same affinity for it as he did!) A good family friend completes the vintage photo perfectly, with her scarf and beer-coaster sized sunglasses! 

04/ 02/ 2015

Come on out to see us April 9-12 at the Edmonton Motorshow!

03/ 28/ 2015

Look who came by the booth today! Though he didn't take the Defender out for any laps, The Stig did give me two thumbs up for his home-country's most iconic vehicle.

03/ 24/ 2015

The Vancouver International Auto and Truck Show opened today, so please come by my booth (upper Ballroom level) to see my mighty Rovers!

03/ 19/ 2015

The Huntsman's Pride and The Java 90 arrived safely in Vancouver today, ready to clean and detail for the Vancouver International Auto and Truck Show. Look for our booth at the show, and see these vehicles up close and personal.

03/ 15/ 2015

The Calgary International Auto and Truck Show was a great success, and I had a line-up of vehicles ready for those who didn't see quite what they wanted inside the BMO Centre.

02/ 23/ 2015

I am back in Canada now, just in time to see the wonders my client has done to "The Commander" - customizing it beautifully.

The front looks incredible (these photos do not do it justice), and I love the custom toggle panel for all the LED lights, etc. installed just in front of the cubby box. He designed and crafted the rear window grates himself, and he says he is not finished...

02/ 02/ 2015

Cricket?  Tea?  Colonial buildings? Land Rovers?  Spices?  Ahhh, Sri Lanka!  I imagined many old relic Land Rovers here, but I have not seen a single one older than a medium-priced scotch.  This one, in the cultural capital Kandy, was paused near the Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple - the home to one of Lord Buddha's sacred teeth.

01/ 26/ 2015

Wandering through the Chinatown market in Bangkok yesterday, I happened upon this.  It has not moved in months (maybe years?) but it confirms the claim that you can find absolutely anything at this market!

01/ 15/ 2015

Currently in Sri Lanka, the Pope prefers to travel in Defender style!

01/ 04/ 2015

My good friend in Manila finally decided to show me his collection, including very rare brands of vintage motorcycles, and this 1958...

01/ 01/ 2015

Happy New Year!  I started the year off in Manila with this 1000 round belt of illegal Chinese fireworks.  It was a bit of a bang, to say the least, and a heck of a lot of noise, but it was a good way to welcome 2015. 

12/ 20/ 2014

An impressive line-up of my current available Defender stock, minus "The Dark Knight", which is in Vancouver.

12/ 18/ 2014

The buyer of "The Commander" is the proud owner of two Defenders: one in the Middle East, and one in Calgary.

11/ 08/ 2014

I fell in love with Bali, Indonesia 20 years ago, and still return at least once a year.  My favourite thing to do is wind through the dramatic palm-lined rice paddys on my motorbike. Today I got a bit lost on the lava fields of Mount Batur, and found this road leading up the volcano.  Where is my Defender now?

11/ 01/ 2014

This mighty little truck stands about 18" high, and is fitted with a tin steering wheel and high-gloss wooden seats.  Like it's grown up version, it won't ever rust - the panels are all wood too!

10/ 28/ 2014

I am spending some time in remote Batanes, Philippines, just off the west coast of Taiwan. It looks much more like the U.K. than Asia, and has a landscape that exudes Defender territory.  Too bad it is so difficult to ship a vehicle here!

10/ 16/ 2014

Snooping through some old photos at my aunt's home in Northampton, I came across this photo of her with her Series 1 Land Rover!  See?  It runs in the family!  The body on this first edition was made entirely out of surplus aircraft aluminium left from WWII.

10/ 11/ 2014

I will be trading this comfortable cabin for an airline seat for a while… Off to the U.K. again to see some more Defenders.  No Thanksgiving turkey there!

09/ 24/ 2014

I met up with The Commander (and its proud owner) for a hike today near Banff.  Tourists were as interested in photographing the vehicle as they were the scenery!  I wish my good friend safe passage as he makes his way to some of the highest peaks in the Middle East next week.

09/ 18/ 2014

I think The Beach Bronze looks smashing next to this 25 foot high mechanical octopus that shoots flames 60 feet into the air!

08/ 31/ 2014

Second day of play, and much excitement ensues!

08/ 30/ 2014

My team is looking sharp in their "John Grattan Holt" shirts, and they are playing extremely well. Off for another chukker!

08/ 30/ 2014

The Brooks Brothers Polo Team was eager to pose in front of my "Classic Champagne" Defender, and they put forward a great game.  Perfect weather for polo!

08/ 30/ 2014

Join me and my Defenders at the Bill Leslie Memorial Tournament this weekend at the Black Diamond Polo Club.  Specatators get in free, and be sure you are cheering for my "John Grattan Holt" team!  See http://www.blackdiamondpolo.com for details.

08/ 21/ 2014

It takes just the right photographer at just the right angle to make this puddle look  like a lake!

08/ 15/ 2014

Nothing but pure, old-fashioned beauty...

08/ 08/ 2014

The Inglewood Night Market is tonight - full of live music, food, fun and excitement.  I will have some vehicles at Crown Surplus, and hope to see you there!

08/ 03/ 2014

Great crowds at the festival yesterday, and many came to see the Defenders.  I am leaving my vehicles at Crown Surplus Stores (1005 - 11th  Street S.E.) for today also.  Thanks for all the great comments!!!

08/ 02/ 2014

If you happen to be at Sunfest or the Fringe Festival in Inglewood today, stop by Crown Surplus Stores (1005 - 11th  Street S.E.) to see four of my Defenders on display.

07/ 24/ 2014

Just received word that "The Java 90" and "The Knightsbridge" will arrive in Calgary next week.  There has already been a lot of activity on "The Java 90" as it is my first Defender 90.  It's a hot little rocket too!

07/ 20/ 2014

Got 15 fishing buddies?  This Defender 147 will do the trick!

07/ 14/ 2014

I did the "Land Rover Experience" today in Solihull, U.K.  What an incredible experience!  The course included lots of extremely steep climbs, wading, slippery slopes, and fantastic catering.  I highly recommend this for anyone spending any time in England.

07/ 14/ 2014

Mighty Princely in this Series I, what!!

07/ 13/ 2014

I am back at our rebuilding facility in the U.K. and I happened upon this old electrics panel - exactly the same as my father's 1967 Series IIA. The old-style script and the coloured lights in the speedometer brought back vivid memories of my early childhood.

07/ 04/ 2014

Nothing is more stately for the Calgary Stampede than The Huntsman's Pride!  See if you can spot it on a roof-top in the Inglewood community of Calgary.

06 / 14 / 2014

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

06 / 09 / 2014

The Beach Bronze at its best!

05 / 26 / 2014

Introducing "The Knightsbridge".  Photos don't do the dark gold colour any justice, but it is an eye-catcher in any circumstance.  It drives particularly smoothly, and I can hardly wait for it to land on Canadian soil.

05 / 26 / 2014

Absolutely raining buckets in Solihull, U.K. today - certainly not a great day to photograph "The Java 90" and "The Knightsbridge".  Lots of fun splashing through puddles, though, as I am test driving them both.  The windscreen wipers work well!!!

05 / 25 / 2014

The 3.5 V8 on "The Java 90"!  With the Webber carburetor and the performance exhaust, it will scare away the bears as you make you way up the mountain cut-line.

 

05 / 18 / 2014

My first 90!  This is a quick snapshot of my newly-completed 3.5 V8 petrol 90" soft top.    This is a hot little rocket, complete with a sports package interior, and is built to perform and impress.  I am off to the U.K. in a few days to test drive it, and will bring back better photos.  More details will be posted in the "Showroom" by mid next week.

 

05 / 03 / 2014

When will the snow end?  The Beach Bronze as seen this morning...

 

04 / 28 / 2014

I found some old negatives in the basement over the weekend, and discovered this photo of my father in his brand new 1953 Jaguar XK120.  His next brand new British vehicle would be a 1967 Series IIA 109 Land Rover!

 

04 / 15 / 2014

The Beach Bronze was sold to a Calgary client, and he took this photo of the Defender in its new home.  What a majestic beauty!  Look for it around town this summer!

 

03 / 23 / 2014

"The Huntsman's Pride" overlooks the last of winter in Calgary - I hope!

   

03 / 19 / 2014

A quick visit to Vancouver to take The Dark Knight to Granville Island.

   

03 / 17 / 2014

Feel free to test drive my 1984 "Limestone Original", but - *WARNING* - the first bump is a bit rough!

   

03 / 07 / 2014

I am completely convinced that we have had the last of winter, and spring is here.  Look at this impressive line-up sunning themselves today!

03 / 05 / 2014

The train has pulled into the station!  "The Gentleman's Bronze" and "The Huntman's Pride" will alight later today.  The first pic is easy, but can you spot "The Huntman's Pride" in the second photo?

02 / 10 / 2014

There seems to be a global resurgence of interest in Land Rover Defenders.  I spotted this rugged beauty on Hua Hin Beach, just a few hours southwest of Bangkok.  Imagine this roaring through the surf at sunset!    

     

02 / 04 / 2014 

Defenders and I have a lot in common - we are always on the move.   My work takes me all around the world (I filled a extra-large 48 page passport in 4 years!) and I am always on the look out for Defenders.  (Myanmar is a great place to hunt!)  I really appreciate the time it took to make this image, and salute the person who came up with the idea.

     

01 / 14 / 2014

I snapped these pics in our "bone-yard" in the U.K., where we keep all of our Land Rover bits and pieces.  It didn't dawn on me until just now that I took this photo a couple of days before Halloween!  What a great costume for a Defender 90!!

   

12 / 18 / 2013

A quick stop in Hong Kong… On my first visit here in 1995, I remember seeing so many Defenders, but today I saw none.  I stopped by the dealership on Gloucester Road, and they didn't even have a single one.  There is, however, a very active Land Rover club here, but even in the club the Defender numbers are slim.

12 / 03 / 2013

My family has supported the Grafton Hunt in the U.K. for more than one hundred years.  A special lawn meet was held to honour my aunt's life-long contribution, and I had a Defender made to take to the party.  The "The Huntman's Pride" fits well with the Hunt Masters, and each hound had a very good look as it raced by.

11 / 02 / 2013

Snow is upon us in Calgary, and I am reminded of the arrival of The Dark Knight in the dead of winter.  I was wrought with frustration, as I could not get the engine started.  I found out that British diesel gels at -7C, and cannot travel through the fuel lines.  Luckily, our local deisel is built for these winter freezes.

10 / 22 / 2013

I am in Manila now.  I have spent a lot of time here over the years, and this is the first year I have seen Defenders in the streets.  Even the Philippines is participating in the global resurgence of Land Rover Defenders.  They are particularly popular with the Congressmen!  Check out this "up-side-down" house with the imitation Defender!

10 / 14 / 2013

Quick stop in Tokyo... just enough time to eat some sushi (and drink some sake...maybe...).  I have two more Defenders that will start deconstruction/reconstruction next week, and I have to come up with the colours.  I am flipping through magazines, but nothing exciting yet.  To be honest, this is what I like the best in the process.

10 / 11 / 2013

Black Oak Brown hit the streets of Vancouver yesterday, and was sold within an hour. Thanks to my associate Poul, who spent 15 hours with a U-Haul truck and trailer getting it there.  Our clients were quick to point out that the photos just didn't do it justice.  Look for Black Oak Brown on the Sea to Sky loaded for Whistler!   

10 / 09 / 2013

People often wonder why they are so attracted to the Defender.  I think because it is a gentleman's vehicle.  Subtle clues give this indication.  For example, Defenders didn't have a "cigarette lighter" like all other cars.  Defenders are made with "Cigar Lighters"!         

10 / 05 / 2013

The loading of High Speed Titanium and Beach Bronze happened yesterday in Birmingham, and they will set sail for Canada on Monday.  I am hoping for calm seas!            

10 / 02 / 2013

BEST DEFENDER VIDEO EVER!  Sorry for the all-caps, but this is truly one not to be missed!  I have never seen anything like it - it brings back memories of my childhood-- "Somewhere off a back country road, my father would bring the Land Rover to a full stop, and two things would happen simultaneously: my father would reach for the short, yellow-capped gearshift to put the vehicle into low gear, and my mother would open her door. "I'll just walk from here", she would announce."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9BEqMnYfus               

09 / 27 / 2013

Fall in Calgary is a great background for this Classic Champagne Defeder 110.  Cooler temperatures and slippery roads will be here soon... Anyone want a new 4-wheel drive?

08 / 03 / 2013

Some great new ideas for future Land Rover items from my supplier.  Also, the 110 soft-top is finished (see "Showroom" for a quick snapshot).

08 / 01 / 2013

Quick stop in Hong Kong last night, and I am back in Manila today.  Full of meetings with my suppliers, and some planning sessions for my office furniture.  There is a Land Rover Defender community here, and some are asking for me to open a sales office here.  Hmmm.....

07 / 26 / 2013

The galvanized beams arrived today for the roof of my office (I am putting a Defender on my office roof) and they want to schedule the crane in two weeks raise the vehicle.  It will be a very exciting day, and will give a lot of street exposure.

07 / 23 / 2013

Limestone Original and Rock Star Grey both registered in B.C. - a very long journey!

07 / 21 / 2013

I am in Vancouver visiting Limestone Original and Rock Star Grey.  The hurdles I have jump to get these vehicles registered is too much.  British Columbia is a much different experience than Alberta.  I have had to replace most of the glass (side windows and rear door panel) as the etched manufacturer's label does not appear in the code book of the B.C. inspector. Huge cost, including air freight from the U.K. 

07 / 20 / 2013

I am getting so many requests for Defender 90's!  I want to do a full range of vehicles (90, 110 and 130) in all configurations.  The 110 still seems to be the most popular, though.  I think it is such a classic look.

07 / 11 / 2013

Got word today that the shop is starting on another vehicle - this time a Defender 110 soft top!

07 / 07 / 2013

We put all four Calgary Defenders out in the parking lot, and what a great sight! Lots of onlookers too! So far, nobody has ever said they didn't want one.

07 / 05 / 2013

Calgary Stampede Parade this morning, so customs wasn't busy, but banks were closed. It seems there is always something! Anyway, the vehicles started first crank, and it is nice to add these two to the fleet.

07 / 04 / 2013

Back to Calgary to prepare for the arrival tomorrow of Classic Champagne and Black Oak Brown. More paperwork to fill out for customs.

07 / 02 / 2013

Some small hassles with Customs, but we managed to get them through. Nice folks there, just doing their job. Putting in all the long hours to prep for Canadian importation compliance pays off! We off-loaded them this afternoon, and were quickly stalked by enthusiasts.

07 / 01 / 2013

Happy Canada Day everyone! I am with Poul in Vancouver, and we are about to collect Limestone Original and Rock Star Grey from C.P. Rail. Looks like we have a buyer for Rock Star Grey. The vintage look of Limestone Original will make a splash in this town.

06 / 27 / 2013

Rail line re-opened, but the main line CP Rail bridge failed today in Calgary. More delays. No problem, as there is lots of work to take care of in Calgary right now. Volunteer spirit is amazing in this city!

06 / 26 / 2013

Poul has spent two days volunteering in the Mission district to help clean out houses. The whole city has rallied, and volunteers are coming out en masse to assist. Businesses are kicking in lots of free cleaning supplies, building supplies, food, clothing, etc., and local restaurants and food trucks are supplying volunteers with food and drink. It is a very humbling time, and there is a lot of emotion here. Calgarian's are shining with their commitment and generosity to each other and the immediate cause.

06 / 24 / 2013

The inner city of Calgary is a disaster. This will take weeks or months to clean up. The Canadian Pacific rail line has been washed out near Canmore. No trains are running. This will be a delay for the Land Rovers, but there are many more issues now. Wow, really bad!

06 / 21 / 2013

Sadness all around the city. This will change Calgary forever. Lots of homes and businesses are gone, and there is concern about some of the bridges giving way. It is like a ghost town here. The entire city center has been evacuated. The water will not relent.

06 / 20 / 2013

Everything changed in Calgary tonight. Massive flooding has taken over the city center. I am safe for now, but the water is still rising. I am only three blocks from the Bow River, and it has yet to crest. I should have installed snorkels on the Defenders!

06 / 16 / 2013

Poul Bay (Vancouver Sales Associate) is back in Calgary. We are getting prepared for the new vehicles. Very exciting!

06 / 12 / 2013

Got word today that four more Land Rovers hit Canadian soil today! They are in Montreal, and will be in Calgary and Vancouver soon.

06 / 05 / 2013

Back to Calgary, and back on board The Bronze Beast. It is fun to test-drive these vehicles in the U.K., but it is a much different story driving them here. They just feel so exotic! I was eager today to see the progress on the badges we will put on the back of the vehicle to brand them. F&D Scene Changes is working hard on them, and they will be beautiful. We just need to find a sand caster...

06 / 03 / 2013

Off in High Speed Titanium to Oxford to see Ronnie Martin, my father's old friend, who was the first to go around the world (6 continents) in a vehicle - his 1958 Series II Land Rover. What a wonderful man! We had a great fish-and-chip lunch in the pub, and talked a lot about the times he spent with my dad, and also about his 57,000 mile journey. You can hear about it his fascinating journey here.

05 / 30 / 2013

Had a beautiful drive in High Speed Titanium through the hedgerows and mustard fields of the midlands, and what a beautiful day! Everywhere is picture perfect, and I did take lots of photos.

05 / 29 / 2013

At the workshop early today for some test driving, then we loaded Limestone Original and Rock Star Grey on a container bound for Vancouver, and we loaded Vintage Champagne and Black Oak Brown for Calgary. Exciting to be there for the loading, though it was raining and freezing cold. Manila at 40C to Solihull at 5C isn't fun!

05 / 24 / 2013

Went to Pampanga, north of Manila to the factory that is making my accoutrement for the Land Rovers - map cases, wallets, and larger items (they will be a surprise). It turns out the owner of the factory is a true Land Rover fanatic! He even has a mint Series I, and has owned almost every Land Rover ever made! Land Rover actually approached him in 2007 to do Land Rover branded products to reach out to a larger retail market, and all the prototypes were made. But suddenly Land Rover sold to Tata, and the project was cancelled. What are the chances that I find the same company to do my "swag" and it is the exact same company Land Rover found??? Small world!!!

05 / 17 / 2013

Touring around Bali with my GoPro. Great small trails on my motorbike. Lots of "VW Things" here, fully restored. Only saw one Defender so far. Looking forward to seeing and driving Rock Star Grey, High Speed Titanium, and Black Oak Brown next in two weeks! Time to pick some new colours... and maybe a new style?

05 / 14 / 2013

Back in Manila, and I saw the finished swag I had made. The look great, and will fit in so well with the whole Land Rover feel. I will go see the factory next week and also start to plan my office furniture. This is real "adventure" style stuff, like safari meets the old style Lois Vuitton!

05 / 13 / 2013

Got word today High Speed Titanium vehicle is finished. Chris says it is the nicest colour yet! Can't wait to test drive it in the U.K. in 2.5 weeks! In Manila now, and had a chance yesterday to see my custom-made 'swag' items. They will be finished by next week.

05 / 09 / 2013

Confirmed plans with bricklayer to put a window in my office - yay!!! Everybody wants a window in their office!

05 / 02 / 2013

Met with an engineer to go over structural drawings for craning and supporting a Defender on the roof of my office building.

04 / 10 / 2013

Took some shots around the workshop, and had a chance to get to know some of the staff and workers. Great people! Antony, on the paint booth, is so passionate and gifted. Incredible work. Chris explained the engine leak (click here) and also how the "four-wheel drive" really works (click here). Another pub dinner tonight...

04 / 09 / 2013

More photos and some cool video. This is much more complex than I had imagined - lots of time to set up each shot. Still super happy with all the photos, and will have a better idea of video when we look at it tonight. We did about 30 passes of the Selfridge's building in downtown Birmingham, trying to get a great shot. It took several hours, but we got it!

04 / 08 / 2013

Shooting in the freezing cold. Very happy with the photos. Sean is exactly the right guy. A few stops for food and drink at the pubs...

04 / 07 / 2013

Location scouting around Birmingham and the midlands. So many choices! We are watching Black Oak Brown being built. Great to see the new paint booth operational. 14 liters of paint on Black Oak Brown, not including the undercoats and the 4 clear-coats! Really amazing.

04 / 05 / 2013

Poul Bay and I joined with Sean Dennie (amazing photographer friend from Calgary) for a photography/videography trip to the U.K. workshop. Sean is shooting great pics of the builds.

03 / 27 / 2013

Limestone Original is finished, and the photos reveal it is a stunning classic. It will be ready for test driving next time I am in the U.K. Great job!

03 / 18 / 2013

Meet with Poul Bay in Vancouver. We have been friend since we were 4 years old! Poul will handle Vancouver sales. Exciting!

03 / 04 / 2013

Bronze Beast and The Dark Knight arrival into freezing cold Calgary. Suddenly this all seems very real...

03 / 03 / 2013

Lunch with Bruce Sellery - he wrote the book "Moolala" that was a huge impetus for starting this Land Rover journey. Check his book out - it is a book on money, but not "how to get rich" - more on relationships with money. He is always asking the question "What is your money for"? I originally answered "for safety and security", but I realized after reading the book, I needed to change my answer. That is when I came up with the answer "Adventure", and that directly allowed me to make easier decisions about getting into a Defender, and, ultimately, getting into the business. After all, this whole thing really is one giant adventure!!!

02 / 10 / 2013

Bangkok again, and another look at the Titanium color. It is a real must. Trying to find a good red (not Ferrari, a little less orange). Still looking...

02 / 06 / 2013

Saw two Defenders in Manila today - have never seen any before, and two in one day??? What's happening??

01 / 19 / 2013

Saw Classic Champagne in the workshop this morning, and it looked okay. When we got back this afternoon it was parked in the lot, and we gasped for air. It is a real stunner - by far the best colour so far. We couldn't really see the color when we were so close up this morning, but WOW, it is beautiful.

01 / 18 / 2013

In U.K. with my sister. Worst snowstorm in many years, all schools, etc. shut down. We are safe in the The Dark Knight! Having the time of our lives on small country roads. Supplemental heater not installed yet, but seat heaters are keeping us warm between pub breaks. First time I tried low 4-wheel drive - it is like the vehicle suddenly grew tank tracks! Incredible. Lots of jealous onlookers, as their cars are in the ditch. Taking lots of photos. Way too much fun!

12 / 28 / 2012

back in Manila to see the samples of the "swag". They look great, and will add to the adventure and style of the business. VERY HAPPY! Should be ready in April/May.

12 / 19 / 2012

Test-driving Bronze Beast again, took it to Manchester to visit friends I met in Thailand in 1994. Feels great on the motorway. Tough driving a left-hand drive car in the left-hand lane. Feels backwards, then backwards again.

12 / 17 / 2012

Back in U.K. at workshop. The Dark Knight is finished, but it is too beautiful to touch. I sometimes feel like I am in a museum here! It doesn't feel like this is real... I think once I have it in Calgary, and am driving down 17th avenue, it will feel real!

11 / 30 / 2012

In Siam Square in Bangkok looking at maroon Rolls Royce in the mall. Amazing, and only $1million. Found a titanium color that is a must. Beautiful cars here.

11 / 02 / 2012

Singapore. Just found the most amazing car color - it literally turned from dark brown to black before my eyes! I have to find out what it is? Need to make a Defender in this colour!

10 / 20 / 2012

Now in Manila designing "swag" for my company, and also checking out custom office furniture. I found an amazing furniture manufacturer that speaks, strides and smells adventure. Why don't I make the most unusual office space in the world???

09 / 13 / 2012

Test Driving Bronze Beast in the U.K. My great friend Paul Hastings (Edmonton) is with me. This thing performs beautifully! It seems so unreal - after all these years wanting one, I am finally driving it. Paul loves it...Stunning!

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