Work in progress: 2007 Defender 110 hardtop

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Tom's 110 'serves' his business well : credit: © Tom Waters
Tom Waters, from North Yorkshire, tells us about his commercial project...

How long have you owned your Defender? Around nine months.

What made you want to buy this particular Land Rover? I was looking for a white 110 with lowish mileage. I came across this one in Sheffield that fitted the bill, so went down to see it and did a deal.

What’s the story so far? It was originally a hard top but the chap had planned to turn it into a camper with a demountable body, so had transformed it into a truck cab. Luckily, he still had the original hard top that he had removed, which was like new. We wanted to build a unique mobile bar and having previously converted a 2002 110 Defender into one, we knew what we wanted from the vehicle. Like all Land Rovers, though, there were a few surprises along the way.

The original 110 truck cab as purchased

What has the biggest challenge been? It may sound daft but adding our massive awning to a ‘traditional’ Land Rover tubed roof rack. We have a large wooden bar that wraps around the side of the Land Rover, and it all needs to be covered by the awning. There’s a lot to think about regarding packaging as well, but the experience of having done one already has definitely helped.

Any other areas that needed a lot of attention? The base Defender that we bought for the project has had a hard life by the looks of things, so we will just work our way through the list before getting stuck into the conversion. Because it will be used for weddings, parties and other events like that, it needs to be 100 per cent reliable at all times. A challenge for a Land Rover, I know.

How long has it taken? We have only had the vehicle a matter of months, but we had to get a move on as I had promised it would be finished for a wedding booking at the beginning of May.

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Tom eventually got the awning to work

What jobs are next on the list? Next on the list is to sort the ‘cellar’ in the back; chiller unit, beer lines and gas lines, and the dreading drilling into the side to mount and plumb the beer taps. The idea is to be able to dispense seven different products at once, which means draught lager, bitter, cider, wine, cocktails as well as spirits, mixers and soft drinks. It’s a lot to try to cram into the back of a Defender!

What are your plans with it? As I mentioned, we are replicating a Defender 110 mobile bar we already have, which gives a bit of a head start as we already have a loose template for this one, minus some tweaks we want to make along the way. We’ll have it done and ready so this 110 will be providing a bar service across the country from this summer [2023].

Who has helped with the project? We have had assistance from our local brewery, Three Brothers. Also, a fellow Land Rover enthusiast friend who luckily has a lot of mechanical qualifications, so he has been very helpful – shout out to Matt, I owe you a beer or ten…

Any advice for anyone doing something similar? Go into the project with a level head and be ready for lots of hurdles with a Defender.

How can readers follow what you’re doing next? They can follow us on Instagram, @onetenontap

 

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