December 2004

A Sales Brochure from 1953 for the 86” Series 1 Land Rover. Note the last spec, “Car Like Comfort”

ESTON GATES AND TRAIL  27/28 November    Results

The gates event was well supported with 29 Vehicles and 17 of them taking part in the challenge.





Jan Viljoen

Series 111S Diesel



Keith De Klerk

Range Rover V8



George Goswell

Series 111S



Mark Ellis

Defender 110



Alfie Shilton

Range Rover V8



Dave King

Disco Tdi



Richard Cullen

Series 111



Simon Konyn

Defender 90



Mike Grant

Defender 110



Adrian Moore

Defender 130



Don Erwin

Defender 110



Jimmy Oates

Defender 110



Ryan Goswell

Series 111 S



Rob de Robillard

Defender 110



Lyn Johnson

Defender 110



Fred Johnson

Defender 110




Defender 110 TD5




Michael and Roslyn Howlett                Westville                     Defender 110 TD5 HT

Remember it’s your club and you will get out of it what you want to. You have purchased THE BEST 4 x 4 x FAR and now its time to use it. See you at the next club event.

Club Dates For Your Diary

When What, where More Info.
26-31 Dec Lesotho

Give George a call if interested in exploring the South West area of Lesotho.

20-22 Jan 2005 Duzi Canoe Marathon

Spend 3 days in the Umgeni Valley helping out with marshalling. More fun than work. Give Henry a call for more info.    Cell : 0829220370

30 Jan 3 Water Falls, Shongweni

Back of Shongweni. A 4x4 trip to three water falls in the area. Meet at 09h00 at the Shongweni turn off after the tollgate. Dirt road to the 1st waterfall, dirt, tar, dirt to the 2nd and low range to the 3rd. Call George for more info.

19-20 Feb 2005 LROC KZN 16th AGM Eston Farmers Club

The 16th AGM of the LROC KZN will be held out at Eston. Come for the day or camp over BUT you need to be at the AGM. Saturday am will be a Gates Event in the quarry above the club, with the AGM taking place at 15h00 followed by a braai and social in the Club House afterwards. Sunday will be a trail ride through the farms in the area. The trail will not be the same one that we ran on the weekend of the 28 November. More info to follow.











3 Water Falls, Shongweni Sunday 30 January 2005               


Take the N3 from Durban and the Shongweni turn off after the Mariannhill Toll. Turn left at the top and we will meet at 09h00 on the right. Bring along a picnic lunch.

The bottom of the 1st Waterfall is reached along dirt roads. Good for Freelander and all the rest.

 Waterfall 2 is viewed from the top and is reached with a tar section and then a dirt road. Good for Freelander and all the rest.

Waterfall 3 is the smallest and reached from the bottom along a trail next to the river, crossing it in a few places. Not suited for Freelanders. with their limited ground clearance and lack of low range. The rest of the vehicles should have no problems. Call George for more info.

Eston Club Trail 28 November 2004.

The lunch stop on the trail was at a small-tented campsite in the valley. The camp is available to be booked out for up to 8 people staying in the 4 Raised Tents with a further 8 people camping, total 16 people. The camp has all you will require except your bedding and food. At R50.00 per head with a minimum charge of R250.00 per night it is excellent value. Give Graham or Harold Stainbank a call at 031-7811228 for more info or to book an excellent quiet weekend amongst the birds and game.


 Well the 2004 Christmas Weekend at Eston has come and gone and I’m not sure that the very good attendance (some 50 numbers) was due so to the popularity of the event and the beauty of the area in which the venue is situated than to the Chairman’s threats of dire retribution should anyone say they were coming and then not pitch up.  Be it, which -ever the Do was well attended and it was heartening to see so many members displaying all the sign of enjoying themselves.

I’ve always been a firm believer in Natal’s camping season starting on the 1st April and ending on the 31st August each year and the weather this weekend at Eston did little to prove me wrong because it rained on Friday night and Saturday night.

But I’m getting ahead of myself because the Eston Weekend for Jean and me started a good five weeks prior when Corobrick in their wisdom unloaded 20 palletts of flag stones onto our verge instead of the required 10.  They stood in the rain for nearly six weeks (till our paving job was complete) and the palletts did not take kindly to the wet at all.

To cut a long story short Corobrick finally chose the Eston Weekend Saturday to uplift the excess palletts of stones paving their 10- meter truck across our driveway gate before we realised that we were now prevented from getting out.  They proceeded to lift the first pallet up and when this load was a good 10 feet up, the rain-softened pallet broke, spewing flag stones all over our driveway and onto the other flagstones below.  It was only 4 hours later that we were able to get our Landy out of our gate and by that time I was highly agitated.  So by the time we arrived at the Farmers Club the gates event was just about over so we proceeded to pitch our tent before the rain started.

The Clubhouse boasted a TV so we all congregated there and it was nice to see the Springboks win for a change.  The rain let up about 8pm and the braai fires were hastily lit and the evening followed the usual pattern garnished with rice food, nice drinks, nice conversation with a hell of a nice bunch of people until quite late.

Dawn comes early in Natal at this time of the year and I was up at daybreak to face a beautiful morning and what promised to be a hot day.

We all had a good breakfast in the Farmers Club and by 9am we were in convoy on route to the trail through the Hope Valley.

As usual our Chairman took huge delight in scaring me with horror stories of just how slippery and rocky the trial was and telling me that I was sure to get to use my brand new High lift Jack many times.  I did not count how many Landies were in the convoy but it was surely no less than 15 so I was quite sure that there would be plenty of help should I get stuck.

As it turned out the trail had dried out nicely and it was just damp enough to keep the dust to a minimum.

The trail followed the river through the Valley crossing many times from one bank to the other with the water level high enough in a couple of spots to come into our Landy.  It seemed that the number of vehicles on the convoy caused the river crossings to become ore difficult as each Landy crossed as the drivers at the rear of convoy got stuck many times while those of us up at the front did not experience much difficulty at all.

In some places the camber of the track caused the Landies to slide sideways an in one place Fred had to rely on the dense bush growing on the side of the track to prevent his Landy from going over completely.

After many stops to ensure that the entire convoy was accounted for we finally reached the campsite at about 2pm and a quick braai fire was lit and we out spanned for lunch.  Unfortunately the sky began again to threaten rain and as soon as the meal was over the people felt it prudent to pack up and head home.

Jean and I always enjoy our outings with the “Landy Mob” and as usual I was sorry it had to come to an end – rain Nogal!

 SERIES 1 DIESEL – The forgotten Land Rover.


In the early 1950 a few companies offered Diesel conversions to the Series 1 vehicles, namely Perkins and Turner Engineering in the UK. The Rover Company recognized that there was a demand for a Diesel Land Rover and started a program in 1954 to fit a Diesel engine to the 86” series 1. A few engines where looked at and the best fit looked like the Standard 2.1lit tractor engine. Rover was at the time looking to merge with the Standard Company. The deal never went through and Maurice Wilks of Rover decided that they would design their own. Chief Engineer Jack Swaine was tasked with the design.

The design he came up with formed the basis of the future petrol and diesel engines. It employed the latest thinking, with overhead valves operated by pushrods from a chain-driven camshaft on the right of the cylinder block. The four cylinders had wet liners, which would simplify overhaul when the bores started to wear, and the main difference between petrol and diesel version of the engine would be in the cylinder head design.


The diesel cylinder head incorporated pre-combustion chambers, which introduced a degree of turbulence to the mixture to improve combustion. This type of indirect injection was then standard on all small diesel engines, the alternative direct-injection being rougher and noisier and normally confined to larger engines such as those for trucks and buses. Combustion chamber design used patents taken out by diesel specialists Ricardo Engineering, and a CAV mechanical injection pump delivered the fuel through Pintaux type injectors.


The 1st prototype of the diesel engine was running towards the end of 1955. It was a 2052cc engine and developed around 52bhp (38.7 kw) at 4000 rpm. This gave the diesel engine the same power output at the same speed as the Rover petrol engine. However torque was less than the petrol engine, at 87lb.ft (2000 rpm) against the 101 lb.ft (1500 rpm) of the petrol engine.


Prototype diesel engines were on the road by the beginning of 1956 fitted to at least one 86” chassis. It was at this time that the Rover board approved a budget for new tooling to move the front axle on the 86” and 107” two inches forward. It is thought that the tight fit of the diesel into the 86” might have played a part in this decision.


The next phase saw the construction of five 88” and one 109” production prototypes being built in 1956.


Production started in 1957 with x298 Series 1 88” models and x153 Series 1 109” models being built for the UK market. The diesel models were only sold into the UK market in 1957 to allow Land Rover to keep a close eye on their performance. This turned out to be a wise move as the Diesel did give trouble. Cracked cylinder heads were a major source of the problems as most owners had failed to recognise the importance of keeping coolant levels correct. Another problem experienced by the owners was the noise of the diesel installed in “ a metal box, which acts as a sounding box”. The diesel had been tested on the workbench and found to operate no noisier than any other motor of the same size. Little thought was given to the engine noise once fitted into the vehicle. Another problem was hard engine mountings, which tend to accentuate the vibration and noise, particularly whilst idling.


1958 saw a total of x2055 Series 1 88” and x946 Series 1 109” models being made with a portion of then going into the export market.


A total of only x3001 production Series 1 Diesel Land Rovers were made. Production was stopped during 1958 as the Series 1 was replaced by the Series 11 and the 2.25 engine.


Where are they ? Most of the original 2lit diesel engines have through the years being replaced by the later 2.25 and 2.5 diesel engines. Very few of the original 2lit diesel still exist and with only 3001 production models having been made, owning an original  2052cc Diesel Series 1 will be very rare.

 XMAS XAPER  -  MNYAMENI MULLET HUNT              By:  Peter Bassett   (reprint of an old article)

The great thing about mullet hunting is that there are no rules.  Though competition is keen, it fosters a sense of camaraderie and ingenuity is applauded.  At least that is the way it used to be.

But the 1991 Mnyameni Midnight Mullet Hunt was in many respects different.  It is traditionally a one of all-or-nothing world championship event with no prelims, nor heats.  You simply imbibe liberally (for its is a proven fact that mullet are attracted by beery breath), wait till the hour is late, choose your craft, appoint your skipper, light your gas lamp and set sail.  No time limits apply – you simply return when you’ve caught enough or had enough.

And these were the established traditions, which prevailed when the 1991 Mnyameni Mullet Hunt was launched.  There were to be only two teams – a fear of cold and wet, smelly lagoons at night having acted as a form of natural selection, which precluded some of the world’s greatest armchair hunters.

In the interests of discretion and to avoid embarrassment for the woeful performance of some of the participants in the 1991 event, strict anonymity must be preserved.  All names mentioned in the course of this narrative are purely fictitious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely co-incidental.

The whistle went and the boats sped off.  Rob Humphries and his callow crew (Angus Gaulbreath, Brian Yates, Rob Simons and Adrian More) set sail immediately for the deep waters as if in search of Moby Dick rather than mullet.  The canny Mr Cullan with his crew (the brothers Hale, Howard Abraham and Peter Basset) nipped along next to the reed beds along the bank where (a) the mullet hide and (b) the deeper water is found.

And it wasn’t long before the merits and demerits of the respective choices were apparent.  Wails of anguish and some heated exchanges indicated the Humphries boat had run aground on a sandbank while threshing in the scuppers of Cullan’s boat testified to some early successes.  However, it soon became clear that the lagoon was not to yield as rich a harvest as previous years.  The buggers just weren’t jumping over the gunwhales as they are supposed to.

So mindful of the well-known Yiddish proverb that “if the mullet won’t come to the boat, take the boat to mullet”, Cullen headed for the shallows upstream where the fish are smaller but more plentiful and can be more easily netted (if one has the necessary skill with a cast net, that is).  And Alan Cullan is just such a bloke.  A few deft throws and the bottom of the boat was awash with flapping slivers of silver, including a good-sized bream.

All too soon, it seemed, the allotted hour was up and the boats returned to shore.  Mud up to the thighs of most of the Humphries crew suggested how they had spent most of their time.  By some fluke, though, they had actually managed to boat a solitary fish.  But it was far from enough.  Cullen’s rich haul carried the day.  And so it was that the 1991 championships should have been decided.  But no!  “Undersize!”, they shouted.  “Unfair”, they protested.

So, with the grace of true champions, Cullan and his boys agreed to extend the competition for a further half hour.  This time a minimum size was to be imposed.  That put paid to cast netting in the shallows.  Both boats accordingly sped off to deeper water and Cullan’s boat was quickly into a shoal. Big buggers.  The fish whizzed like bullets about our ears.  But so athletic were the fish that not one dropped into the boat.  Sad to report, then, that the half hour gone the gallant Cullan boys had failed to record a single fish.  Humphries boat had again managed to collect a lone fish.  That made the score:  Cullan 146 and Humphries 2.  “Fair enough”, we thought.  “We’re still the champs”.  “Oh, no”, they said.  “That was a separate competition!  It’s one all!”

The next night was to be the decider, then.  One hour’s fishing.  Only the legal sized fish to count.  Fish must be alive (to prevent illicit fish being smuggled aboard before the competition started).  No cast netting.  The restrictions, it seemed, were endless.  Splashing, cursing, singing, head-butting and keelhauling – in fact everything that makes mulleting such a nautical adventure – was forbidden.

Having outlawed virtually all our strengths, the pretenders to the Mullet Kings throne thought they had us.  They even changed their boat.  Instead of Humphries high-sided boat, they opted for Angus’s ship with lower gunwhales to allow the fish easier access.  Slimy toads!  Excitement was high as the two craft raced to their favourite waters and the fish were jumping like billyo that night!  As we bore down on a shoal, fish leaped every which way, except into the boat.  Right, let’s devise a plan.  So out came the cast-net and this was held up in the air like a sail running down the centre line of the boat.  And it worked a treat.  The fish that would have jumped clean over the boat, hit the net and fell into the boat.  Devilishly clever.  By Jimminey, we caught some beautiful fish that night.  I mean, BIG ones!  What fun we had.

Let us say nothing of protest from our competitors.  let us forget the mean and hurtful accusations they made. Let us not even mention that they again caught only one measly fish.  Let us reflect rather on the ingenuity of those that are truly great for as Neanderthal man invented Fire, and Maurice and Spencer Wilks, the Land Rover, so Alan Cullan and his fine lads invented and refined the art of true mulleting.

And let us take courage for the 1992 championship is but a few months hence.  But for now, the Mullet Kings rule, Okay?

Last Modified : 07/02/2006 13:48