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Record-breaking Land Rover diesel set for new Legends show

Published 23 April 2018

A record-breaking diesel Range Rover will be on show at this year’s Land Rover Legends event. The Beaver Bullet, which was built to combat the negative press reaction to an oil-burning Rangey, was the first diesel-powered car to maintain an average speed of 100mph for 24 hours.

It broke all diesel speed records for a 4x4, and over three days in August in 1986 at the MIRA test track, two diesel Range Rovers took a total of 27 sprint and endurance records. This is the endurance vehicle and, to spec it for the record attempts, it recieved a few modifications.

Two racing-type fuel fillers were installed on the lower tailgate as well as a full internal rollcage. Passenger and rear seats were removed to keep weight down, while pro-spec radio communications were installed along with a quick-release bonnet catch.

The diesel Range Rover went on to achieve huge sales success in continental European countries that were pro-diesel and subject to punitive tax regimes on vehicles with engines greater than 2.5 litres, although it was never a big seller in the UK.

The Victorious Drivers . L-R Mike Smith , John Faulkner , Colin Parkes , Jon Ward , John Woodward , And Pip Archer

The victorious drivers. From left to right: Mike Smith, John Faulkner, Colin Parkes, Jon Ward, John Woodward, and Pip Archer

In 1989, the 2.4-litre was replaced with the larger 2.5. The same year, 75% of all 4x4s sold featured diesel powertrains. This in turn led to more investment in diesel engineering and the subsequent exponential improvements in refinement and performance still enjoyed by the majority of SUV owners today.

The Beaver Bullet is among the most significant Range Rovers ever built - but it’s also testament to the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment of the team of volunteers who secured the records and put the new turbo diesel on the map.  

Tickets for the new event are available now from www.landroverlegends.com.

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