Certified #001, the Denver Project, was our first attempt at a completely certified Land Rover restoration. I don’t mean rebuild or “restored”. I mean complete restoration. We ended up creating our build manual off of #001, so it is a uniquely special vehicle to me.
I sourced a body that was corrosion-free out of the New Mexico desert. We had a lot of processes and ideas in our head about how the border of operations on the vehicle should go. We were able to implement some of these ideas and found others were plain backward. The most frustrating and embarrassing part of the build for this vehicle was the brake system. We struggled and struggled and had too much brake pressure and could barely move it around the lot. I had the brake pedal mounted to the wrong hole of the master cylinder. There are two holes! Such a dumb mistake which probably cost me 40 hours of troubleshooting. We all have those moments that make us cringe, but make us better in the long run.
The customer’s vision was to have a classic body style. You know, look like a sleeper on the outside but with performance hidden beneath. So we built the 5.0L engine for ultimate performance. Our client wanted a leather-wrapped dashboard, which was challenging and obviously not done on the regular. The color for the exterior was also a challenge as it was a new model range rover color, Loire Blue, that we had never worked with before. We took on both challenges and succeeded. And the truck is better for them.
But the biggest challenge for this vehicle was building it the way I envisioned it in my head. I probably ended up putting every piece on and off the car at least three times until I got all systems and finishes to where I was happy with them. I don’t know if this is a unique phenomenon or something all builders deal with but as soon as I put one of these vehicles together and I’m “happy” with it and she’s ready to ship to the customer… I’m eager to take the whole thing apart and start over. There are always ways to improve them that you can only see upon completion. Usually, the customer wants their car and for all intents and purposes, it’s good to go and beyond perfect, so I have to deliver the vehicle and move on. Accepting the fact that I can take it apart and try for “better” perfection.
Taylor Congleton, founder and owner of Congleton Service