Friday, December 14, 2007

Land Rover


I have wheels!

(Well, I always had wheels in the form of BABs, my motor home, but now I can actually get around town without having to worry about where to park.)

The Land Rover is finished. It has taken almost four months, but it's done. And, it looks and runs great!

Shane Ballensky, owner and operator of Rover Hybrids in Redding, California, converted a 1994 Land Rover Defender 90 series from a gasoline V8 to a diesel 4 cylinder. Why? So I could run vegetable oil as fuel. Gasoline engines can't run vegetable oil, so we replaced the gas engine with a diesel and created a one-of-a-kind eco-friendly, good-lookin' expedition machine.

Now, some of you familiar with Land Rovers may say, "Hey, wait a minute...".

Yes, it's true... Land Rover did build a lot of diesel Defenders for other countries, but they're hard to find in the States. Also, the Land Rover diesel engines can't compare to the torque, horsepower, and reliability of the Cummins 4bt diesel engine that we put in. It was a lot of work, but well worth the effort.

And, if you're interested in the details, I'll be publishing an article about the conversion sometime in the next couple of months.

In the meantime, Shane will be finishing up the veggie conversion on the motor home, and if all goes well, I'll be back on the road by the first of the year!


Michael said...


Just learned of your project from Shane, a Rover-Geek friend of mine.

Congrats on getting the trucks done. I have done a few 'custom' Rovers also, and know the satisfaction seeing it roll down the road can bring.

Sadly, I won't be to your open house. I would have liked to have met you and seen your fleet. Maybe if you are passing through Utah you can give me a ring.

I'm also working on my own small piece of 'vanishing America'. You can check it out here:

Good luck and drive safe!

Holt Webb said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the note.

I checked out your site. You have some amazing images. And, it's a very cohesive body of work. I usually don't look at every image on a person's website, but yours was an exception. You make the beautiful enchanting and the ugly intriguing. Just the way I hope to. It's a wonderful series. I'll be sure to look you up when I'm in your town.

Have you shown anywhere outside of school?

Brian said...

Congrats on the conversion, now get BABS on the road and roll!

Michael said...

Thanks Holt.

Yes, I have shown parts of this body of work in Idaho, in Salt Lake City, and then was shown in Seoul, South Korea last spring. I'll have a much larger one-man exhibit in Seoul this coming spring, showing probably up to 50-60 prints, some panoramas 10-feet long or so.

Thanks for the comments. It's nice to get some feedback about the work.

Definitely look me up when you pass thru. My dad has a nice new 40x60 shop you could do some work on either vehicle if you needed to in Logan, Utah. We're just putting the tools in it now.

Drive safe and happy shooting!


Stasia said...

So, I went by Shane's place thinking I might finally get to talk to you about your intriguing project and see how your vehicles turned out (hoping that you might be a little more talkative than last time) and I was painfully disappointed to see the BABS-mobile gone. :( Well, I hope things are going well. I can't wait to hear how your grease collecting adventures go. Let me know when you are back in town and need some fuel...or are feeling more talkative. :)

Holt Webb said...

Hey Stasia,

Sorry I missed you. I'm so far behind schedule, that I took off the very moment that Shane gave me the OK. I was actually hoping to come see your setup, but in the rush to get out of Dodge, I completely forgot.

Do you have a website?