fbpx
Banner image of Enda McKenna's Land Rover Series III

Customer stories pt. 5: A Landy named Beryl

Name: Enda McKenna

The classic: Land Rover Series III

‘We spent the day in the Land Rover and travelled from Thirsk to Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire, near the White Horse of Kilburn. The view stretched out for miles. I can remember going up that hill with him in the Land Rover, two dogs in the back and almost a mile of traffic behind us because we could only manage 25 mph! It was a beautiful day without any pressure or time limits; our only task was to enjoy ourselves, get some food, go for a walk and drive along slowly in my old Land Rover.’

Blue Land Rover Series III
Enda in front of his beautiful Landy

Enda had wanted a Land Rover Series III since his 20s, having first used one when doing voluntary work in Nigeria. He finally caved on his 50th birthday and bought himself one as a much-deserved present. ‘I’d been looking around for quite a while,’ he tells us. ‘Eventually I found a dealer called near where I live in North Yorkshire, who had this beautiful SIII in with a galvanised chassis. It was a bit rough, to be honest, but it was very solid. I remember going in to see it, thinking ‘this is nice’, and buying it there and then!’

It was a ragtop Landy when Enda first purchased it, although he’s since changed the roof to a hardtop with windows, which he finds far more practical. ‘There was a lot of other work done to it since I first had it’ he says. ‘It’s had a new galvanised bulkhead, the electrics have been rewired throughout and the engine has been rebuilt, so it’s in much better nick than it was.’

Enda has also changed the green colour of his Landy to the beautiful Marine Blue shade: also an original Land Rover colour. ‘When it came to re-spraying it, my wife said there was no point getting it green again,’ he explains. ‘She was certainly right, especially after all the work that had been done to it. The new blue colour suits it far more, especially with the cream top.

Blue Land Rover Series III
The side view of Enda's Landy

A family car

With two bench seats in the back, Enda’s SIII is especially popular with his two daughters. ‘The kids love going with friends in the back of it,’ Enda chuckles, ‘so we take them out with the dogs sometimes. Often, we’ll have three dogs and four kids in the back on the bench seats. Even if we only drive for 10 or 15 miles – you wouldn’t want to do much more than that! – it’s always a fun day out for everyone.’

The Landy is the perfect car when it comes to walking the dogs, too. ‘The extra power certainly helps,’ Enda tells us, ‘and they love jumping in and out of the back of it! I’ve got two working cocker spaniels and a 7-stone Newfoundland/Golden Retriever cross. She’s an enormous dog with a penchant for eating our sofa, so it’s certainly useful having the Landy to take her out of the house!’

Blue Land Rover Series III
The Landy is the perfect car for Enda's three dogs

Enda’s wife isn’t as keen on taking trips in the Landy, as despite its recent renovation, it can still make for a bumpy ride. ‘When we restored it, we took it to Land Rover specialist Sam Greenwood, who installed new shock absorbers. However, it still drives like an old Land Rover,’ Enda explains. ‘It’s definitely far better since he’s done it up, but it’s a clunky thing to drive because the steering is so heavy. There’s no power steering, so you’ve just got a very big steering wheel to give you some leverage. You wouldn’t want to take it down to the south of France – it’d take you about three years – but it’s perfect for our lifestyle here in North Yorkshire.’

Nigeria: where it all began

Enda’s love for his Landy SIII all started with his time in Nigeria at the age of 24, volunteering in a school. ‘I was working at a third-level education college called the School of Health Technology,’ he recalls, ‘and there wasn’t really any transport for the students there. We could only take a few of them out into the bush to look at basic sanitation and stuff like that, so it could be quite difficult for them to experience new things outside of the college. One day, I was at the Ministry of Health and saw three abandoned long-wheelbase Land Rovers standing together. They’d obviously been in an accident; one had a broken axle and another a twisted chassis, so they weren’t in driveable condition by any means.’

Having been brought up within the car trade in Ireland, however, Enda knew that Land Rovers were simple vehicles that could be fixed quite easily. ‘I had some savings, so I paid a mechanic from the British Consulate to scavenge parts: just enough to get one of them in working condition,’ Enda explains. ‘He managed to get one of them up and running, although it was a very basic car. There were no electrics in there, so if I wanted to indicate I had to stick my arm out! But it was a solid car that would do the job we needed it to do. That was where my love for these Land Rovers started.’

With two small bench seats in the back, Enda was able to use his fixed-up Landy to transport around ten students at a time, which made a huge difference to their learning conditions. ‘We started taking them out on field trips around the area,’ Enda tells us. ‘Another volunteer managed a small game reserve nearby, so we’d go out for day trips there and teach them how to build latrines and things like that. All the students were city kids, so they wouldn’t necessarily have known a lot of it. We’d also use the Landy to transport them around hospitals and whatnot. When I left Nigeria, I gave the Land Rover to the caretaker Alex, and as far as I’m aware it’s still there and tootling about!

‘The thing about Land Rovers is that they can last for such a long time. There are so many of them, too, so you can get the parts to keep them ticking over for ages. I think that’s why people like them so much; there’s something very basic and simple about a Landy, so there isn’t much that can go wrong.’

Enda found himself in a couple of tricky situations with the old Landy, too. ‘Because the electrics didn’t work, I could never tell how much fuel I had in the tank,’ he laughs. ‘I broke down twice in front of the military base in Kaduna. The first time it happened, I was surrounded by about twenty soldiers in no time at all; they were all eager to help out and put some petrol in the tank for me to send me on my way. The funny thing was, it happened again about three months later in exactly the same spot! I think it was the same guy who sorted it out for me. He told me I had to start carrying a can of petrol in the back after that!’

Enda holding a drawing of his Landy by classic car artist Ian Cook
Enda holding a drawing of his Landy by classic car artist Ian Cook

Enda’s favourite Landy memory

When we ask Enda about his favourite memory in the Land Rover he owns today, it’s a tough decision. ‘I think one of my favourite memories was reuniting with an old school friend from Dublin,’ he tells us. ‘I hadn’t seen him for 25 years, and sadly I’d just been diagnosed with cancer. Although I’m in a much better place now, the initial diagnosis wasn’t very good, so when he heard about it, he came over from Dublin to see me.

‘We spent the day in the Land Rover and travelled from Thirsk to Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire, near the White Horse of Kilburn. The view stretched out for miles. I can remember going up that hill with him in the Land Rover, two dogs in the back and almost a mile of traffic behind us because we could only manage 25 mph! It was a beautiful day without any pressure or time limits; our only task was to enjoy ourselves, get some food, go for a walk and drive along slowly in my old Land Rover.’

Would you like the chance to be part of our Customer Stories project?

If you’re a Heritage Car Insurance customer and you’d like your classic drawn on one of our live drawing sessions, please send a maximum of 150 words about what your classic means to you and at least 2 images to marketing@heritagecarinsurance.co.uk

Like Enda, we’ll send the original drawing to you for free, as well as a printed T-shirt and mug. It’s a wonderful project to be a part of, so if you’re interested simply get in touch!

Land Rover Series III drawn by classic car artist Ian Cook
Enda's Land Rover drawn by classic car artist Ian Cook @POPBANGCOLOUR

You can also submit your classic to our project by filling in the contact form below: