Overland Classifieds :: Land Rover Discovery I 300tdi Pop-Top Camper

We’ve featured several impressive Discoverys recently, including a 2000 V8 Overland Rig and a 2001 Discovery II. As a Defender fan, I’d previously overlooked older Discoverys, but after seeing these builds, I became completely obsessed, and now find myself perusing classifieds in search of one.

The Discovery effectively carries forward many of the benefits of the Defender, such as boxy dimensions, excellent all-terrain capability, and of course, the venerable 300tdi motor. But the Discovery also benefits from a more luxurious interior and refined driving experience.

I’m most interested in Series I and II offerings, as they’re more comfortable than the Defender, but are still relatively easy to work on and not as tech heavy as later editions. These older variants certainly have their issues and in many ways, are inferior to the models that followed. However, many of these shortfalls can be addressed with aftermarket modifications. With time, patience, and considerable investment you’ll have a vehicle that’s absolutely dependable, hugely capable, and decidedly more charismatic than its contemporary counterparts.

Today’s Discovery I is my favorite to date, showcasing a full AMC engine rebuild, custom camper interior and pop-top roof, and a long list of innovative modifications. This vehicle is currently located in Cape Town, South Africa, but can be imported to Canada and will be eligible for US import in nine months. Check the original listing linked below for details.

From the Seller:

“I’ve decided to sell my super rare two-door 300tdi Discovery I that I fully kitted out for two-person overland travel. I’m only selling because the opportunity to move to another vehicle has become available, so absolutely no trades. The truck is extensively modified, but kept rather stock engine- wise, as you shouldn’t mod up 300tdis. 4,000 kilometers ago, it had a full AMC engine rebuild, which cost over $13,000. Over $20,000 has been put into it within the past two months on top of the vehicle purchase price.”

Land Rover Discovery I 300tdi

The Discovery I was fitted with the legendary 300tdi motor, which is not the most refined but is a long-lived and dependable daily workhorse.Subsequently, on-road performance is underwhelming, with 0-62 mph taking the best part of twenty seconds and eventually propelling the Discovery to a 91 mph top speed. However, when the tarmac ends, this vehicle upholds Land Rover’s fabled go-anywhere capability thanks to permanent 4WD, center locking differential, and a LT230T transfer case. If you’d like a detailed overview of this model, check out Scott Brady’s Discovery I Build Seriesand Expedition Portal’s Land Rover Discovery Shoot-out.

Distinguishing Features

  • Long range fuel tank
  • Leisure battery, 1000-watt inverter, and 140 watts of solar
  • Custom pop-top camper
  • Water tank, 40-liter
  • Custom front and rear bumpers
  • Wolf steel rims with Maxxis tires
  • Winch, 12,000-pound

This Land Rover Discovery I 300tdi Pop-Top Camper is listed for $20,000 and is currently located in Cape Town, South Africa. Check the full vehicle specifications via the original Expedition Portal forum post here.

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No money in the bank, but gas in the tank. Our resident Bikepacking Editor Jack Mac is an exploration photographer and writer living full-time in his 1986 Vanagon Syncro but spends most days at the garage pondering why he didn’t buy a Land Cruiser Troopy. If he’s not watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he can be found mountaineering for Berghaus, sea kayaking for Prijon, or bikepacking for Surly Bikes. Jack most recently spent two years on various assignments in the Arctic Circle but is now back in the UK preparing for his upcoming expeditions—looking at Land Cruisers. Find him on his website, Instagram, or on Facebook under Bicycle Touring Apocalypse.