That moment when you can check owning a Camel Trophy Land Rover 110 off your bucket list… When the opportunity to own a piece of Land Rover history presented itself to Chris Solis eleven years ago, he jumped on it and hasn’t looked back.
Part adventure machine, part never ending project, Chris takes us through the details of his build and shares the story of how he acquired it.
Cover photo by Barry J Holmes
Name: Chris Solis, Overland Bound Member #7200 and Medical Ambassador
Home Base: SF Bay Area
Occupation: General and Trauma Surgeon, Dad/Husband
What’s the Year/Make/Model/Mileage of your rig?
Year: Mostly 1989. It depends on the part.
Model: Land Rover 110 (wasn’t a Defender yet) Camel Trophy Spec
Mileage: 53,000km/33,000 miles
What is it about Overlanding you enjoy most?
Getting away from people and work and getting into nature. Spending time with my family and friends away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
What’s your favorite destination?
It’s a secret, but anywhere cell service isn’t present and some type of water is.
Longest trip completed/planned?
Annual 10 day trip through the Sierras for the last 8 years.
What influenced your vehicle choice?
I have always loved Land Rovers since I was a child growing up with them. My grandfather was from England and had moved to the States after WW2 and started his own shop. I grew up around British cars and loved the sense of adventure that Land Rovers had about them.
What are 3 things that you *really* like about your rig?
- That it is truly rare.
- The way that I am just happy to be driving it, even with all of it’s “unique personality traits”.
- Driving it is always an adventure and makes me feel like I am on that adventure.
What process did you go through selecting your rig?
While surfing the internet looking for a Land Rover to replace my 1992 Nissan Pathfinder I came across this original Camel Trophy truck for sale. As it was a childhood dream I called the dealership and negotiated a price and two weeks later it was in my driveway.
Tell us one time when your rig saved you, or you were really impressed by it.
Everytime it starts I am impressed.
Have you ever had to make a trail repair?
Hahahaha….EVERY…..DAMN…..TRIP! Not always major things but always something. Take your pick of repairs: the time I lost a trailing arm bolt and used a trailer hitch pin or the time my dampener took out the sway bar drop arm nut which allowed the drop arm to swing free and break the line between the auxiliary tank and the main tank so I was dumping diesel from both tanks in the middle of Death Valley or… well you get the point. The list goes on and on. I am prepared for most issues when it comes to repairs.
What major modifications have you made so far?
Engine swap to a 200Tdi Land Rover engine
Rear axle swap to Salisbury (what was originally on the truck)
Give us your gear and mods run down…
Alu-Cab Gen3 Roof Top Tent, Alu-Cab 270 degree awning, and Quickpitch en-suite privacy shelter.
House battery: Battleborn 100ah lithium battery for the camping stuff
Redarc BCDC that charges the Battleborn
Start batteries: Dual Odyssey 65ah group 34
Renogy 100W solar panel on the roof with Renogy controller for the start batteries
IBS split charge for the start batteries to allow them to link for winching
Roof lights: Hella Rallye
Camp lights: Amazon specials for side/rear floods
Interior: LED strip lights and National Luna dual color flood light
Camping & Kitchen:
Tembo Tusk Skottle with sidekick table and National Luna 50L fridge
Homemade shelf/drawer/cubby system and Frontrunner wolf packs
What would you add or improve?
Nothing. I’ve spent the last 11 years making it exactly the way I want it to be.
What’s the one piece of overlanding equipment you can’t live without? (Besides your rig.)
What else should we know about your rig?
It has a very interesting and unique history. It’s first mission was to prescout the 1991 Camel trophy event that was scheduled to be in the Himalayas. That event didn’t happen due to a coup in the area but my rig then toured around India until it was shipped back to Holland and placed in a museum. It was then returned to service for the 1996 Dutch Camel Trophy Trials and then back to the museum. After many years of being on display the truck was bought by a company that did corporate team building in Holland before being imported to the US by the first private owner. It was eventually sold to a Land Rover dealership to add to their collection of unique Land Rovers where I found it for sale and became the second private owner.
Learn more about the history of the Land Rover Defender Series here!
The Finer Details
2 inch lift, Old Man Emu dampeners and springs
BF Goodrich KM3s 275/75/16
Land Rover “1 Tonne”
Dixon Bate recovery points front x2, rear x1
ARB snatch strap
Factor 55 closed winching system soft shackles, van Beast D rings
ARB tree strap
Superwinch Husky 10 worm drive winch w synthetic line
My brain 😂
Gaia GPS on ipad
Yaesu 8800 HAM radio
Baofeung HT radios
2.5L Land Rover 200Tdi
As always, thank you for being part of the Overland Bound community, Chris.
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