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  #121  
Old May 10th, 2016, 01:36 PM
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Daddymow
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Raub A.
1987 D110 Tithonus
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Awesome to hear you a great experience with a vendor. Post up lots of pictures of the finished product.
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  #122  
Old May 10th, 2016, 01:52 PM
lyinouye
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Lance Inouye
1985 Defender 110
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Portland, OR
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Tophat Defender

Here are some pics.
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  #123  
Old May 10th, 2016, 02:22 PM
hmmrbrg
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HMMRBRG
1972 SIII 109
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Looks awesome. Is it Corris Grey?
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  #124  
Old May 10th, 2016, 02:28 PM
lyinouye
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Lance Inouye
1985 Defender 110
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Portland, OR
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Bonatti grey - didn't realize how dark those pics were.
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  #125  
Old May 10th, 2016, 05:37 PM
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LostChord
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Brian
86 D110 SW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyinouye View Post
Several people have contacted me about my experience with Tophat Classics, so I thought I would post a review of the entire experience. As with most of you, the Defender has been my dream car since I was a kid. We took one on safari in Kenya when I was young, and then I did not see one again until 1993 when they started marketing that they were importing them to the US. I bought a D90 off the showroom floor in 1994 (sold 3 year later) and then bought another 1994 D90 off eBay about 6 year ago (also sold). I stumbled on an Arkonik ad and started pricing out the car I wanted since I was a kid (a 4-door safari machine). I didn't opt for all the bells and whistles because I wanted to own this long-term, so I went manual windows, gearbox, etc. I was shocked to see the price, so I figured I was going to have to find another fixer-upper on eBay like my second D90. That is when I found Tophat's eBay ad and started communicating with them via email. Carel directed me to their website and Facebook page, and I started pricing out my vehicle. I was shocked to find that the same vehicle I priced out at Arkonik was about 30% less. Knowing exactly what I wanted, Carel and I started fine tuning options (color, accessories, etc). Once I felt like he knew exactly what I wanted, we signed the contract and I put down a deposit (May 2015). It took about a month for him to find the base vehicle, but it was worth it! He found a 1985 fire truck with 7,306 original miles! Over the next several months, I received pictures of the build and made a second deposit. In January, the car came out of customs and arrived in Scotttsdale. The mechanics had put in the original 4-speed manual transmission and the contract listed a 5-speed, so Tophat shipped the replacement to Scottsdale and they swapped it out. This all happened without me inspecting the car, so that shows you the fine character of the people running this operation. I flew down to Arizona from Portland, Oregon to give the car the longest test drive ever. We had a small leak in the gas tank at the fuel sensor, but they were able to slow it enough to get it on the road. I am a CPA, so I needed to be able to drive it home that day or wait until after April 15th. The drive was long, and we had sun, rain and finally snow but the car handled great. By the time we got to Portland, it was in need of a tune up (and to fix the gas leak), but all was minor and Tophat covered the cost. I can't tell you how many compliments I get on my car and offers to buy it. I honestly couldn't be happier. Here is a link to the time-lapse of the build they sent me: Sorry for the long-winded post, but if you have the patience, this is the outfit you want to use! -Lance
congrats
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  #126  
Old May 11th, 2016, 06:39 AM
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1of40
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1of40
NAS 97SW & 83 One Ten Tdi
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Well done. Hope you'll keep us posted and be around to offer advice on your buying experience. It's certainly what makes this community diverse and interesting.
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  #127  
Old June 1st, 2016, 11:00 AM
lyinouye
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Lance Inouye
1985 Defender 110
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6
Memorial Day Weekend Update

I finally had a chance to test my Tophat Defender's off-road capabilities. We camped up by Mt Hood, Oregon and traversed 30 miles of gravel roads with crater-sized potholes, mud bogs and of course...snow. I couldn't be happier with how she handled. We tried to reach one of the higher elevation lakes, but the snow was even too much for 4-Low. I don't feel so bad because there were some aggressively lifted Dodge trucks and a rock-crawling Jeep that couldn't make it either.

I'm still researching rooftop tents, but did purchase a Fox-Wing awning (with 4 sidewalls), which was a great purchase. We pitched a tent under the awning and attached the sun shower to the rear ladder.

I've attached some pics.
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  #128  
Old June 1st, 2016, 11:11 AM
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Daddymow
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Raub A.
1987 D110 Tithonus
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Good looking truck! You might also look at an Oz tent instead of a RTT the guys with them love them and I swear they go up faster than a RTT.
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  #129  
Old June 1st, 2016, 11:23 AM
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TELOS
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Nate
1985 LHD 110 SW - 300Tdi
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Great looking setup! A RTT would go nicely with your awning. Add in a fridge and stove, and you'll have quite the combination.
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  #130  
Old June 1st, 2016, 11:29 AM
lyinouye
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Lance Inouye
1985 Defender 110
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6
Thanks guys! Here is a question for the group: When you are outfitting your rig, do you consider footprint when all your gear is deployed? The reason I was looking for a rooftop tent is that I won't always be on a wide open beach or in an open meadow where I can spread out my gear. It took time to wedge the 110 into that spot just so I could deploy the Fox-Wing. I enjoy comfort as much as the next guy, but also want the flexibility to pull off the road without having to look for a Costco parking lot sized campsite.
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  #131  
Old June 1st, 2016, 11:51 AM
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TELOS
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Nate
1985 LHD 110 SW - 300Tdi
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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I don't have any experience with Oz tents, but they look pretty great. They're fast and big enough for a cot and nice bedding. I can see why people like them, but they're not for me. My footprint consideration comes down to terrain. Here in Colorado, space isn't usually the limiting factor, but finding flat, level, and smooth ground is harder. These are the Rocky Mountains for a reason. A RTT just requires some blocks for the wheels to get the truck level, and then the rest is on the roof rack. I think that's the biggest benefit for a RTT over ground.
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  #132  
Old June 15th, 2016, 03:40 AM
spikemd
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Ted
2001 P38, 2006 LR3
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Granite Bay, Ca
Posts: 33
Nice truck. A few friends have the OZ tent and I have a RTT. Overall footprint of a RTT is smaller due to the fact it is on top of thru truck. I much prefer the RTT to be off the ground away from crawling insects and wet ground. I can set mine up in less than 5 minutes and don't have to wrestle with cots or inflatable mattresses, stuffing the sleeping bags, etc. With a RTT, you can leave the sleeping bags and pillows inside the tent and simply close it up as it should have enough room to compress it all. Makes setting up and take-down much easier. The OZ tent is very long and you must have space on your rack to store it and the cots/mattresses. Downside to the RTT is weight up high and the space it takes up on the rack, but it opens up more space inside the vehicle. It saves me a lot time from my ground tent days and I will never go back. I am looking forward to outfitting my 1990 Santana when it gets to the states. I have used my RTT on my range rover and LR3. Contemplating 2 RTTs on the front runner rack!
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  #133  
Old June 15th, 2016, 06:48 PM
lyinouye
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Lance Inouye
1985 Defender 110
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6
spikemd: What brand of RTT do you have?
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  #134  
Old June 16th, 2016, 11:12 AM
spikemd
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Ted
2001 P38, 2006 LR3
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Granite Bay, Ca
Posts: 33
I have a Tuff Stuff RTT as I got a deal I couldn't refuse at King of the Hammers 1.5 years ago at their booth. It comes with the awning and free shipping from their website. I also have the ladder extension due to the height of the LR3 and Range rover


Tuff Stuff Overland Rooftop Tent & Annex Room - Tuff Stuff 4x4 | Winches, Off Road Lighting, Overland and Accessories


On my LR3 in Moab:


on the P38 in Baja:

I also recommend Tepui which many of my friends have.
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  #135  
Old June 16th, 2016, 12:03 PM
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deanclean
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Ryan Stevens
1995 Defender 300tdi
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 34
the Landrovers

Just thought I would post my experience thus far with The Landrovers dealer out of the Netherlands. I have a 1996 300tdi Defender 90 being prepared to ship by Peter and Daniel at The Landrovers. I know I may have committed the biggest error by buying a vehicle unseen, but I decided after doing a bunch of research and speaking with them over the phone a few times I would take a leap of faith. So far the experience has been quite positive. I spoke with a few people who have had dealings with them and all had pretty good things to say. I wrote a couple emails to Uncle Douglas and I dont want to say he endorsed them, but he did tell me he had smooth dealings with them and has mentioned this on the forum. I know this is no guarantee and at the end of the day its my money on the line. That being said, Im not dropping a huge load of cash on the vehicle. Its pretty much as is with a few interior upgrades to spruce things up and a 2 inch lift. Michael from Riverhouse Mini in Netherlands has agreed to go check out the rig before it ships for a little peace of mind. thanks to Uncle Doug for suggesting I ask Michael. I guess thats it for now. It will be in a container and shipped on June 24th so for now its just a waiting game.
Ryan
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  #136  
Old October 9th, 2016, 01:14 AM
Krnlane
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Ken Nickel-Lane
None
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Canmore, Alberta, canada
Posts: 3
Hi

interested in importing a 110 or 130 from Europe into CA, preferably LHD. Any groups based here in CA worth speaking to?

Ken
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  #137  
Old October 9th, 2016, 01:37 AM
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D90Overkill
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David Frank
1995 ST #2615
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Lucky for you CA (Canada) only has a 15 year ban, so you can still get the cheap ones.

You want to talk to someone who has done it or someone that will help you do it?
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  #138  
Old October 9th, 2016, 09:14 AM
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Wilboro
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William Ficner
1997 110 csw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krnlane View Post
Hi



interested in importing a 110 or 130 from Europe into CA, preferably LHD. Any groups based here in CA worth speaking to?



Ken


Check out the OVLR fb page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1477333665898918/
Quite a few members who have just imported and a bunch of discussions on importing to Canada.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #139  
Old October 9th, 2016, 10:57 AM
xabn82
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Billy
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Zombie motors???
Good, bad, ugly???
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  #140  
Old October 9th, 2016, 12:43 PM
Krnlane
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Ken Nickel-Lane
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Location: Canmore, Alberta, canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D90Overkill View Post
Lucky for you CA (Canada) only has a 15 year ban, so you can still get the cheap ones.

You want to talk to someone who has done it or someone that will help you do it?
Both really. Keen to speak to those that have done it themselves, and recommends on agents to help. Seems that are some decent deals on 2000-2002 110-130's in France and Europe generally, but a bit daunted by the prospect of doing these kinds of deals remotely. Have previously across canada and the us successfully, but quite a bit easier fame.

Any help appreciated. A complete noob to this site and defenders generally, so apols in advance if there are known threads on this I'm missing.

Ken
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