Major refurbishment extends life of Mountain Rescue Team’s vehicles

by | Mar 29, 2022

A good vehicle wrap goes a very long way…

Penrith Mountain Rescue Team’s two 13-year old, specially-adapted Land Rover Defenders have had their life considerably extended by a major rebuild and refurbishment. The work means that these workhorses of rough, upland terrain should now serve the Team well into the 2030s. 

The Mountain Rescue Team purchased a pair of Land Rover Defenders in 2008, specially converted for mountain rescue use. Despite being still at relatively low mileage and in mechanically good condition, their age was starting to show, with corrosion to bodywork and chassis. The Team considered replacing the vehicles but, with the end of production of the classic Defender model six years ago, there are currently few – if any – alternative vehicles that would make suitable replacements in terms of their off-road capability, capacity to carry a casualty on a stretcher, and general toughness. 

The Team therefore decided to have its two ageing Defenders fully rebuilt, refurbished and refinished with new livery. The sums involved were substantially less than the cost of purchasing any new vehicles and meant that the Team retained the classic Land Rover capabilities. Land Rover specialists, Simon Huntington Limited of Wigton, were asked to carry out the rebuilding and refubishing work, including replacement of the chassis for both vehicles with a new, galvanised version.

On completion of the major rebuild work, both vehicles were then brought to us at our Penrith base for replacement of all the bodywork graphics, to the national specification provided by Mountain Rescue England and Wales.

Simon, from Simon Huntington Ltd, said: “We were delighted to be approached by Penrith Mountain Rescue Team to carry out the re-builds on both their Land Rover Defenders. These vehicles will now enjoy the longevity and reliability needed for many years to come.”

Nathan Aston, Key Account Manager for Ast said: “It was great to work alongside Penrith Mountain Rescue Team and create a bespoke design for their two emergency service vehicles. We are very proud to have been involved in the project as we are grateful for all the essential hard work the Team does.”

The Team, which has 38 members – all volunteers, now looks forward to its two trusty Defenders giving continued great service for another decade and beyond, as it carries on its good work, covering the far Eastern fells of the Lake District across to the North Pennines and all the way up to the Scottish border, 24/7, 365 days a year.