If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being onboard a proper off-roader when it’s out in the wilderness you’ll know just how effective they can be. See our recent go in the new and very impressive Suzuki Jimny for evidence – a sorted 4x4 wearing muck-ready tyres will ascend slippery surfaces you couldn’t walk up and traverse steep valleys you couldn’t stand on.
Up until a decade ago, Land Rover used to really hammer this point home by hosting an adventure event, called the G4 Challenge (formerly the Camel Challenge before cigarette sponsorship was banned). Each event was about a month long and required competing teams to use Land Rover models to trawl their way across some of the world’s harshest landscapes. For the teams it was a chance to chase glory; for Land Rover it was great PR.
For the rest of us, aside from producing some pretty spectacular imagery (Google Camel Trophy and G4 Challenge to see for yourself), it also spawned some rather cool special edition models, each toughened up like the challenge cars and offered with loads of extra kit. The earliest example was the Defender Camel Trophy Edition, which came with a nose-mounted winch, bull bar and roof racks, as well as chunky off-road tyres and roof fog lights.
There were also special versions of the Freelander and Range Rover, but the model to get the most challenge variants was the Discovery. G4 versions of the first, second and third-generation cars were produced, with the latter also being the final challenge car to be sold to buyers before the annual event was cancelled in 2008 amid the global recession and resulting difficult financial circumstances for JLR (how different its fortunes were before the hot-selling Evoque arrived in 2011).
The Disco 3 G4 Challenge was, therefore, the end of an era. It was based on the TDV6, which was the most popular Disco variant in Europe and used the 325lb ft of torque producing 2.7-litre turbocharged diesel motor, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Land Rover’s G4 models were always standard cars equipped with a few off-road additions, so the Disco 3 came in HSE form but got a winch, roof-mounted spot lights and bull bars, along with a snorkel intake and roof rack, complete with fog lights. Oh, and it was also painted orange.
Some cars, like today's Spotted, were specced by their original buyers with expedition-worthy optional extras like a G4 mountain bicycle, kayak and tent. These options were pricey (because G4) and to find a car on sale with its original optional extras like this is rare. Yet even this fact might not prepare you for the asking price attached to the two-owner, 50,000-mile-old Disco 3 G4 in question: £31,995. That’s about three-times the price of a regular Disco 3 TDV6 with similar mileage. Blimey.
Then again, if you’re the sort of hardy person who loves the idea of venturing far from society in your explorer-spec off-roader, perhaps this is your idea of motoring perfection. It's a swiss army knife on wheels. A mechanical Bear Grylls. Certainly most of us can appreciate the sheer awesomeness of a Disco dressed in gear to help it claw through jungles, along deserts and over mountains without complaint. That this one happens to be linked to one of the toughest motoring events in the history of the car should help to seal the deal for one deep-pocketed adventurer.
SPECIFICATIONS - LAND ROVER DISCOVERY 3 G4 CHALLENGE
Engine: 2,720cc, V6, turbo
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Power (hp): 195
Torque (lb ft): 325
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 25,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £31,995
See the original advert here.