RUX Rides - Roaming Switzerland with Matthias' Defender TD5
by Jamie Bond on May 12, 2021
RUX is all about mobilizing your gear and getting after it. Garage to beach, truck to trailhead. Ready when you need it.
Everyone has their own system to gear up and go, just like everyone has their own unique adventure mobile to get them out and back. In #RUXrides we’re featuring some of those whips from the greater RUX family — friends, customers, family and random people we find on the trail.
First up, Matthias Pfannmueller — Defender TD5 — Switzerland.
Matthias Pfannmueller is an automotive journalist, book author and industry consultant developing augmented reality media formats. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, he immigrated to Switzerland in the early 2000s and started a family. To say the guy loves vehicles with wheels would be an understatement. He has produced volumes of Land Rover books and magazines and other automotive editorial, and his garage might be the feature of his renovated farmhouse in the Bernese mountains. It’s the perfect base camp from which to hit the road for skiing, biking, or just fiddling with vehicles in the garage.
Matthias what’s your main adventure vehicle and why’d you choose it?
Having dogs, MTBs, skis plus other gear, cargo and transport are daily life for us so our fleet has to reflect that in any weather and terrain. I run an ex-commercial 2006 Defender Td5 from Italy which was a bargain and is now upgraded with more comfort and tech like a transfer box oil cooler, heavy-duty suspension, remapped engine and all that.
How else did you trick it out?
Improved versatility and load space were big issues so there is an integrated roof rack with airline rails and my favorite DIY mods are also storage-related: a front-row parcel tray above the windshield, a robust ceiling net which can work as a room divider plus a +40L storage box inside the rear left fender accessible from the cabin, holding all vehicle tools, towing stuff etc.
One needs those things in a Land Rover as breakdowns may occur. This happened to us, too, but in the meantime she’s pretty solid.
Where’s she been taking you?
We’ve been all over Europe as far as up to the Irish west coast.
Can’t imagine selling her while the also cherished 1960 Lotus Elite recently had to go. My new fun factor alternative ride is a Husqvarna 701E.