Issue XIII

2011 to 2021
A Ten Year Love Affair

Summer 2021

It’s not often we see this, but ten years after purchasing a special edition Twisted Alpine, it arrived back here in Yorkshire to be certified before leaving for a new home...

It was however a very sad goodbye from the one previous owner, Hanno Ellensohn, an executive coach and leadership development specialist, who resides in Wimbledon, London.

In March, Team Twisted paid Hanno a visit to learn more about his decade of ownership and let us tell you, he had some great stories to tell! From trips to the Alps, to Bugatti drivers admiring his Twisted, Hanno took us around the city in his last drive out.

“It’s been a fantastic car and has left me with many great stories and memories! Most notably the positive energy you get from other people.”

10 years on: Have you enjoyed owning a Twisted?

Absolutely! It’s been a fantastic car and has left me with many great stories and memories! Most notably the positive energy you get from other people.

For the last 10 years I’ve only ever had a very small Twisted sticker at the back of the 110 and so many enthusiasts have come up to me and said ‘is that a Twisted?’. They always have a huge smile on their face and are desperate to know more about it!

I love explaining the story to them.

Can you tell us about an early Twisted memory?

A friend of mine Hesketh who was very involved in the AWD club first mentioned Twisted to me. I then found an article in a Land Rover magazine of a Twisted 90 with a camouflage exterior. I got in contact with Charles in 2011 which is when I first saw the Alpine Edition image. I loved the look of it and then decided Twisted was the way forward. I think talking to Charles and understanding his passion for Land Rovers was great. He asked questions about what I wanted from the car and made suggestions as to how a vehicle could fit my lifestyle, so I loved the process. I loved being able to talk to the technicians who were as equally as passionate as I was.

What is it about the Twisted you love?

It’s the quality of work. I feel it reflects the level of detail required for my personal job. It’s elegant but ready for anything you throw at it. I also love the fact Twisted ensure the classic silhouette of a Defender remains. Whatever work is done, that will always be the same and you can feel the passion of the employees there.

Did you design and spec the Alpine or buy it already built?

From the images I saw in the magazine, it was a little too white for me with the roof rack being white as well. I provided the vehicle and then Twisted did their work. From the roll cage, to differential guards to a custom load space in the rear to secure my kit I wanted to add some black features to contrast with the white.

I’m big into water-sports and cycling so I didn’t want too much leather inside. I needed it to be practical, so I kept the interior simple and put some covers on to protect the Recaro seats from getting wet. There were trips I’d make when I’d have the kitesurf boards on the roof as well as the bikes and all the kit stowed away inside. Not many other vehicles can support this, but the Twisted could.

“On one journey I can remember so many people in other 4x4 vehicles madly waving and just loving the Twisted.”

How have you used the vehicle over the years?

As my business expanded I had to travel around the world so it didn’t have the usage I’d originally planned but it always put a smile on my face when I got into it. I only covered around 15,500 miles in the 10 years of ownership because it became the weekend vehicle. I went down to the Alps a number of times to my home country of Austria. We’d drive through the Alpine passes looking over glaciers and lakes and take some amazing photos. They were the best trips with the car. On one journey I can remember so many people in other 4x4 vehicles madly waving and just loving the Twisted. There’s just so much love out there for the Defender. My daughter used to climb up the rear ladder and sit on the roof rack!

Can you let us into any stories about owning a unique vehicle for such a long period of time?

I have a great story from driving in London. I was at the fuel station filling my Defender up and a beautiful Bugatti Veyron parked up next to me. Suddenly the window went down, and a well dressed chap from the Middle East said “I love your car”. It was a moment that has stuck with me where I thought… this guy is in a million pound supercar and he still appreciates my Defender. I wasn’t surprised but I was at the same time as of course there’s a huge difference in price.

Another funny time was in Wimbledon when I parked my car with my family, somebody with a high spec Range Rover parked close to us. He ran towards me and asked if he could shake my hand. He told me that he loved my car! My family were baffled! I only ever had positive comments as well. I think because it’s not a vehicle you might see everyday, there’s just something that attracts people to them!

How did driving a Twisted make you feel?

It’s simply an emotional purchase. I could have easily gone for a German 4x4, but for me, the classic shape and the way you have to drive it mean it’s a really engaged way of driving. Twisted simply make an agricultural vehicle more comfortable and probably safer to drive! It comes with so much heritage and I love vehicles that represent something. Other 4x4 will do the work for you with all their electronic buttons, but a Defender requires your control and it’s so much more fun than the other cars we have!

In your 10 years of ownership, is there one highlight that stands out?

On the whole I think it made me realise that the vehicle creates emotion in other people as well as in me! You suddenly realise that even people that might not like the size of it or the fact it’s a diesel still appreciate its deeply rooted British heritage and I’ve never had a negative comment towards it (and I think that’s quite rare towards 4x4’s in the modern day). It’s all about people’s love for it and that’s my universal experience, even outside the UK.

Then of course the trips to the Alps were very memorable!

Can you see another Twisted in your ownership in the future and if so what would it be?

Yes I certainly could. With living in London, the ULEZ issue limited my opportunity to drive it and that is the main reason I’m having to part ways. If I got another Twisted, I’d look for even more power and either go V8 or electric to get around the ULEZ constraints. I’d specify it slightly differently. I’d go for an on-road spec, with big brakes, a big engine and road focussed tyres to ensure it is a comfortable and safe daily drive. I’d also lose the roof rack to keep it under two metres so I can get into the local car parks!

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