Devon 4x4 was started by Simon and Liz Buck in 1993, becoming a Devon 4x4 Centre limited in 1995. Initially Devon 4x4’s core business was the purchase and sale of four wheel drive vehicles, such was the care and attention to detail lavished on the sales vehicles that we were soon receiving requests from customers to maintain and or modify their vehicles.
During 1994 we employed our first mechanic and in 1996 we took on our first apprentice, who remained with us until April 2013 when he relocated to the East of England with his partner. In 1997 we employed our next mechanic (Martin Kingdon) who is still with us to this day and now acts as general manager.
Motor sport has been a long time passion of Simons, during 1996/7 he started competing off road, and it was during this period that we had a watershed moment. Whilst in the office shortly after a competition he received an enquiry for some parts that he’d made and fitted to his competition Land Rover, he advised the customer that he could make these parts for him and he’d send them to his address in London, however the customer wanted them fitted by us and said that he would be happy to drive to Devon for the work to be carried out.
Once the job was completed Simon asked the customer how he knew of these parts and how he knew of Devon 4x4, his reply was quite a surprise, some months earlier, he along with his co-driver had competed in an off road event which had been covered by one of the leading Land Rover magazines of the time, the customer read the article and saw various pictures of our vehicle in the magazine. Taking a magnifying glass he was able to read the telephone number on the wheel cover and thus contact us.
As luck would have it, it was about this time that we were contacted by a four wheel drive parts supplier (we still work with this company and have been its largest customer for many years) to see if we would be interested in selling their accessories. Liz and Simon discussed it at some length and agreed that they would give it a go, and thus our telesales business was born, at that time the internet was still very much in its infancy, at least to a small business like us it was.
In 1999 we launched our first web site and this was closely followed in 2000 by a revised version, over the years the web site was updated until 2008 when we launched the latest online web site, now in 2015 we are about to launch our latest site with all the up to date features that would be expected of us.
It soon became obvious that it was not possible to source some of the products that they wished to sell so the only option was to make our own and in 2003 the brand D44 was created, Simons co driver joined the team to run the fabrication department and a year later we employed our first specialist fabricator.
Over the years Simon has competed in many International off road events all over the world including the world famous Rain Forest Challenge of Malaysia, Outback challenge of Australia, Outback challenge of Morocco, Croatia taking numerous wins and podium finishes, and in the process meeting countless people who have become close friends and customers who we’ve gone onto work with over the years.
Our International adventures have formed the basis of our expedition experience, and as such our expedition preparation business was formed, now Devon 4x4 prepare various makes of vehicle to differing levels to suit all requirements for trips around the globe.
20 years later and Devon 4x4 are widely considered the market leader in the design and supply of specialist off road equipment boasting one of the largest stocks of specialist equipment in the UK and Europe; we supply not only the enthusiast and trade but are proud to have earned preferred supplier status to numerous multinational blue chip companies and OEM’s. Devon 4x4 has become synonymous with high quality work and is regarded as the bench mark for vehicle builds and preparation.
As the business grew we were able to employ knowledgeable and dedicated sales team, our office now holds a team of 9 to sell and support the day to day running of the business, and in total we have 26 staff on site and are currently looking to expand this dramatically over the next 12 months.
Of course none of this would have been possible without our loyal customers, many of whom have become firm friends, the team at Devon 4x4 would like to thank you for your custom and loyalty that you have shown us over the years and we look forward to a long a fruitful relationship in the years to come, you are all part of the Devon 4x4 team.
With work nearly completed on our new storage and dispatch facility, and 3 phase installed mid-summer Devon 4x4 will take another major step forward with expanded warehousing, vehicle workshops and fabrication facility.
Watch this space, this story is far from over!