BUYING A CLASSIC LAND ROVER FOR A RESTORATION PROJECTS
Classic Series Land Rovers are an excellent investment as they increase in value over time. They were designed with easy maintenance in mind, and spare parts are available on request.
When you purchase a classic Land Rover, you enter a community of passionate enthusiasts who thrive on helping one another out and completing a restoration project is at the centre of their hearts. With a limited number of specific models remaining, we must care about the remaining ones and bring life back to models where we can.
1956 Land Rover Series 1 86″ chasis, bulkhead and gearbox
1956 Land Rover Series 1 86″ Restored
PLANS TO RESTORE AN OLD LAND ROVER?
Like any restorative work, bringing an old Land Rover to a roadworthy state will take time. You can hire a professional to complete the job or do it yourself. Completing the restoration yourself will seem financially appealing but can end up costing more overall.
Ensure you have a large space to complete the work and a knowledge of what parts will be required. There’s nothing worse than ordering a part and waiting around for it.
You will also need to research whether the spare parts are available. If you have a schedule, then waiting for these parts to be delivered can hold you up or you may need to pay more for fast delivery. Investing in a catalogue for your Series Land Rover can help you locate the right parts and avoid mistakes.
- SERIES 1 LAND ROVER
- SERIES 3 LAND ROVER
- LAND ROVER DEFENDER
- SERIES 2 LAND ROVER
- MILITARY LAND ROVERS
- RANGE ROVER CLASSIC
SERIES 1 LAND ROVER REBUILD
The Series 1 Land Rover was built in 1948. These contained a 1.6L engine, with later models progressing to 2.0L. Over the ten years of production, the Series 1 consisted of 80″, 86″ and 88″ chassis.
Highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, a Land Rover Classic in the excellent condition range will receive significant retailer attention. The 80″ chassis especially can bring you premium prices. Sourcing parts for a Series 1 Land Rover can be easy, and modifications can even be made. Updating your Classic Land Rover to fit modern parts can improve efficiency and make restoration cheaper.
1957 Series 1 LWB truck cab body panels sprayed off the vehicle before being refitted
1957 Series 1 LWB truck cab
CENTRE STEER LAND ROVER PROTOTYPE – 1947
First produced in 1947, this Land Rover prototype combined a military jeep chassis with a Rover engine.
Uniquely, this Rover had the steering wheel positioned centrally in the vehicle. This meant that individual left-hand drive and right-hand drive models didn’t have to be manufactured. However, this design proved impractical, and towards the end of the 1950s, most had been dismantled.
LAND ROVER SERIES 1 80 INCH, 1.6 LITRE
The first four-wheel-drive system offered by Land Rover, these 1948-50 manufactured vehicles brought 1595cc four-cylinder engines to the road.
This was also the first model that offered a new colour of bronze-green. Every model before 1949 came with paintwork of light green. The 1950s saw the manufacturing of fifty pre-production vehicles, all with 2 litre engines. As time progressed, the truck cab model was available instead of the full-length soft top.
LAND ROVER SERIES 1 80 INCH 1948-1951
A seven-seater station wagon was introduced in 1948 with wooden framing below the allow panelling.
Over time this did cause problems in certain weather conditions. Initially only available in light green but later bought in bronze green, the seven-seater proved to be a financial failure. Six hundred fifty vehicles later, this model was discontinued.
LAND ROVER SERIES 1 80 INCH, 2 LITRE
This early 50s model was the first Land Rover to offer exterior door handles.
Again, these were available in bronze green. Despite being 2-litre, this Rover offered much more power and torque to its drivers.
LAND ROVER SERIES 1 86 INCH
The 80″ chassis was later replaced by the 86″ model in September 1953. Greater demand for capacity and space meant this car was successful.
Vehicles built before 1955 kept the “siamese-bore” 2-litre engine but then switched to the “spread-bore”. The repositioned cylinder centres held within allowed greater movement of water. Manufacturers now expanded the colour range of these Land Rovers. These classic vehicles were available in Bronze, Green, Beige, Blue and Grey.
SERIES 2 LAND ROVER RESTORATION
The Series 2 Land Rover is one of the more recognisable models despite being produced in 1958. Restyled to hold a 2.25-litre engine, this engine size was continued into their future models due to its reliability. They offer the same wheelbase as the Series 1.
Still proving popular among the classic vehicle community, they are excluded from road tax. Becoming more expensive as time progressed, they are now highly sought after in the right condition and specification. Models that are exceptionally well restored or offer additional features provide better value.
1961 Land Rover Series 2a SWB bulkhead sprayed before fitting
Restored 1961 Land Rover Series 2a SWB
- Galvanised chassis that won’t rot
- Freewheeling hubs for increased economy
- Overdrive for relaxed cruising
- Parabolic springs to improve the ride
- Kenlowe fan for better economy
Some of the most recognisable changes were the movement of the headlights to the wings and the introductions of the Maltese grill and razor style bonnet. If you can successfully search for such a model, you will be in ownership of a coveted vehicle.
LAND ROVER SERIES 2 88 INCH
In 1954 the 88″ Station Wagon body was introduced. This model included four inward-facing seats in the rear as well as three forward-facing seats.
LAND ROVER SERIES 2 109 INCH
Alongside the 88″ models, the 109 models were also introduced in 1954. These Series 2 models included a 2.25-litre petrol engine.
LAND ROVER SERIES 2A 88 INCH
The Series 2A are the most common vintage Land-Rover in the US. Evolving from Series 2 models, they were produced between 1961-1971. Continuing more colours, they were available in Beige, Marine Blue, Light Green, Dark Grey, Light Grey, Poppy Red, and the original Bronze Green.
Engine types began to differ with either a four-cylinder diesel engine or a 2.25-litre petrol engine. Following 1971, all Series 2A Land Rovers were fitted with an all-synchromesh gearbox. The seats were switched from grey to black in 1968.
SERIES 3 LAND ROVER CLASSIC
The Land Rover Series 3 started its production in 1972. The engines were similar to the Series 2 model, but an alternator was used in place of the dynamo, with the gearbox also being improved.
1975 Land Rover Series 3 SWB Reconditioned engine and gearbox fitted to new galvanised chassis
Restored 1975 Land Rover Series 3 SWB
The Series 3 received an improved dashboard, a new heater, and upgraded dials and switches most famously. Also improved was the station wagon, now capable of holding six people. This model became more popular among families due to its increased size and comfort. It was also possible to convert the cab from hardtop to soft top easily. To this day, the Series 3 is a classic car favourite among the community. When properly maintained and cared for, this is a valued classic British car.
LAND ROVER SERIES 3 INCH
1971 marked the beginning of the Series 3 Land Rover production line, an official update to the 2 Series. This became another popular model featuring an ABS plastic grille, a black dashboard, and flat hinges on the side doors.
The 88″ Land Rover 3 Series came prepared with hardtops, truck cabs, a full soft top, or a station wagon. The colour options ranged from the classic Light Green to Bronze Green, Marine Blue, Mid-Grey, Limestone and Sand.
LANS ROVER SERIES 3 109 INCH
The Series 3 109″ models were introduced in 1971 as a long wheelbase vehicle. As with the 88″, the long-wheelbase model was produced until 1984.
With the 109″ vehicle, Land Rover introduced the six-cylinder engine for petrol and diesel to replace the four-cylinder. Produced as a Series 2a station wagon replacement, the 109″ was available in ten and twelve-seater versions.
MILITARY LAND ROVERS
The military and Land Rovers have a long history together, all the way from Series 1 models. High demand came, and Land Rover answered, with the ability to carry people across various terrain types.
Some models survived the military and have become very popular amongst collectors of vintage cars. If you come across an ex-military Land Rover, it can be an excellent investment to restore it.
LIGHTWEIGHT AND FFR
The RAF also used land Rovers for runways, and a lightweight Landrover was even dropped via parachute from an aeroplane. The option to strip it down to be dropped into conflict areas was also common.
Since they are lightweight 24v vehicles, they were commonly used in radio communication. Becoming known as FFR (fitted for radio) vehicles, they were incredibly lightweight and waterproof. This meant they ended up in many unique scenarios, so every model has a story.
THE 101 FORWARD CONTROL
This model was known as the Forward Control, and it could carry a greater load than any of the Series models. Due to this, the military was able to carry larger loads across vast distances.
SERIES 2 AND 3 MILITARY
The military also enlisted Series 2 and 3 Land Rovers, and enthusiasts frequently collect such models. Other additions include flyscreens, wing top boxes and military lights.
CLASSIC RANGE ROVERS
With the model year continuing from 1969 to 1996, the Classic Range Rover model has become one of the more popular and modern options available from Land Rover. Owned by classic car enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike, this model has a lot to offer and proves to be a great real world car.
With a 100″ chassis and a V8 inside, this Range Rover has served the community incredibly well for decades. Limited by bodily control but providing a pleasurable and fast commute, it can prove worthwhile to restore when you find one. The older you can find a two door model, the greater the potential return.
Newer models such as Range Rovers can provide excellent fuel efficiency, despite what you may hear online. Even older models can be converted internally, so they work with new parts despite looking the same.
LAND ROVER DEFENDER
The name Land Rover Defender was used to describe vehicles produced previously to the Discovery, produced from 1991. This includes models originally named Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 or Land Rover 90, 110 and 127. These names typically refer to the length of the corresponding wheelbase.
After 1991 these vehicles were named Defender to differentiate from the Discovery. These vehicles came in many conversions and variations, including ambulances, fire engines, and pick up trucks.
1983 Land Rover Series 3 SWB
Restored 1983 Land Rover Series 3 SWB
The Classic Land Rover Defender is known for its off-roading capabilities. The early models were produced with 2500cc petrol engines. Many classic Series and 90 Land Rovers have been retrofitted with improved engines, however. The 200tdi, 2495cc, turbo-diesel engine offered long mileage without fault and are still running today.
In 1999 the TD5 Defender was introduced. It was ECU controlled with a powerful engine. Many classic Land Rover enthusiasts found the engine too complex to repair, so it hasn’t seen as much popularity. Problems with the engine began to arise as they grew older. Production of the TD5 ceased in 2016.
BUYING A DEFENDER
It can be challenging to choose a Defender in good condition. Over time many of the components have deteriorated and failed. Many chassis have become redundant after only 15 years.