Land Rover entered production in 1948 with what is now known as the Series I. It was designed with farm and light industrial use in mind, with a steel box-section chassis and an aluminium body. From 1948-1951 the single model Land Rover was offered with a 1.6 litre petrol engine which produced 50 Bhp. In 1952 and 1953, a larger 2.0-litre petrol engine was fitted. This engine has Siamese bores, meaning that there are no water passages for cooling between the cylinders. During 1950, the unusual semi-permanent 4WD system was replaced with a more conventional setup, with drive to the front axle being taken through a simple dog clutch.
By the time 1958 arrived the successor to the already successful Land Rover was the Series II, which saw production run up until 1961. This was the first Land Rover to receive attention from chief stylist David Bache in Rover’s styling department. They produced the familiar barrel side waistline, with 5 inch greater width to cover the series II’s wider tracks. The series II was also the first vehicle to use the well known 2.25 litre petrol engine which produced 72 Bhp.
1961-1971 saw the production of the Series IIA. Looking very similar to the Series II, there were some minor cosmetic changes and a 2.25 diesel was added to the engine line. The Series IIA is considered by many to be the most hardy series model constructed. It is also the classic type of Land Rover that people love and recognise. Land Rovers reached their peak in 1969-1970 when sales of over 60,000 a year were recorded.
This lovely 1963 Series IIA Land Rover has been with the current owner for 4.5 years. The seller has decided to part with it because it isn’t getting the use it deserves.
8 years ago the Land Rover was given some restoration by the previous owner which included the installation of the popular Rover 3.5 litre V8 engine.
More recently the seller has carried out some cosmetic work to the interior and exterior, had new brakes fitted, and had it serviced. Also to get it running on point the carburettors were stripped, cleaned, rebuilt and set up by John Craddock Land rover specialists.
The V5 is present and shows 6 previous keepers.
Sadly, although the land rover has been well maintained, any paperwork for work carried out over the years has been lost or not kept on file. The MOT expired on the 18th October 2020. Looking at the MOT check it has had regular MOT’s and has only covered just over 600 miles since 2015. It is however now MOT and Tax exempt.
The Series IIA Land Rover is like most of its time, quite basic and very functional, it does as Land Rover intended and everything works as it should. The seller treated the seats to a lovely retrim 3 years ago, and they still look like they were done yesterday. All of the heater distribution hoses have also been replaced.
Rubber matting has been used in the floor area to keep the repainted Marine Blue floor free from scratches. The steering wheel along with the clocks and switches all appear to be the original items. The mileage shown is 40,479. This is believed to be original but not on the current engine. The Series IIA is fitted with overdrive, helping keep those V8 revs nice and low. There is a small area of surface rust just inside the nearside door but this could easily be treated. The windows do have some signs of age related scratches but nothing too bad considering it is the original glass.
In the rear is the classic drop down tailgate leading to, again, a nicely painted storage area with rubber matting laid down to protect the Marine Blue paint.
Finished in one of six colours available at the time, the choice for this Land Rover was Marine Blue. As mentioned previously it was repainted 8 years ago both inside and out. There are some age related patina on the body but this all just adds to the character of a Land Rover.
Starting at the front. As on the early Land Rovers the headlights are mounted either side of the front grille, rather than in the wings on the later models. These and the bumper are in good condition. There is some light surface rust along the front scuttle panel, but again, this is something that could be easily treated. The bracket to hold the spare wheel on the bonnet is in place should you wish to keep it on the bonnet.
Around to the sides, and the panel gaps and lines look as straight as you would expect on a 1963 Land Rover. The sides have the classic slightly uneven look from the spot welding carried out in the manufacturing process. The canvas roof was replaced just 2 years ago and is in excellent condition. The wheels have been repainted in the original Limestone and have been fitted with brand new tyres, the spare currently lives in the rear.
As we get to the rear of the Series IIA, the rear canvas roof has a clear plastic window which is nice and scratch free. The tailgate drops down on two chains for support and there's some nice patina around the metal on the edges and corners of the rear quarter panels. Below the tailgate there is a tow-bar and electrics fitted. The seller could not confirm if the electrics are working as he has never towed anything.
This Series IIA has been given a nice and quite popular upgrade from the original 2.25 litre engine to Rovers 3.5 litre V8, resulting in much more usable power and who doesn't love the sound of a V8! With more power you need more stopping power. This has been achieved by servo assisted brakes which makes coming to a stop much easier. The brakes had new drums, shoes and cylinders fitted 6 months ago. Fitted in front of the radiator is an electric cooling fan operated via a switch on the dashboard.
As previously mentioned the carburettors have been stripped, cleaned, rebuilt and then set up by a Land Rover Specialist to keep the V8 running as sweet as it should. Some fresh oil, oil filter and spark plugs were fitted 5 months ago.
On the transmission side of things the Series IIA is fitted with a four-speed manual gearbox with overdrive to make for a bit of economical driving. Free wheeling front hubs are present to again improve economy and to reduce wear to the front axle. There is a very small oil drip every now and again on the rear axle.
The Land Rover starts on the first turn of the key. The drive is typical of any Land Rover of this age, but with a little more power. There are no noises that shouldn't be there on the transmission and the seller reports that it goes in and out of 4WD as it should.
The following for Land Rovers is huge and this very well presented 1963 Series IIA is definitely a must for your line up, especially one with a little nice patina, original features plus a little extra grunt from the V8.
Considered to be the ultimate DIY car, they are revered for the ease in which you can work on them, making them appeal to many people far and wide. What are you waiting for?
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