Originally an idea drawn in the sand on the beach near his home in Anglesey, North Wales, the Maurice Wilks designed Land Rover first went into production in 1948 as the Series I Land Rover. This basic utilitarian 'workhorse' remained in production until 1958; the Series II and IIA until 1971 and then in October '71 Land Rover introduced the Series III.
When the Series III replaced its Series II / IIA counterpart in Oct 1971 little was changed with respect to chassis, wheelbase dimensions and body styles, however the introduction of an all new fully synchronised gearbox and revised ratios on 1st gear and reverse gear helped to improve the drivability. With subtle styling changes, moving the headlights onto the front wings, a new grill and improved interior heating, the Series III remained in production until 1985 when it was finally phased out and replaced by the updated and modernised Defender.
Delivered to its first owner in Feb 1973 this Series III 88" (SWB) Soft Top features the 2.25 litre (2286cc) petrol engine and has come from long term ownership, some 12 years, has completed less than 2000 miles in this time and has been subject to a truly remarkable restoration that has a resulted in a vehicle that far exceeds anything that would have ever left the Solihull plant, with a summary of the restoration listed, in brief, as follows:
Body - all panels inspected for any damage and where necessary remedial repairs carried out, new panels supplied (including a new bulkhead) and the body built back up with fastidious detail where even all the rivets following the factory lines! Once built as a 'tub', the whole vehicle has been professional finished in her original Limestone. The quality of the body-work finish is exemplary, the panel fit is perfect (yes, it's true) and with the highest attention to detail being extended to within the engine compartment, underbody, inner panels, under seat storage etc.....the paint work is flawless!
Chassis / Suspension components - Fundamentally the backbone of any Land Rover, the chassis has been completely stripped, professionally shot-blasted, repair sections used where necessary and then powder-coated in chassis black to ensure longevity. All suspension components have been stripped and checked, new front / rear leaf springs, shock absorbers, rubber bushes, nuts, bolts, washers etc.
Interior / Glass / Rubbers / Fittings - Simply put everything is as 'new'. The seats / frames have been stripped, frames painted, new foam and new set of Delux seat covers fitted, with the same applying to the two rear bench seats. All the switch gear has either been refurbished or replaced, new seatbelts fitted, all new galvanised / zinc fittings throughout the vehicle, new hood sticks, a beautiful new Sand Canvas hood fitted, all new door / window rubbers, new windscreen, door-glass, new front / rear rubber mats, new mud-flaps, new gear knobs (gearbox + high/low ratios).....even the steering wheel has been replaced.
Electrics - all new wiring loom, fuse box, new halogen headlights, new tail-lights etc.
Drive Train / Axles / Fuel system / Wheels / Tyres - Again everything fully striped and checked and in as 'new' condition. The engine has been rebuilt, the starter motor, alternator, radiator, all hoses, new heater box, new brake master cylinder, clutch / clutch master cylinder have been fitted as new. Gearboxes, differentials, propshafts have all been stripped, checked for any wear and replaced where necessary. The fuel system has all been replaced - a new fuel tank, filler neck (even the gauze) have all been replaced, new glass fuel-filter bowl and a new carburettor fitted and to ensure the gases leave the car as they should an all new exhaust system has also been fitted. The braking system has been completely rebuilt with new parts, all new hubs have neen fitted and to top it all the car has a new set of wheels (painted in their correct Limestone) and fitted with Michelin 7.50 R16 Latitude Cross tyres.
A review of the history file indicates that in excess of £17k has been spent on parts alone and we'd estimate that 100's of hours have gone into the restoration. Since completion the Land Rover has done less than 100 miles and as such we're treating her as a new car. She starts on the button, drives without fault, comes with a full MOT and prior to delivery / collection she'll also receive a 'running-in' service / inspection.
The 'Land Rover' or 'Landy' is to many, the ultimate go anywhere, rugged utilitarian vehicle and with this fantastic capability it is no surprise that the Land Rover has stayed in production for over 60yrs . With an attention to detail bar none, we could wax lyrical or use superlatives all day long as to how good this Land Rover Series III is, but to coin a phrase from a 1973 advertising slogan....."If Carlsberg did" Land Rovers, then this would be it.....Perfection!
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