・An enthusiast-owned Land Rover with desirable Safari roof and deluxe seat option
・Presented in strong mechanical condition and with a charming patina
・Original steel chassis which appears to be free from any structural rust
In production from 1971 to 1985 the Land Rover Series III was the last of the classic leaf-sprung Land Rovers and proof of the enduring global appeal of the iconic British off-roader, selling almost as well as its predecessor did in far stronger economic times of the 1960s. Little changed between the two models, with the Series III seen more as an evolution; exterior changes included a plastic front grille and re-styled bonnet, but the bodywork of the model remained largely untouched.
Already cemented in the minds of military service-people and agricultural owners as an incredibly capable, reliable vehicle – giving it the nickname “the one-tonne” after its carrying capacity – this series was the first where that popularity began to spill into leisure users.
Offered here is III is a charming example of one of the most popular models from the series, under the bonnet is the 2.25-litre four-cylinder engine, which drives all four wheels via a four-speed manual transmission.
First registered on the 12th April 1977, this Land Rover has been enjoyed by 10 previous owners in its life and covered only 82,000 miles in that time – one can only imagine the experience that it’s delivered to those keepers in that time.
Bought a year ago, the current owner understands the previous two keepers to have been Land Rover club members, the later purchasing the car through their connection to the Land Rover Enthusiast club. Through these enquiries the current owner was told that the car did undergo a nut and bolt rebuild in its lifetime, however unfortunately this cannot be substantiated with paperwork or images. A DVD was provided with the car which we’re told may hold the secrets to this restoration. Needing a large van for transporting motorbikes, the owner is sadly parting with this classic Land Rover which he had intended to keep and refresh along the way.
Now comfortably beyond the threshold for MOT exemption, the most recent was undertaken in May of 2013 which it passed with only a minor oil leak noticed. The owner shared a large folder of invoices which go back to 2013, the bulk which he’s accrued in his own recent ownership, spending over £1,100 on works in June to refresh the full brake system and replace engine mounts.
Perhaps more impressive is the collection of original Land Rover and Hayes owners workshop manuals that accompany the car. As is often the case with these cars and their keepers, much of the regular maintenance and servicing looks to have been done by enthusiast owners. Included among the paperwork and books is a very well-preserved owner’s manual, sales brochure and original wheel jack with – what we’re told – is a very rare, genuine handle.
Inside the cabin, the rudimentary, functional focus of the car is punctured by Land Rover’s optional ‘Deluxe’ seats – while not luxurious by modern standards, the sculpted shape and vinyl cover offer good looks and, more importantly, a comfortable perch. General signs of wear as expected from a workhorse vehicle such as this exist throughout the interior, across the dashboard, switches, and controls – all of which we’re told function correctly.
In the rear of the wagon, a dog guard halts access to the front passengers and two upholstered benches are present with one in a tweed-like fabric and the other vinyl, both in clean condition and the floor finished with a hardy rubber covering, again in good condition. The desirable Safari Roof can be used to increase ventilation on warmer days.
Still wearing its rare, original factory Slate Grey paint, this is a fantastically honest example of the Series III in its Station Wagon body style. This is a Land Rover that’s been unashamedly used and loved throughout its lifetime and the exterior condition reflects that. Most panels and the front bumper bear signs of use, including small grazes and other such war-wounds accrued through being used in its intended off-road environment. Small patches of surface corrosion can be found around the car but, crucially, the original steel chassis is in sound condition with no structural rust noted.
The owner chose to recently replace the wheels with a set of brand new, long wheelbase rims which are a touch wider than the originals and are finished in a powder coated off-white colour that contrast the grey paintwork beautifully. A tow-bar with electrics and work light mounted to the rear finish off a desirable, genuine and handsome exterior package.
Mechanically, the car is said to run perfectly, and we certainly experienced nothing untoward on a short drive, including some off-road sections where the Land Rover performed flawlessly. Thanks to recent work to overhaul the brakes, replace engine mounts and replace air and oil filters with genuine parts, the car is said to need nothing mechanically, running as it should.
This Land Rover Series III is a dependable, classic utility vehicle, which is in perfectly good, workhorse condition to enjoy as it is, or which could be used as the basis for a more significant restoration in the future. An iconic, highly usable car, this is sure to be a faithful companion for years to come for its new owner.
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