1982 Land Rover Series III 109 pick-up LWB

Highlights


  • Fresh restoration
  • Full soft top and deck cover
  • Distinctive and individual
  • Vintage Land Rover colour

The Appeal


Land Rover’s defining model for more than 30 years, the Series III came in many guises, one of them being a two-door, long wheelbase (109) pick-up. Although this particular example began life with a covered back, Defenders are essentially a big Meccano set, so taking off the roof was not a problem. 

With a soft ‘bikini’ cab roof and a tonneau over the cargo space, this truck is very versatile. It could be a work wagon, though really it’s too nice, so why not keep it for top-down days out and some not particularly serious green laning?

The History and Paperwork


  • All bills and notes from restoration
  • Photographic record of recovery and rebuild

Since this Land Rover was vacationing in a field for quite some time before the present owner recovered it, there isn’t any history prior to its rescue in 2018. However, and very reassuringly, there are detailed notes and bills from the restoration, which was undertaken by Viking 4x4 near Tadcaster. 

Also interesting are the hand-written notes from the restorer about work, parts and costings. The owner also has a set of photographs documenting the Landy’s recovery and rebuild, which, understandably covered all aspects of the truck.

The Exterior 


  • New foldable cab roof
  • Repositioned side-opening tailgate 
  • Vintage Land Rover colour
  • New doors

The more you walk around this Land Rover, the more impressed you become with its finish. It has a knack of looking both very plain and unassuming and yet very distinctive and different. Two things contribute to its impressive appearance, one being the quality of the paintwork. 

This vintage Land Rover green has been very evenly applied. It retains a good gloss (not too brash, which wouldn’t suit the vehicle), and the finish remains consistent both inside and outside the truck. Panel fit is pretty good – the doors and the nearside wing were replaced during restoration – and the sides are nice and straight. (Slight dimples at rivet points come as standard on Series III). The sills have been reinforced with chequer plate.

The soft ‘bikini’ cab roof and the rear tonneau were both new at the time of restoration (2018) and both are in near as-new condition. Seams and edges are strong, there are no tears, and the colour is a deep black. Neither has shrunk.

The rear tailgate has been reworked and is now side opening. It looks like it was designed that way and operates quite smoothly. The rear deck has a full-length rubber mat fitted and the whole structure feels solid.

Lights and mountings are new, as is the front grill, adding the final details to a very tidy and distinctive Defender.

The Interior


  • Thick rubber Series III floor mats throughout
  • Refurbished seats

In an open-topped Landy, one is never quite sure where the exterior ends and the interior begins, but you can definitely say that the cab was as thoroughly worked on as the outside. It retains a lot of the original parts and keeps a nice balance between ‘cleaned up’ and replaced. The whole parcel shelf/dashboard area was refreshed and straightened up, though retains a few chips and well-thumbed edges. 

The seats were recovered and look very smart (on a freshly painted plinth), and the steering wheel facing them is new. The cleaned-up gear/transmission levers are original and their weathering gives them character. The transmission tunnel is of course resprayed and the floor mats pretty new.

The black powder-coated door tops were new and look very smart from both sides, as does the reworked windscreen top/roof assembly. All part of the same package, the canopy hoop and the seat belt assemblies are as new.

The Mechanics 


  • Renovated engine
  • Refurbished brakes
  • Solid underneath 

The engine may not be pretty, and the work gone into it was dismissed in the restorer’s notes as ‘engine stuff’ (costing some £840), but its refurbishment is still worth noting. The trusty Landy petrol four-pot has had a replacement Weber carburettor, new plugs, distributor and battery, and an electronic ignition. The radiator also had a replacement panel. The all-important bulkhead between it and the cab appears solid – and, at one side, is supported by a replacement outrigger on the chassis.

Looking underneath the truck, the chassis looks pretty robust. There are a few scuffs to the undersealing, but the main rails, outriggers and spring hangers appear to be in good shape. The rear crossmember was replaced during the rebuild. 

Springs, suspension and steering assemblies all look fee-moving and serviceable, while the brakes were also replaced in 2018 and haven’t seen a lot of miles since.

Summary


With all the heavy lifting already done in refreshing this 109, all that really remains is to enjoy it. It would no doubt be up to whatever work tasks might be thrown at it, though it would seem a shame to spoil such a good-looking wagon with anything so mundane as a full-time job. 

Far better to give it light touring duties, knowing your investment is as safe in this truck as just about any classic on – or off – the road.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1982
  • Make Land Rover
  • Model 109 Series III LWB
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 57,295 Miles
  • Engine size 2400
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Yorkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
17 bids
  • c30_lov•••• £10,750 11/08/22
  • ranger2•••• £10,500 11/08/22
  • Tembos £10,000 11/08/22
  • c30_lov•••• £9,800 11/08/22
  • Tembos £9,600 11/08/22
  • c30_lov•••• £9,500 11/08/22
  • stefane•••• £9,000 11/08/22
  • Dsla333 £8,000 10/08/22
  • Tembos £7,500 09/08/22
  • c30_lov•••• £7,000 09/08/22

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