Churchill 4x4

Land Rover Restoration, Land Rover Sales and Servicing

Sunday 9th of December 2018

Phone Number: 01527 821 440

Buying a Classic Land Rover for a Restoration Project

Are you thinking of buying a classic Land Rover? Classic Series Land Rovers were designed for easy repair and maintenance. For this reason, they are loved by enthusiasts who have taken good care of them over the years. Spare parts and DIY repair kits are also available for these vehicles. Which make them a great project for lovers of old Land Rovers.

A restoration of Series Land Rover is a good investment as these vehicles increase in value over time. Although the value of Land Rover classics increases over time, you may not be able to recover the restoration costs. So don't go into the job to make a profit out of your old Land Rover. Restoration of these classic vehicles, therefore, is about passion for the vehicle and the value of completing a project.

1956 Land Rover Series 1 86"

1956 Land Rover Series 1 86" chasis, bulkhead and gearbox

1956 Land Rover Series 1 86" Restored

1956 Land Rover Series 1 86" Restored

Do you wish to restore an old Land Rover?

Then you need to consider whether it is better to have a professional carry out the work or if you want to take on the project yourself. Restoring an old Land Rover to a roadworthy condition will take a lot of work and time. Completing the repairs and restorations by yourself may seem financially appealing. But it may end up costing more than taking it to a restoration expert.

You will also require a large space to work on your restoration. If you choose to work outdoors, you will depend on the weather which can hold back the project. Also, avoid working on soft ground as you will require a base for the crane to lift the engine or gearbox.

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

Are you looking for a Series 1 Land Rover Rebuild? The first Land Rover was the Series 1 Land Rover which was built in 1948. The first vehicles contained a 1.6L engine, and later models moved up to the 2.0L. There were three chassis sizes produced over the ten years that the Series 1 was in production. The three sizes of chassis were the 80", 86" and the 88".

This classic Land Rover is highly sought after among collectors. The Series 1 will command high prices, especially the 80" chassis. A premium price will be offered for any that have been fully restored to an excellent condition.

It is often believed that the Series 1 Land Rover is more difficult to drive than the newer models. But there are many examples of the Series 1 which handle more efficiently than a Series 3. Finding parts for a Series 1 Land Rover is reasonably easy, and the vehicle can be modified to fit newer parts. The advantage of updating your old Land Rover to fit newer parts is that they work out a lot cheaper.

1957 Series 1 LWB truck cab

1957 Series 1 LWB truck cab body panels sprayed off the vehicle before being refitted

1957 Series 1 LWB truck cab Restored

1957 Series 1 LWB truck cab

Centre Steer Land Rover Prototype - 1947

The prototype was first produced in 1947. The original Land Rover prototype was built from the chassis of a military Jeep with Rover transmission and engine. 

To avoid the need for producing both left-hand drive as well as right-hand drive models, the prototype had the steering wheel placed in the centre. Having a centrally placed steering wheel proved impractical, and all later models moved away from this design.

By 1948 the early production models that were fully Land Rover were produced form the newly acquired plant in Solihull, England. It is unclear how many of these central steering prototypes were produced as they were mostly dismantled in the 1950s.

LAND ROVER Series 1 80 Inch, 1.6 Litre

The first series Land Rover used 1595cc four-cylinder engines. They were built between 1948 and 1950.  Built as basic utility vehicles, these Land Rovers offered a permanent four-wheel drive system.  This consisted of a two-speed transfer gearbox with a four-speed gearbox.

The Land Rover built before 1949 came in light green paintwork, but after this date a bronze green finish became available. This green was requested by the War Department who bought the first big order.

50 pre-production vehicles were built in the 1950s which offered prototype 2-litre engines. From 1950 onwards a truck cab was available instead of the full-length soft top of earlier examples. 

LAND ROVER Series 1 80 Inch 1948-1951

A seven-seater station waggon was introduced in 1948. The body was manufactured by Tickford. It was designed with a wooden frame below alloy panelling. This began to cause problems as the wooden panelling was not suited to some conditions.

The station waggon model was originally available in light green but later bought in bronze green. Due to how expensive it was to produce, the seven-seater did not prove to be a success. It was also taxed at a higher rate as a passenger carrying vehicle.

After only three years and 650 vehicles produced, the Tickford was withdrawn from production.

LAND ROVER Series 1 80 Inch, 2 Litre

The 2-litre model was the first Land Rovers to have exterior door handles other than the station waggon variant. These were available in bronze green and notable for its distinctive inverted T shape radiator grille.

The 2-litre engine offered more torque and power. This variant was manufactured between 1952 and 1953.

LAND ROVER Series 1 86 Inch

The 80-inch chassis was later replaced by the 86" model in September 1953 for the year 1954 model. This fulfilled a greater demand for increased capacity payload. With an extra 6 inches, the wheelbase allowed 25% more space available. 

Vehicles built before 1955 retained the "siamese-bore" 2-litre engine from the 80" vehicle. After this date, the "spread-bore" type was introduced. Within these engines the repositioned cylinder centres allowed water to move between each bore pair.

The colour range of these Land Rovers was now expanded. These classic vehicles were available in  Bronze Green, Beige, Blue and Grey.

On the 1954, 86 inch models, the chassis colour matched the body where the 1955 and 1954 models had the chassis painted black.


Series 2 Land Rover Restoration

So you are ready to begin a Series 2 Land Rover Restoration.When we think of Land Rover, the Series 2 is often the familiar model which comes to mind. They were restyled to contain a 2.25-litre gas engine while retaining the same wheelbase as the SAerioes 1. These vehicles are popular amongst classic vehicle enthusiasts as they are exempt from road tax.

As they become more popular, these vintage Land Rover become more valuable. The determining features which improve price are the specification and condition. The most sought after old Land Rover are those that are properly restored or with added features. 

1961 Land Rover Series 2a SWB

1961 Land Rover Series 2a SWB bulkhead sprayed before fitting

Restored 1961 Land Rover Series 2a SWB

Restored 1961 Land Rover Series 2a SWB

These options include:

  • Galvanised chassis which will not rot
  • Freewheeling hubs for increased economy
  • Overdrive for relaxed cruising
  • Parabolic springs to improve the ride
  • Kenlowe fan for better economy 
  • Range rover diffs which add relaxed cruising

The Series 2 Land Rover began production in 1958. It originally kept the 2L engine from the Series 1, but the 2286cc engine replaced it once supply ran out. This engine upgrade proved a reliable unit which continues to be used for every Land Rover that followed.

The Series 2 gearbox in the Land Rover Series 2 was strong and well performing. There was no synchro on the 1st or 2nd gear which was easy to adapt to.

One of the most significant design changes over the following years was the 1969 introduction of the headlights into the wings. The Maltese grill and razor style bonnet were also introduced at this time.

LAND ROVER Series 2 88 Inch

In 1954 the 88 inch Station Wagon was introduced. This model included four inward facing seats in the rear as well as three forward facing seats. It is not known how many 88 inch Series 2 Station Waggons were produced. This is because the chassis number was identical to the utility models in the records. These were produced between 1958 and 1961.

LAND ROVER Series 2 109 Inch

Alongside the 88 inch models, the 109 models were also introduced. These Series 2 models included a 2.25-litre petrol engine. Of the  42,032 Land Rover 109 inch models produced, 8,299 included diesel engines.

Land Rover Series 2a 88 Inch

The Series IIA (1961-1971) are the most common vintage Land-Rover in the US. The Series IIA evolved from the Series 2 models. The headlights were moved from within the grille to be fitted into the wings in 1969. They were available in Beige, Marine Blue, Light Green, Dark Grey, Light Grey,  Poppy Red as well as the original  Bronze Green. Fire engines used the red colour.

These models were available in 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.

Of the 151,820 Land Rover 88 inch models produced, 28,109 included diesel engines. After 1961, a Station Waggon model was offered.


Series 3 Land Rover Classic 

Do you own a series 3 Land Rover classic in need of restoration? Learn more about this classic car. Production of the Land Rover Series 3 began in 1972. The engines were almost the same as the series 2 model, but an alternator was used in place of the dynamo. The gearbox was also improved. To make changing gear easier, a synchro was added to the second gear. 

1975 Land Rover Series 3 SWB

1975 Land Rover Series 3 SWB Reconditioned engine and gearbox fitted to new galvanised chassis

Restored 1975 Land Rover Series 3 SWB

Restored 1975 Land Rover Series 3 SWB

Most noticeable of the upgrades in the Series 3 was the improved dashboard. A new heater was introduced alongside new dials and switches. The wipers were upgraded to be twin speed with auto return.

The station waggon model was improved to make it more comfortable. It could now hold six people in seat belt seating. Due to the update in comfort, it became popular with families.

With the series 3 Land Rover, it was possible to easily convert the cab from hard top to soft top. The three series is recognised as a classic by car lovers. As a classic British car, it holds its value when properly maintained and restored.

Land Rover Series 3 Inch

In 1971, the first series 3 Land Rover began production. The vehicle was an update of the Series 2A. The new features included an ABS plastic grille, a black plastic dashboard and flat hinges on all side doors. With the new dashboard, the instruments were directly in front of the driver.

The all-synchromesh gearbox remained from the Series 2A model. The original 88-inch vehicles had the same engine as the Series 2A. After 1980, the 2.25-litre petrol and four-cylinder diesel were upgraded from three main bearings to five.

The 88 inch Land Rover 3 Series was available with hard tops, truck cabs, a full soft top or as a station wagon. Before 1983 it was available in five colours ( Light Green, Bronze Green, Marine Blue, Mid-Grey,  Limestone and Sand as export only). Following 1983 the colours available included Trident Green, Roan Brown, Masai Red, Russet Brown and Stratos Blue.

The coil sprung Ninety rage replaced the 88 inch Series 3 after 1984. However, there were many orders to fill for overseas purchases, so production continued for a while after this date.

Land Rover Series 3 109 Inch

The Series 3 109 inch models were introduced in 1971 as a long wheelbase vehicle. As with the 88 inch, the long wheelbase model was produced until 1984. The interior design followed the same style and design as the 88 inch.

With the 109 inch vehicle, Land Rover introduced the six-cylinder engine for petrol and diesel to replace the four-cylinder. In 1980, the engine was replaced by the V8. Produced as a replacement for the Series 2a station wagon, the 109 inch was available in ten and twelve seater versions.


Military Land Rovers

Landrover has a long history of supplying vehicles for the military. Ever since the Series 1 Land Rover, these vehicles have been in demand for carrying people and supplies across various terrain. There are even some rare examples of two-wheel drive Land Rovers which were used for driver training. 

The military took good care of their vehicles, so they are popular amongst collectors of vintage vehicles. Ex-military vehicles usually passed directly from the military to enthusiasts who also looked after them well. For this reason, a classic Land Rover which was used by the military is a good buy.

Ex-military Land Rover has low mileage and has suffered less abuse. The 24v vehicles are more expensive than other models but are easy to maintain and more robust.

Lightweight and FFR

Land Rovers were also used by the RAF for use on runways, and a lightweight Landrover was even used to be parashooted from an aeroplane. The Lightweight version was sold as 12 and 24v. It was able to be stripped down to be dropped into conflict areas from the air or used as helicopter starter vehicles. 

These lightweight 24v vehicles were usually used for radio communication. They became known as FFR (fitted for radio) vehicles. The lightweight Land Rover was able to be waterproofed with a kit so that they could drive into water that came to above its height.

The 101 Forward Control

The 101 Land Rover, known as the Forward Control, was able to carry a greater load than the Series vehicle. The military made use of their ability to carry large loads at high speeds. This was due to the V8 engine. Forward Control Land Rovers were eventually replaced by 4x4 vehicles. 

Series 2 and 3 Military

The military also bought Series 2 and 3 Land Rovers. These are often still in use by classic car enthusiasts. The ex-military LAnd Rovers were often fitted with a data plate which showed the military service number. Other additions include flyscreens, wing top boxes and military lights.


Land Rover Defender

The name Land Rover Defender was used to describe vehicles produced previously to the Discovery which was produced from 1991. This includes models which were originally named as Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 or Land Rover 90, 110 and 127. After 1991 these vehicles were named as Defender to differentiate them from the Discovery.

The names of the Defender models refer to the length of their Wheelbase. The main variations of Defender include 90, 110 and 127. These vehicles came in many conversions and variations. These include ambulances, fire engines, pick up trucks and break down recovery trucks.

1983 Land Rover Series 3 SWB

1983 Land Rover Series 3 SWB

Restored 1983 Land Rover Series 3 SWB

Restored 1983 Land Rover Series 3 SWB

The Classic Land Rover Defender was popular due to their capabilities when used off road. The early Defender 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.

TD5 Defender

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 has not become as popular for car collectors. Problems with the engine began to arise as they grew older. Production of the TD5 ceased in 2016.

Buying a Defender

It can be difficult to choose a Defender which is in good condition. Over time many of the components have deteriorated and failed. Many chassis have become redundant after only 15 years.

Vehicles which have not been galvanised usually have suffered. These experience failings in the aluminium and steel components. If you find a Defender which you love, you will benefit from having it restored to a great condition. Fully restored Defenders are popular amongst Land Rover enthusiasts.


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