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My Land Rovers
Mud & Birmabright
1962 109 IIA
This was my first Land Rover bought some 20 yrs back for £500 dripping in oil and battered from use as a builders work horse, well I was a poor student on a budget, time and care was spent turning her into what proved to be a very reliable vehicle. Over the years with considerable help from my Dad we did the usual repair work on the chassis. Put in a Jag 4.2 lump, then took it out again. An overdrive was fitted and free wheel hubs, one of which later failed off road so these where reclassified as unneccesary complications and removed.
Initally used as a weekend vehicle for windsurfing she proved excellent accomodation and great for getting on and off the beach. When I later became a member of the Dartmoor Rescue Group and following a few career moves the North York Moors Search and Rescue Team she continued to provide shelter on long call outs and was pressed into providing access to remoter locations usualy in the worst of weather.
Somewhere along the way while running a business with a friend she got pressed into lugging heavy loads while all the time doing regular trips up and down the country. Usually at night when the low top speed would inconvenience other road users least and reduce the risk of being bowled over from behind.
At some point the engine was replaced by another 2.25 second hand petrol engine and the hard top replaced by a full canvas. Much better and something I still appreciate on the 90. She even got a new coat of paint. Chris, now my wife, helped me repaint her with brushes in Dulux gloss (almost looks like limestone) one afternoon.
After I'd bought the Orange beastie she made her last trip to be laid up from Teesside to Somerset. The only hicup being when the canvas and wire pipe linking air filter to carb decided to collapse onto itself somewhere on the M42, removed she sailed the rest of the way south like a dream.
And so she has sat gathering moss ever since .....
10th July 2001 - The option to sell the IIA came up but I don't need a couple of hundred pounds that desperately and she would only be broken for spares. Discussed it with my Dad and not only are we both in agreement but he is also keen to take on the project of putting her back on the road :-) so things might happen sooner than I'd anticipated. Mechanically we know she's sound, bodywork doesn't matter so it's just the usual chassis and bulkhead. As we've had the body off before and it was refitted with lots of Coppaslip along with cunifer brake pipes and the like it should be relatively straight forward (we hope). So.... now to find a new chassis.
Why rebuild a 1962 109? Well she's always been very reliable costing next to nothing year on year to keep running. She's very simple, lacking all the things that fail MOTs on my later vehicles (seatbelts, power steering, brake servos,...) and now she is even tax exempt. Apart from which I'm rather sentimental and she carries a nice plate WFF 312. Who knows, I might even get another 20 years out of her.
12th Nov 2001 - having cut back the saplings that have grown up around her, swapped the battery and rigged a temp fuel tank (bottle) the old 2.25 was brought to life and she has been moved onto harder standing.