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  •   Martin reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    CAR #Range-Rover / #Land-Rover / #Land-Rover-Range-Rover /

    RUN BY Martin Buckley
    OWNED SINCE March 2012

    I decided to take pal Mark Cosovich up on his offer to detail the Range Rover, concentrating mainly on the engine bay. He doesn’t often stray far from Mercedes but he was keen to get his son Alex involved because he is saving up for a car, and thus able to do me one of his famous ‘super trade’ deals.

    RAY 606W cruised beautifully down the M4 to Swansea and Cosovich’s new W123 World workshop. An early G-Wagen was on the ramp; it’s hard to believe they still make these – it was an ugly pig of a thing, even in the ’70s. Not even Mark is a fan.

    Then again he’s not a fan of the Range Rover, either, reminding me of the old joke: ‘What are the two man-made things you can see from space? The Great Wall of China and Range Rover panel gaps…’

    A full interior valet started the work, with the carpet set removed and cleaned. The ‘teddy bear’ upholstery and trim were cleaned and the damaged plastic trim colour-washed. The scratched rear seat-back was painted, the spare wheel cleaned, painted and tyre-dressed. The whole vehicle was then pressure-washed and steam-cleaned, including the now-Waxoyled underbody. There is still a weird problem with the window-winder mechanisms in both doors, which occasionally refuse to wind all the way down. Somehow, opening the door releases them.

    The matt-black frames, bumpers and front grille were repainted in satin black and it was then time to move on to the engine bay. All of the ancillaries were removed, bead-blasted and new clips fitted. The inside of the bonnet was cleaned and repainted in Tuscan Blue, the inlet manifolds and air cleaner box restored, and the latter repainted and installed with new filters.

    The bodywork was then cleaned and orbitally polished, with special attention given to the paintwork on the arches and edges of the bonnet and tailgate. High-build polish was applied to all areas: “It came up from very dull to surprisingly good,” says Cosovich. “Maybe Leyland paint isn’t so bad after all?”

    Finally, the wheels were removed, orbitally sanded, primed and painted alloy silver and then lacquered. The wheel bolts were painted black and the tyres (described as ‘quite old’) were cleaned and dressed.

    The results are very pleasing indeed; so good, in fact, that while it was in Cosovich’s custody I was made a strong offer to sell the car. I thought about it for a few days and, on balance, reckoned it was the sort of bid that was hard to ignore.
    Trouble was, the man had no time to come and look so it was arranged that the Range Rover would be recovered down to his house for ‘approval’. By the time the car was finished the mystery buyer had evaporated and it was delivered back to my shed looking like a different vehicle.

    Secretly I wasn’t bothered because I had no particular plans to sell it; but, given how good the Range Rover is looking, perhaps now is a good time to let it go (for offers around £40,000).

    The matt black has been replaced by satin. Range Rover looks good enough to sell. Velour ‘teddy bear’ trim has been revived.
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  •   Martin Buckley reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    To Le Mans, with zest

    The most practical
    car in the paddock?
    We think so

    CAR #1972 #Range-Rover / #Land-Rover-Range-Rover / #Land-Rover
    Owned by Charlie Magee [email protected]
    Time owned 23 months Miles this month 732
    Costs £200
    Previously Chopping out lots of rust, welding in lots of new metal, dreading the final bill

    Le Mans Classic had been pencilled in on the calendar for weeks. And the reality of a little European adventure had started to crystallise as the days counted down. Nights under canvas, bush skills, gnat bites, and a subtle mix of sunstroke and hangovers.

    But crucially, it had the makings of a great weekend with the addition of some world-class classic car racing. Something about Le Mans Classic has always appealed to me, more than similar domestic events. Maybe it’s the historic circuit, the relaxed atmosphere and, I suppose, the adventure of getting there.

    Well, hopefully not too much adventure. That depends on your mode of travel. Up until a few days before, I had planned to buddy-up with Ross Alkureishi in his Lancia Zagato for a fast and furious blast across northern France, inevitably travelling light.

    Then I received a phone call from Ross – the sort of call you know is going to impart bad news. Sure enough, the Lancia’s gearbox wasn’t ready following a rebuild, so no fun in France for us. Bottle opener, multi-tool and head torch were heading back into the cupboard for another couple of years.

    Or could it be that my blue 1972 Range Rover would come to the rescue? Relieved of its usual duties as a city runabout, it was deputised to make the fuel-hungry jaunt to Le Mans. Thanks to the very helpful people at, we were able to change some details in our booking and hey presto! We were packing everything in sight, including the kitchen sink.

    I have to say I wasn’t expecting to take the Range Rover. It has some great qualities as a car but bombing along the autoroute isn’t one of them. I quickly ordered some judicious spare parts, including a radiator top hose, fanbelt, a full set of spare bulbs (French police can get stroppy about this) and five litres of oil – something that tends to escape at high cruising speeds. I printed out my list of RAC Eurocover phone numbers and headed off to pick Ross up on the way to the Eurotunnel.

    Getting a few miles under our wheels seemed to prove that it was all going well. We relaxed on our later-than-planned journey on the A28 toward Rouen, save for keeping a watchful eye on water temperature, oil pressure and slowly but inexorably falling fuel gauge needle. I had put all various levers in their optimum positions for high-speed touring and hopefully the optional overdrive would earn its keep. Much as I’d been practising my French – ‘Pompe cinq, s’il vous plaît’ – we made it all the way to the track, barring the odd comfort stop, on a single 19-gallon tank of fuel – that’s 16mpg. Not great but not as bad as I thought it might have been.

    Arriving just after midnight, our next test was erecting an as-yet unseen tent for the first time. I was running on adrenalin by this stage and I think we managed it in about 20 minutes, leaving just enough time for a quick beer at the bar before bedtime.

    I mean, who’s ever slept in a tent sober?

    Range Rover meets Ferrari 412, Mustang and GT40 replica.
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  • Jerry Thurston created a new group

    Land Rover Defender

    Land Rover Defender
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  •   Jerry Thurston reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    CAR: #Land-Rover-Series-II / #Land-Rover

    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since Sept 2016
    Total mileage 28,031
    Miles since February
    report 609
    Latest costs nil


    Forget dreaming of a white Christmas – a white anytime through November to March will do me, although I will admit that it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue with the same ease as Crosby’s seasonal hit. The point is, though: I own a Land- Rover, live in the UK and therefore am well-versed in the annual disappointment when it comes to having a bona fide reason to select four-wheel drive or low range.

    Predictably, it happened yet again just before Santa donned his wellies and broke into the houses of millions, but this time there was actually a decent amount of snow… just not where I live. In fact, if I’d travelled three miles in any direction, I could have gone and made a snowman but I just sulked and avoided social media featuring the endless pictures of Solihull’s finest having limitless fun. Instead, I turned back to when my Series II arrived in London to a harsh winter in February ’1963. One photo shows two chilly-looking chaps standing by the Land-Rover near the junction of Kempsford Gardens and Warwick Road, around the corner from Earls Court – various other vehicles of the period are languishing on the snow-covered streets.

    And then it happened. I pulled back the curtains one morning at the start of January to find a snowy blanket – well, a slightly slushy white sheet at least, and one that was already threatening to disappear.
    There was nothing else for it: grab the keys to the Series II and find an excuse to go for a drive, and it was a good job that I did – 40 minutes later the temperatures rose, the rain fell and the snow had turned to localised flooding instead. Fortunately, all is not lost: an item on the news announced that, because of the sun’s cycles, there is a chance that we will experience a mini ice-age. Admittedly, it could be within the next three decades, but I reckon that’s enough time to prepare and by then I’ll be about 75 years old so will have plenty of spare time to enjoy it!

    On the flipside of the weather coin, it was a beautiful day that greeted the Land-Rover when I took a trip to Wiltshire to collect a complete run of Classic & Sports Car from a reader who was downsizing his collection. He had a lovely Jaguar XK120 project nearing completion – its Suede Green paintwork looked stunning in the winter sun. With the Series II full to the brim of magazines in the rear tub, there were a few ‘interesting’ moments on the return journey – thanks to the lightened front end – but, as I drove past Littlecote House near Hungerford on the way back, I took advantage of the nice weather to revisit the past.

    As regular readers will know, the Series II’s first owner, Philip Kohler, worked in the film industry as a location manager around the world. One effort that was closer to home was The Four Feathers – a 1977 drama featuring Beau Bridges, Jane Seymour and Robert Powell. As well as Hampshire and Almería in Spain, one of the main settings was Littlecote House and left in the back of the Land-Rover was a board informing the public that it would be closed due to the filming. The Series II was still in regular use by Philip well into the 1970s, so it’s extremely likely that this wasn’t the first time it had been to Littlecote House. As I drove away, one older employee on the estate looked on with a big smile and announced in a Wiltshire drawl: “That’s proper motorin’ that is!”

    One of the best things about owning the Landie is undoubtedly the same as with most other classics – the reaction that it gets – and a difficult return to work after the Christmas break was brightened up when an envelope arrived on my desk during the first day back.

    One kind reader by the name of Phillip Smart had decided that I should have his period ‘MW’ Malawi AA decal – just in case I ever decided to add that to the list of locations visited by the Series II. It was a generous thought and – who knows? – maybe one day I will legitimately be sticking it to the back of the Land-Rover above the NR and EAK plates. Thanks, Phillip.

    The snow eventually arrived in West Berkshire, but not as much as when Philip Kohler returned to the UK in 1963 (left).

    Littlecote House near Hungerford was used as the location for the filming of The Four Feathers in 1977.
    Filming board was found in the Series II MW plate to go with earlier EAK and NR
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  •   Martin Buckley reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    CAR #Land-Rover-Series-IIA / #Land-Rover-Series-II / #Land-Rover

    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May 2013
    Total mileage 46,305
    Miles since April
    report 1407
    Latest costs £5


    I’ve now been driving my Landie around with its Fairey overdrive installed for a few months. And, although I am considering having my hearing checked just to be sure that the increase in noise levels isn’t doing any lasting damage, I am still happy with my new addition.

    Has it quietened down as the gears get to know each other? Not really, but the occasional wintry snaps have brought about a bonus. The colder, thicker oil in the overdrive and transfer boxes does at least reduce the whine for a while at the start of each commute.

    The more relaxed cruising is extremely welcome on the motorway, and knocking it out into direct top makes you wince because it feels as if you are pushing the drivetrain even more than it used to. It certainly seems as if it will need a rebuild at some point – just as an attempt to reduce the noise to an acceptable level should I have passengers or family in the car – but that will be a job for another day.

    In the meantime, I was treated to a diversion when the ignition light began glowing one morning. It only started when I had the lights, heater and wipers on, but I decided to kick off investigations by putting a meter across the battery. All looked okay there and, to be honest, so did the readings from the alternator, but I chucked on my brand new spare to at least eradicate that as a possible cause.

    There was no noticeable change and I recalled that I’d recently had a couple of issues with the headlamp switch. Turning on the lights would sometimes result in the ignition cutting out – a gentle wiggle resuming normal service – but it was enough of a coincidence to presume that there could be a connection.

    Taking out the switch, dosing the back with WD40 and cleaning the contacts improved things significantly, but there’s still a glimmer when you switch on more ancilliaries. That said, my initial panic has been tempered by the fact that the IIA still starts on the button, with no drop in cranking power, and the lighter mornings mean that I no longer notice the glow!

    Fellow Land-Rover owner and designer Matt Purdon kindly dug out an ageing spare that I intend to clean up and use to prove the idea. But, hey, I’ve got the whole of the summer to sort that… haven’t I?

    Out and about in West Berkshire – with spring just around the corner.

    New alternator ruled out a charging fault. Spare switch will test theory of resistance.
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  •   Martin Buckley reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Car #Land-Rover-Series-II / #Land-Rover

    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since Sept 2016
    Total mileage 22,427
    Miles since acquisition four
    Latest costs £264

    Good things apparently come to those who wait, and who am I to argue? About 18 months ago, I spotted a forum post asking for advice about an old Land-Rover with an interesting history and hastily made enquiries – initially in a professional capacity so that I could secure the story. Quickly, though, I became obsessed with the Series II and its past, and for good reason.

    In the late 1950s, a young Australian named Philip Kohler was working in Northern Rhodesia. When his contract ended, he decided that he wanted to come back to the UK, but rather than just hop on a plane he opted to buy a new 88in Land-Rover and drive.

    The journey took him three years as he crossed the continent – a route that he decided should be plotted on the sides of the hardtop.

    The tub wore large letters identifying it as the ‘Trans-Africa’ Land-Rover, beneath which was painted a simple phrase: Haraka haraka haina mbaraka, which, loosely translated, is a Swahili proverb meaning ‘Haste haste has no blessings’ – apt for a Land-Rover intent on crossing the Sahara!

    Kohler’s journey introduced him to a new vocation. While in Arusha in Tanzania, he discovered that a film company was in the area and decided to try to get work. So he turned up at 5am each day, and was eventually employed by the director – namely Howard Hawks, the man behind such films as The Big Sleep with Bogart and Bacall and the epic Rio Bravo starring John Wayne.

    Hawks was filming Hatari! with Wayne when Kohler came across the unit in 1962, and there he found four months’ employment before continuing his journey and securing more film work. This time it was on The Lion with William Holden, better known for his roles in The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch and The Towering Inferno.

    Kohler eventually arrived in the UK in ’1963 and continued in the film industry as a location manager on films such as The Empire Strikes Back, The Killing Fields, Full Metal Jacket, GoldenEye and Octopussy – the Land-Rover remaining his faithful transport for many years.

    He sadly passed away in 2015, shortly before I first saw his Series II where it had been sitting, undisturbed, outside the family home for 18 years. After writing the initial article and discussing the best options for preserving the Landie’s history with Mary, his partner of 53 years, I filed it in the mental archives. I was convinced that it would be snapped up by the highest bidder at some point because there was no shortage of interest.

    Eighteen months on, though, the 1959 Series II is residing in Berkshire – the keys in my pocket thanks to Philip’s family. The decision to sell the house in White City meant that the Land-Rover finally had to go to a new home and, fortuitously for me, they decided that I should be given the opportunity to secure its future. A deal was done, based not necessarily on value but on what I could raise and there was almost no chance of me saying no, having coveted the SII since I first clapped eyes on it. With a frenzied flurry of activity – in which I’m ashamed to say that ‘real life’ went to the back of my mind – money was transferred, a trailer borrowed, and help enlisted. Six days after the email landed, Greg MacLeman and I were in Shepherd’s Bush, pondering how to extricate the aged vehicle.

    The rescue mission drew quite a crowd: the Land-Rover was a wellloved local landmark and plenty of people stopped to take photographs, share their memories and lend a helping hand. After three hours, it was on the trailer, and my IIA did a fantastic job of towing it back to Berkshire. Initial thoughts of getting the Landie straight into the garage were tempered by burst tubes and seized brakes, so I begged for a spot at Classic Jaguar Replicas’ workshop from Oli Cottrell until I could get it to a rolling state.

    My first call was to Longstone Tyres to see if it had anything that might suffice in the short-term that wasn’t going to eat too far into my non-existent budget. A set of 600 x 16 ‘bar grip’ crossplies arrived the next day and my local tyre fitters got busy. That meant we could at least push the Series II around and think about the hydraulics, but not before we’d had a look at the engine – just to satisfy our curiosity, of course!

    After establishing that the motor held water and oil, we disconnected the line from the tank and dropped it into a jerrycan before priming the fuel system with the pump lever.

    I dragged a bit of emery paper between the contact points and then turned the engine over on the starting handle before connecting a battery and spinning it on the starter. Within seconds, the 2286cc petrol unit burst into life and settled to a smooth idle as both Oli and I whooped in celebration!

    That wasn’t bad after 18 years of inactivity, but then came news that C&SC’s top brass had suggested – to tie in with the Heroes theme – that the Landie star on our stand at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show – barely a couple of weeks off. So we had a fair amount to do to avoid a lot of pushing and winching.

    THANKS TO / Philip Kohler’s family / Greg MacLeman / Oli Cottrell at Classic Jaguar / Replicas: / Longstone Tyres: 01302 714072;

    Philip Kohler realised his ambition to drive solo across the Sahara Desert in the Series II. Inset: a front garden in Shepherd’s Bush had been its home for the past 18 years.

    Kohler with Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance. Complete route is painted on the hardtop. Double Landie equipe leaves White City. Trunks and contents left from African trip. Journey went from Cape Town to London. ‘Bar grips’ turned it into a rolling project. Kohler changing a wheel in the desert heat. How did it get to the NEC? See next month.
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  •   Charlie Magee reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    TRIED AND TESTED £12,500 / #Range-Rover / #Land-Rover / #Land-Rover-Range-Rover /

    Simba 4x4 / Stourbridge, West Midlands / 07944 338318 /

    YEAR: #1979 MILEAGE: 119,311 PRICE: £12,500 MOT: 11 MONTHS

    The history of the original Range Rover will already be familiar to many readers, this ground-breaking model lasting an impressive 26 years from its introduction in 1970. Many changes were made throughout its lengthy career, particularly in the ’80s but for many fans the two-door models of the ’70s are the most desirable, as these are the models closest to the original Range Rover concept.

    The example shown here just about scrapes into that category, as it was built in 1979. What sets it apart from most other Range Rovers in the UK, however, is the fact that it was assembled by Leyland South Africa (Pty) Ltd., one of BL’s numerous overseas divisions at the time. Having been imported to Britain only this year, it has therefore spent the last 37 years in a dry climate, and has never been subjected to extreme cold or salt-laden roads; the end result is an astonishingly wellpreserved Range Rover and one that’s been extremely well cared for by the same family throughout most of its life.

    There are some interesting minor differences in spec thanks to this car’s South African background, the most obvious being the side rubbing strips at bumper level. It also boasts both air conditioning and a large Webasto-style sunroof, plus a km/h speedometer.

    The odometer currently reads 92,013 kilometres, although the Land Rover specialist selling this Range Rover assumes it’s probably ‘been round the clock’. If that’s the case, then this handsome survivor has covered the equivalent of 119,000 miles to date – a figure that’s not exactly excessive after 37 years on the road.

    Stourbridge-based Simba 4x4 specialises in classic Land Rover repairs and restoration, as well as hand-picked imports from South Africa. There’s still a reasonable supply of original-style Range Rovers available there, the majority of which were assembled by the Cape Town-based BL subsidiary that had earlier produced models like the 1100-based Austin Apache and an Austin-badged Marina. In each case, the cars would be assembled from CKD (complete knock down) kits sent over from the UK, with the Range Rover featured here proudly bearing an engine bay plate that boasts: ‘Built in South Africa’.

    It’s recently been treated to a full respray in its original Arctic White. The end result is very pleasing, with an excellent finish throughout; but it’s when you start to look a little more closely that this particular Range Rover really starts to impress.

    The respray was carried out simply because of faded paintwork from the harshness of the South African sunshine, as in every other respect this Range Rover is structurally original. The panels have survived the years incredibly well and remain corrosion-free, and the underside is equally untouched and undamaged. Every seam, every join and every weld looks factory fresh and unmolested, making this one of the most original examples of its type you’re likely to find at its £12,500 asking price.

    There may be some Range Rover purists for whom only a Solihull-built example will do, but I can’t help feeling that this example’s South African backgrounds gives it some added interest. More importantly, it means you’re getting a Range Rover that has had none of the remedial or structural repairs that so many of its UK-based cousins have had to endure. The interior is also impressively original, although a replacement carpet has been fitted at some point. The tan-coloured leather upholstery is in a very good state, with no signs of major wear and tear.

    On the mechanical front there’s been a general check-over by Simba 4x4, with nothing more required thanks to its healthy state; its MoT last month was passed with no advisories, enabling the vendor to begin the UK registration process. The 3.5-litre V8 fires up instantly from cold (aided by the welcome simplicity of a manual choke), quickly reaching normal temperature and settling down to a smooth idle. There’s no excessive smoke and no sign of any leaks or problems.

    The four-speed (LT95) manual transmission works well, as does the transfer box. The brakes feel fine and the suspension appears to be noise-free and without issues. In fact, the whole vehicle feels impressively ‘tight’ for its age, largely thanks to its originality and the obvious care it’s received over the years.

    It’s easy to see the appeal of this recent import from a dry climate. The cost of professionally restoring the bodywork and chassis of a down-at-heel UK-spec Range Rover would far exceed the asking price of this impressively well-preserved vehicle. Recent respray aside, it’s an extremely original example of its type, offering all the charm of a ’70s Range Rover (two doors, a basic dashboard, few frills) in a usable and ready-to-show package. Whether bought as a classic daily user or a headturning summer fun car, it appears to offer excellent value for money.
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  •   Martin reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    / #Land-Rover-SIIA / #Land-Rover-SII / #Land-Rover /
    Run by Tim Bulley
    Owned since March 2012
    Total mileage 40,354
    Miles since May 2015 report 704
    Latest costs £126

    The Landie was a reliable friend over the winter and early spring, regularly undertaking trips to collect logs for the fire, or ferrying the family and our new puppy Bramble to remote spots for a good walk. It even sailed through the MoT test with no advisories, apart from the obligatory oil leak.

    In March, I had a great run down to Goodwood for the Members’ Meeting with a car full of mates. Parked up on Lavant Bank, we watched the great and the good out on the circuit while enjoying a picnic and hot tea in the chilly spring sunshine. All very pleasant.

    The following weekend, I piled the family into the Land-Rover to drive to a pub for dinner. When we were ready to return home, however, she wouldn’t start. It was completely out of the blue, because the journey there had been fine.

    The Landie was turning over okay, but I tried the Power Start booster pack that I keep in the back for this kind of emergency. I also checked the HT leads and eventually tried filling her with fuel from a jerrycan, at which point she started.

    The SIIA got us home without any further issues but I was suspicious. On return from Goodwood I had filled her up, so I knew that the petrol tank wasn’t empty. There was no evidence of a leak, and it would have been immediately obvious if I’d put in diesel by mistake.

    The following weekend, SVR wouldn’t fire. I tried filling up the fuel again, but nothing. I took off the HT leads, gave them and the inside of the distributor cap a wipe with WD40and she burst into life. Problem solved, I thought, and set off to give her a run. Three miles up the road, though, she misfired and, as I pulled off into the village school car park, the engine died. Over the next half hour I got nothing from her, so called my mate Andrew Cameron.

    Although en route to get his hair cut, he kindly came to the rescue. Andrew’s been around old cars all his life, and suggested that the problem was probably the coil. He offered me a lift home so that I could pick up my Discovery and a tow rope. Before setting off, I gave my Land-Rovering mate Jono Lye a call to see if he was around to help with the tow. Jono is an engineer and owns a Series II that he rebuilt himself (I’m lucky to have some very handy mates). Always happy to diagnose a Land-Rover worry, he quickly agreed to lend a hand and dug out the old coil from his SII, suggesting that we give it a try.

    We set off to the car park, where Jono gave SVR a good inspection. The fuel pump was working and the leads were fine. Then a passing villager came to offer support, saying that he’d also owned a Series II (Surrey Hills is full of them). He suggested that we measure the current going in and out of the coil, and went off to find a voltmeter.

    Sure enough, there was 12V going in, but only 6V coming out. SVR has electronic ignition and I didn’t know whether a standard coil would work with it. Jono thought that it should, so we tried his unit but it gave the same reading. By this time, Andrew (with his new haircut) had returned with another coil. Still no joy, though, so we got out the ropes and called in the Disco.

    I posted a couple of pictures of the recovery on Facebook, which got the attention of the Landie’s previous owner, C&SC art editor Martin Port. He sent a message to say that he’d fitted the electronic ignition and that it was a ballastresisted circuit, suggesting that the resistor might be at fault as well as the coil. He sent me a link for an AccuSpark set-up and the next day I trailed around the few autofactors that were open on a Sunday in the Guildford area. I drew a blank at all of them, so on the Monday I called Phil Bashall at Dunsfold Land Rover to see if he had one.

    His advice was to revert the ignition system to points, saying that it would be cheaper as well as much easier to do the kind of roadside repairs that we had been attempting if ever the need arose again. So the next day I enlisted the help of another friend, David Ball, and towed the Landie to Dunsfold for Darryl Burdfield to swap the ignition back. Since then, SVR has been running like a dream.

    I’m pretty lucky on two counts. Firstly, I have a lot of old-car enthusiast chums who live within a few hundred yards that are more than happy to help if something goes wrong. Secondly, in the five years that I have owned SVR, she’s only left me stranded this once. Maybe I shouldn’t speak too soon, though. As I write this, I’m about to take part on the 200-mile Hope Classic Rally. Mind you, two of those mates are going on the event with their cars, too. Fingers crossed.

    THANKS TO Andrew Cameron / Jono Lye / David Ball / Dunsfold Land Rover: 01483200567; /

    ‘Always happy to diagnose a Land-Rover worry, Jono quickly agreed to lend a hand and dug out an old coil’

    Lye searches for the cause of the problem.
    Having reverted to points, the SIIA is now back in action, to the delight of Bramble the dog.
    Investigation included testing for a spark Swapping the coil didn’t improve matters.
    Modern Discovery made short work of towing the stricken Land-Rover home.
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  •   Martin reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    CAR #Land-Rover-Series-IIA / #Land-Rover /
    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May 2013
    Total mileage 49,487
    Miles since July report 2675
    Latest costs £12.99

    Stunning evening sky as team C&SC checks in at the Portsmouth ferry. Inset: post-race calm with Port and his Landie atop the banking overlooking the Porsche Curves.


    With the hub bearing failure a distant memory, it was inevitable that something else would crop up. First was a small stutter that was most noticeable at low revs. A few minutes adjusting the valve clearances sorted that and I took the opportunity to check the compression. With readings all around the 117-125psi mark, I was happy (considering it’s an old, well-used engine), and any concerns of imminent major failure were allayed.

    Then came a request from Oxford Scientific Films to use my Land-Rover for a scene that it wanted to shoot for a natural history programme. The director is a regular reader of C&SC and thought that my IIA might be suitable.

    Conveniently, the filming was to take place a stone’s throw from the office at Shepperton Studios. So, on a lovely early summer evening, I watched while the riggers assembled what looked like a corner of the Forth Bridge on my front wing, upon which sat a camera worth far more than my IIA. With Pixel the dog in the passenger seat, we did several runs up and down a quiet leafy track in order to get the ultrahigh- def slow-mo shot that they needed. With the sun dipping behind the trees, “It’s a wrap” was called triumphantly and I disappeared back down the M3.

    Slightly more nerve-wracking was the annual MoT test. I spent a couple of hours prepping the IIA and was duly rewarded with a pass without advisories. Given my attempts to work more often from home, I was surprised to see that the Landie had still clocked up another 12,500 miles in the past 12 months.

    It would then go wrong, as the gearbox began to make odd noises when lifting off the accelerator pedal. In the course of trying to diagnose what, I presumed, was play in the main shaft, I removed the Fairey overdrive, refitted the standard gear and bearing housing and all the noises and play disappeared!

    The lock washer had broken up and I found the tabs sitting in the clutch sleeve, but there is a lot of play in the main gear shaft that I suspect is to blame. It will have to stay on the workbench for now until I can undertake the intended rebuild.

    Frustratingly, that meant I would once again be heading down to Le Mans for the Classic without overdrive. With a few days to go, in fact, a further misfire came to the fore and, when I removed the distributor cap, I found that yet another 25D body had ‘eaten itself’. Like the last unit, the bob-weights were chomping their way into the casing, causing all sorts of rough running.

    It serves me right for fitting a cheap remake I guess, so I dug out an original 45D with the correct advance curve for a Series Land-Rover. The electronic ignition module from the 25D wouldn’t fit, so I popped in a set of points and condenser and it ran just fine – until the following morning, when it refused to go above 10mph. With just hours left before catching the ferry to Caen, I noticed that the distributor cap was faulty – one of the internal contacts had broken loose and so I limped it over to see Will de la Riviere at Beech Hill Garage.

    The 45D was a common fitment on later MGBs, so I knew that he would have spares of the required quality. After an hour on the forecourt overhauling the system and once again timing the set-up by ear – with a confirming nod from fellow Landie owner John Alexander – I was back on the road.

    In a moment of madness for this Le Mans Classic, I left all of the weather gear at home in a bid to travel light – even ditching the tent in favour of a bivouac-style bedroll.

    I’m glad that I did, too – the weather was glorious and, with empty French back roads and just a windscreen for protection, it felt as if I was driving the IIA as much like a sports car as it would allow. Smiles aplenty and, after a stunning few days awash with classics on and off the track, the only dampener was a faulty ferry on the return trip, which meant that I was very nearly the last vehicle allowed on.

    “No more 4x4s – too big!” said the nice French lady in charge of loading. So I folded the windscreen to lower its profile, smiled hopefully and, much to my surprise, she waved me on and I reversed into the last available space out on the open ferry deck. Several hours later, I was, as a result, first off in Portsmouth and hitting Winchester before the other chaps had been unloaded. Even a few spots of rain couldn’t ruin the buzz from the weekend and, by midnight, I was crawling into bed, but not before I’d given the Land-Rover an appreciative pat on the wing for being a faithful companion once more!

    45D and points replaced electronic 25D.
    Pixel the dog in Landie for filming duties.
    Last man on; others weren’t quite so lucky.
    Lock washer tabs found in clutch sleeve.
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