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With its introduction in 1948, the original "series" Land Rovers truly defined a previously unaddressed segment of the market, particularly in post-war Britain, where manufacture of further Rover luxury cars was unlikely to be successful. Although there may have been war-era Jeep inspiration to its genesis, this was the world's first mass-produced four-wheel drive car with doors and an available hardtop, and while it was intended for farming and agricultural use, its myriad applications around Britain and the Commonwealth gave it a "go-anywhere" and "do-anything" reputation that became synonymous with Britishness...in some ways, it was perhaps no different to the resilient post-war English spirit than the "bulldog" was to the character of Winston Churchill. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II herself has been known to drive Land Rovers on multiple occasions, and so whether it was at a polo match, an African safari, or even a humanitarian mission, "series" Land Rovers were not just the playthings of the landed gentry, but also truly purpose-built utilitarian transport.

The Series IIA, of which the car offered here is a particularly exciting example, is perhaps among the most iconic and desirable, benefiting from the second series' most notable improvements, namely the "barrel-side" design treatment. This not only covered the car's wider track but also gave the Land Rover its first proper influence from Rover's styling department. The Series IIA also had minor design improvements over the Series II, a new 2.25-litre diesel engine became available and with production escalating enormously and the car being featured in numerous on-screen appearances, it is widely considered the quintessential Land Rover.

The example presented here is a short wheelbase Series IIA, offered on behalf of a highly respected California-based collection. While it appears entirely factory-correct front to back, the car was actually heavily modified during a full restoration that was completed in mid-2021 by a specialist shop in Southern California. The stout but comparatively underpowered Land Rover engine was replaced by a 360-horsepower, six-liter Chevrolet L96 V8 with 380 foot-pounds of torque. The chassis was fully galvanized, as evidenced by the spotless undercarriage photographs. Mechanical improvements included multiple modern upgrades sourced from the Defender 90, including axles, a five-speed transmission, transfer case, power steering, and power brakes. A VintageAir air conditioning system was also discreetly installed, as was a sophisticated JBL sound system with Bluetooth compatibility. The exterior, engine bay, and interior all present extremely well, highly indicative of professional workmanship and attention to detail. The custom faux-elephant hide interior covering is one particularly stunning touch.

With its superb restoration, perhaps it's unlikely this Land Rover will be venturing much farther beyond the concrete jungle...but with its modern mechanicals and powerful Chevrolet V8, an adventurous new owner should rest assured that he's unlikely to get stuck in the dirt at the family farm or in the sand on a Nantucket beach!

Collectors Garage, A Broad Arrow Company
377 Fisher Road
Suite H
Grosse Pointe  48230  --
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