1967 Land Rover 'Series IIA' 4x4 Registration no. DEU 548F Chassis no. 24130044D Engine no. 541874 E227
Inspired by the US Army's wartime 'Jeep', developed in haste and intended for short-term, small-scale production, the Land Rover would defy its creators' initial scepticism. Rover bosses the Wilks brothers saw the need for a tough, four-wheel-drive, utility vehicle to serve the needs of the agricultural community in the immediate post-war years, but the Land Rover's runaway success took the company by surprise. The necessity of using corrosion resistant aluminium panels at a time of severe steel shortage turned into a positive virtue in the Land Rover's sphere of operations, and the use of existing components - including the P3 saloon's 1,595cc, four-cylinder, sidevalve engine - kept production costs down and cut development time. Built between 1949 and 1958, the Land Rover (retrospectively known as the 'Series I') was available in no fewer than five different wheelbase lengths ranging from 80" to 109".
Some ten years after the original's introduction it was felt that the time had come to update the Land Rover's somewhat primitive slab-sided styling. The result was the Series II, which featured the more rounded sides that continue to characterise the Land Rover today. Introduced in 1958, the Series II was available with either the 2,286cc petrol engine or the newly developed 2,052cc diesel first seen in 1956 on what became known retrospectively as the 'Series I'. By this time the original permanent four-wheel drive freewheel transmission had been superseded by the more conventional selectable two- or four-wheel drive arrangement, with a set of low ratios available if required with the latter option selected. For the Series IIA the diesel engine was enlarged to 2,286cc and a new 12-seater model introduced on the longer (109") wheelbase chassis.
Ruggedly built and simple in construction, the Land Rover proved capable of surviving in countries where conditions were primitive to say the least, a virtue that helped contribute to its worldwide acceptance. Indeed, it is estimated that two-thirds of all Land Rovers ever produced are still in existence today. In the course of more than 60 years in production the supremely versatile Land Rover has proved itself adaptable to innumerable civilian and military roles, and when the company announced that it would end production of the traditional Defender model in December 2015, the news was greeted with dismay. It remains to be seen what form its replacement will take. Meanwhile, owners of existing Land Rovers are able to reflect on the fact that they own what is surely an appreciating asset.
This Series IIA Land Rover on the 88" wheelbase has the 2,286cc, 77bhp petrol engine option. 'DEU 548F' was inherited from his late uncle's estate by the current vendor, owner of a well-equipped vehicle repair workshop in Hampshire. He was thus ideally placed to undertake its complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration, which was carried out over an eight-year period (2006-2014) with no expense spared. We are advised that every single component has been repaired, restored or replaced, and that on completion the vehicle featured in 'Classic Land Rover' magazine as the September 2014 edition's cover story. Noteworthy features include a new rear 'half' chassis, all new seating and a new wiring loom. Fairey freewheel front hubs, a Fairey overdrive, Smiths electric cab heater, and drop/lift tailgates (the latter a rare option) are the only notified deviations from factory specification. Without doubt one of the finest of its kind currently available, this fully restored Series IIA Land Rover is offered with sundry restoration invoices and V5C registration document.