"The Land Rover Series IIA is considered by many to be the hardiest Series model constructed. It is also quite possibly the model that features most strongly in the general public's perception of the Land Rover, from its many appearances in popular films and television documentaries set in Africa throughout the 1960s, such as Born Free. In February 1968, just a few months after its manufacturer had been subsumed, under government pressure, into the Leyland Motor Corporation, the Land Rover celebrated its twentieth birthday, with total production to date just short of 600,000, of which more than 70% had been exported. It was whilst the Series IIA was in production that sales of utility Land Rovers reached their peak, in 1969-70, when sales of over 60,000 Land Rovers a year were recorded. Compare that with sales of the Defender in recent years which have been around the 25,000 level since the 1990s. As well as record sales, the Land Rover dominated many world markets - in Australia, for example, the Land Rover held 90% of the 4×4 market in the 1960’s. This figure was repeated in many countries in Africa and the Middle East.
This fabulous Land Rover was commissioned to the Eastleigh Works Fire Brigade and formed party of the safety team at the Railway depot from 1968 until 2003. When fire engines are de-commissioned they generally lose all of their unique items, hoses, lights, pumps etc. However, this great example retains all of its features, open the various cubby boxes and you will find a great assortment of nozzles, hoses and axes. There is even a good selection of fire extinguishers strapped on in various places. It is thought at the point of de-commissioning one of the firemen was retiring and it was given to him as a ‘retirement gift’. It has been used for local shows and parades, always creating significant interest wherever it appears. We are advised the petrol engine runs well and she drives with no known faults. The Coventry Climax engine that powers the water pumps runs well. Complete with all the instruction manuals, working blue lights, ladder, firemans helmets and one of the loudest sirens you are ever likely to hear, this Series IIA Land Rover is a superb way to stand out from the crowd!