the other Rover
Series II (1960)
I bought 'her' in December 2002 near London. In early January I took off
from Cologne airport on a single for 20 quid. Mark, the owner, picked
me up at Luton and we drove to his dad's, where he took me for a test
drive, I handed over the money and set off to Germany at 40mph.
Twenty minutes and five miles later, at the first roundabout, she wouldn't
budge. Luckily, only the connectors on the distributor had seized and
after going at them with a nail file, we were on the road again.
Arrived at Dover at three amid torrents of rain, took the ferry and
at sixish we were on the road again, heading for Germany. By this time
the rain had turned into snow, I had put on my snowboard gear and a
blanket, dusk had set in and we were beginning to be looked at as prey
by the lorry drivers. Very tired and very scared we finally arrived
at Duisburg at four in the morning, having driven for ten straight hours. Luckily, I was greeted by my girlfriend and a hot cup of tea :)
I have to admit that after that trip I couldn't and didn't look at
her for a couple of weeks, but once the strain had worn off, I began
to see her in the proper light again and started sorting things out.
She was in a remarkable condition for a 43 year old car!
Not only had she carried me all the way back to Germany without any
problems at all (apart from the forgivable seized distributor), on closer
inspection, there was almost no rust to be found on the chassis, the
panels were all straight, the engine, gearbox and diffs were absolutely
dry, and the soft top was in excellent condition. All in all, this was
a very specimen of a rare, original Series 2 Landrover.
The only real area
of concern was the bulkhead, which had some corrosion on the door posts,
the top and also the footwells. This, however, proved to be a real nuisance,
as the Series 2 bulkheads are quite peculiar and, due to the relatively
short production span of the S2, very, very rare. You can, of course,
fit all the bulkheads right through to Defender ones, but what's the
point of buying an old vehicle if you're then going to rebuild it with
new, non-original parts?
To cut matters short, there's a substantial amount of welding to be
done, which I am tackling at the moment. Once that is dealt with, however,
I am pretty sure the rest will pose no real problems and I am hoping
that we will be on the road again in the summer of 2003.
I will keep
you informed about work and I also hope to be able to post some pictures
soon. For the moment wish me luck and if you know of one of those ultra-rare
Series 2 bulkheads (not Series 2a!), drop me a line!