1969 LAND ROVER SERIES IIA (88 SWB)
Chassis No. 24435680F
Engine No. 30600432K
Navy blue with black interior
Engine: four cylinder, over head valve, 2.25 liter, 81bhp ; Gearbox: four speed with two speed transfer box, and mechanical overdrive; Brakes: four-wheel drum; Suspension; semi-elliptic leaf spring. Left hand drive.
The idea of a multi-purpose agricultural vehicle was a germ sown in the mind of Maurice Wilks, younger brother of Rover's Chief Engineer Spencer, while on a family holiday in Anglesea. The concept suited Rover, as its chassis construction was of steel and could be made by hand while the body panels were made in aluminum (with galvanized steel bracing) as there was a readily available supply of aluminum post-war. A prototype was built in the autumn of 1947, based on a Jeep chassis, with Rover running gear and a transfer box to give four wheel drive.
Even before the completion of this prototype, the project was accepted by the Rover Board, on 4th September 1947, and subsequently a group of 'pilot' or pre-production vehicles were built for testing from March 1948, the name give from the outset was 'Landrover'. A legend was born.
The example on offer today is a Series IIA 88 inch or Short wheel base model. The IIA model was produced from 1961 to 1971, and incorporated many improvements over the original Series including larger engines, longer wheel base and more rugged construction. This was the model that established Land Rovers exceptional reputation. The "Landy" as these all-purpose utility vehicles are affectionately known were built in any number of configurations, on either the 88 inch or 109 inch wheel base. Universally used from the Artic to Africa to the US and of course in the homeland in the United Kingdom the Landy is hand and hand recognized with the Willy's Jeep as the "go-to" vehicle for serious off-road use. The early history of this Landy is confirmed that it was completed in January of 1969 as a left hand drive model in Pastel Green and was exported to San Francisco. It is believed that this particular Land Rover was photographed for the 1969 factory advertising brochure and was also featured later in an article in Land Rover Owner's International magazine. The Landy then spent the next 26 years on the Pabst family ranch near Grand Junction, Colorado. While in the service of the Pabst family (whose fortune comes from the beer which bears their name) the Landy saw occasional use up and down the 1-mile drive-way at the ranch. Be it some snow plowing, trips to the mailbox, or ferrying guests when the weather was too inclement - the Landy seemingly never failed. It did however, get a bit weathered through all this time, but remained very much original and intact.
Upon purchase by the now owner in 1996 restoration work began. It first started with the wiring harness, shocks, springs, brakes and tires and continued on in earnest from there. Fortunately its new Chicago, Illinois location gave proximity to David Cooper of Cooper Technica who primarily specializes in pre-World War II Italian sports cars and Land Rovers. This Landy did not need a complete ground-up restoration, but rather was partially restored over the last 11 years. The owner had the truck repainted in Navy Blue, the color of the British metropolitan police vehicles. Most recently in the last year Cooper has rebuilt the transmission and engine. The owner recently recounted "there was the day when a sheriff pulled us over, and just as my wife was upbraiding me, assuming I had done something wrong, the sheriff just said that he hadn't seen one since he grew up in South Dakota in the early 1970s and how he loved the old Rovers." For anyone who has ever owned a Landy, or has a friend who does, these wonderfully simple, rugged vehicles never disappoint. This is a very well presented, rugged Landy poised for its next owner - wherever in the world that might be!