Land Rover have charm and always have a story to tell. Next year the brand will be 75 years old, from an emergency solution in the post-war period, when the car manufacturer Rover cobbled together a simple off-road vehicle with which the farmer could also plow the field, has now become a global brand. Because the first three series in particular are so relatively simple, they are perhaps more suitable for restoration than other vehicles, and the presence of a ladder frame to which everything that makes a car simply bolts is certainly not a disadvantage.
Actually, it was initially not intended to restore the Land Rover, which is the subject here. It was bought more on a whim at the famous junkyard auction in Gürbetal, Switzerland. And it wasn’t one of the other 800 or so vehicles, some of which had been rusting away since the 1930s. At that time, all cars, or what was left of them, came under the hammer in an event advertised throughout Europe. The lots, and often it really was just junk, were struck every 30 seconds. When calling for particularly sought-after vehicles, such as a battered Citroën 11 BL, a BMW 501 A “baroque angel” with holes or a Porsche 356 A, real bidding battles developed. Inspired by this completely unreal atmosphere, the author auctions a Land Rover 109 station wagon with a tropical roof from 1964.
The long Landy stood in a nearby barn for ten years. The previous owner, an elderly lady who has traveled extensively with her late husband, hopes her Land Rover will end up in good hands. As a farewell gift, she gives the new owner a photo documentation of the Land Rover and a small booklet. This meticulously lists every single refueling stop with the mileage, quantity and price of the refueling. The lady gets a promise that the car will be restored and the travel tradition will be continued. The Landy is transported to Germany on a car trailer. There are still some hiccups at the border, but in the end the Swiss approve the export.
Not everyone can have a workshop
Once home, disillusionment quickly follows. That’s often the way it’s supposed to be when you buy a car in a rush, and that doesn’t just happen at auctions. A first inventory reveals ailing hoses, a defective clutch slave cylinder, of course the battery is gone.
A lot has to be done there. only where? Having the Land Rover professionally repaired in a special workshop is out of the question. This is not payable. Do it yourself, and screwing is fun. There is a little talent and courage, we have already proven that. Changing the water pump on an old Volvo 144 on the edge of a Belgian motorway remains unforgettable.
But there is simply not enough space. Not everyone has their own workshop. A friend offers to help. Everything you need can be found on his property. In the following months, every free weekend belongs to the Landy. One thing is clear: without an understanding wife, something like this is not possible.
The goal is to restore the Land Rover to its former glory. To do this, everything must first be dismantled. All attachments such as headlights, taillights, mirrors and so on. The side doors, the rear door, the hood and the front fenders follow. Like these components, the interior fittings and all fittings are screwed on and can be removed easily and without any problems using standard household tools. What is initially surprising is the rapid progress of the work.
#Classic #car #restoration #rust #tinker