Offered for sale is what may be one of the very finest, most painstakingly sorted “Series” Land Rovers in existence – a 1971 Land Rover Series IIA 88 Left Hand Drive – impeccably restored, used sparingly since and finished in exceedingly desirable Marine Blue over an entirely refurbished black interior. Currently showing a believed to be accurate 52k original miles, the restoration was performed at 46k miles by NW Custom and Restoration Services (NW C.A.R.S.) of Portland, OR and British Northwest Land-Rover Co. of Olympia, WA.
The restoration was comprehensive, including (but not limited to) a rebuilt engine, rebuilt fuel system, rebuilt driveline, new exhaust, new galvanized steel and a full cosmetic refurbishment. We can’t praise the 16-month restoration enough: the truck is currently in virtually new (if not better than new) condition, and the attention to detail is striking. The truck comes with a thick file of restoration and service receipts, totaling more than $59,000 USD.
The Land Rover Series IIA is widely regarded as the most enduring Series model constructed, both in terms of its mechanical and physical ruggedness and the perception the public has of the Land Rover marque in general. In the 1960s dozens of films and documentaries showed the western world far away locales for the first time, almost always made accessible by someone driving a Series IIA. In many ways, it was during this period that Land Rover built its continuing legacy in the public’s mind and this IIA is the perfect representation of that legacy.
The IIA retains its original tried, true and battle tested (in some cases literally) 2 ¼ Litre Petrol 4 cylinder engine, which was fully rebuilt when the car was restored. The high, neutral and low ranges all work, the 4-speed manual transmission shifts crisply through each of the gears. The engine starts easily, idles consistently and pulls strongly and smoothly. Compression is excellent and ride quality is everything you’d expect of a fully sorted Series IIA – rugged, visceral and grin-inducing. It’s almost as though you expect Sir David Attenborough to begin narration as soon as you get behind the wheel, whether for a water run in Kenya or a quick trip down to the beach for a weekend surfing expedition. Lastly, less than 1k miles ago the transmission was rebuilt and the brakes and axles sorted.
Aesthetically the truck is truly impeccable. An extremely high quality paint job in the original Marine Blue, the finish is deep, lustrous and consistent, marred only by a handful of exceedingly minor rock chips, none of which are significant enough to appear in any of the pictures. The galvanized steel trim beautifully defines the entirely straight and rust-free body, which retains factory correct panel fits and gaps. All of the glass and rubber is excellent, as is the front bumper and rear tow hook-up platform, and the wheels in excellent condition, fitted with aggressive radial tires with hardly any wear. The truck’s undercarriage is entirely correct, solid and rust-free. Any coloration seen in the undercarriage pictures is entirely attributable to kicked up road mud and debris – as mentioned, despite the truck’s impeccable condition, it’s been used (albeit sparingly) and enjoyed. Should the new owner prefer the undercarriage be professionally cleaned for shows, it can certainly be arranged.
The interior is also impeccable, the dash, footwells, doors and interior panels all incredibly well detailed and as clean as any Landie we’ve ever seen. That extends to the plaques, data plates and all of the switchgear and gauges, all of which function as they should. The black leather seats show only negligible wear – both front and back – the rubber floor mats are new, and the Rovers North Exmoor canvas top is flawless. The truck has seat belts for five adults, however seven can comfortably fit with the rear bench seats.
This is an uncommon opportunity to acquire an iconic, exquisitely restored, final production year, rust-free and mechanically excellent 1971 LHD Land Rover Series IIA 88, finished in what is arguably the most desirable livery. The truck’s been looked over by our local vintage Land Rover mechanic (with 40+ years experience) and he’s concurred with our original assessment: this is undoubtedly one of the very finest Series IIAs in existence. If you’re in the market for a vintage Land Rover, this incredible example deserves your serious consideration.