From farmyards to weddings
Ben Rowland's Series III Land Rover is now enjoying life as a weekend greenlaner and wedding car...
My Land Rover is nearly the same age as me and it's been around all my life. It was owned by our neighbour, who was a postman. He used it only to deliver when the local roads were covered in snow.
As he got older and found the Land Rover difficult to drive, he used to start it up once a month and let it run for a while. Sometimes the battery would get low, so I would start it with the starting handle for him. When he died we were given the chance to buy the Land Rover.
It had done about 24,000 miles and was completely original - it wasn't a difficult decision! Looking back through the service history, we discovered the first owner had kept it for a year and clocked up 12,000 miles, before selling it to our neighbour.
I've used it as a 'weekend' vehicle for greenlaning, shooting and going out over Exmoor with the dogs. It's now covered just over 28,000 miles.
To make it slightly more comfortable I fitted parabolic springs and new shocks, which made a massive difference to the ride. I also fitted a Fairey overdrive to try and improve the terrible fuel consumption.
One of the highlights was going for a ride up over Exmoor in the snow and coming across a stuck Nissan Navara and Defender. I offered them a tow and pulled them both out together. We've also enjoyed many a drive across Tarr Steps (an ancient clapper bridge across the river Barle) followed by a cream tea.
Having spent its life under the cover, the chassis is in excellent condition, but the bodywork was starting to suffer from aluminium corrosion. I'd wanted to have it resprayed for a long time but my wife wasn't keen until her sister asked if she could use it as a wedding car. All of a sudden it was a really good idea!
Our local body shop was confident that if they worked the paint back properly and applied a good-quality acid etch primer, they could control the corrosion. we are delighted with the finish.
Also used for the wedding was my sister-in-law's Freelander XS, my father-in-law's Discovery 4 Commercial and Td5 truck cab. As farmers, they've always owned a Land Rover and have had one of each Series.
My father-in-law tells a tale about how he towed a bull to a sale in Scotland with a diesel Series III, and how he and his brother were taken to boarding shcool in a Series II sitting on top of their trunks in the back.
This owner review appeared in the May 2016 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.
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