Salvation of a Station
Ryan Walker saved this Series III station wagon from ruin
My parents bought this Land Rover in August 2001, when I was six years old, to use as a cheap-to-insure, tax-free workhorse.
Following the light refurb they gave it in 2001, my father rebuilt the 2.25 diesel engine, but later replaced it with a 2.5 normally aspirated Peugeot diesel. My mother’s job was to smarten up the exterior once again, by giving it a fresh coat of paint.
In 2004, the pre-MoT check revealed the 109’s chassis was beyond economic repair. Being self-employed and having just started a Series II project, my parents didn’t want to rebuild it, so it was left to moulder outside their business premises.
By 2007, when I was only 13 years old, I’d begun to strip off the bits that I could manage, until by summer 2009 it was a bare chassis. The rebuild could begin.
After build records at the BMIHT archive in Gaydon confirmed its identity as an early example of a Series III station wagon, we bought a replacement secondhand chassis, a donor station wagon and a load of new bits to get the project underway. We shotblasted the spare chassis before modifying it to station wagon specification and then we got it galvanised.
By December 2009, we had a rolling chassis on parabolic springs and uprated dampers, but it took another two years to complete the rebuild. By February 2011, TNU 69K was sitting on the drive, restored to near showroom condition, with MoT and tax, and the old Peugeot diesel engine running as good as ever.
In summer 2014, I decided to rebuild a 200Tdi engine and fit it, and the station wagon has been back in regular use ever since.
However, five years since finishing the big rebuild, she’s now ready for another general tidy-up and respray. That’s what I love about Series Land Rovers – you can repaint them on a Sunday afternoon and their simplicity means any major problems are easily sorted.
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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