What's the story?
Tony Comber is as deeply committed to his old 88-inch Series IIA as he is to his volunteer work on the Dean Forest Railway in Gloucestershire.
Tony uses his faithful Series IIA as a mobile tool store, gang mess and parts retrieval vehicle. When it’s not humping railway gear around, it’s often hauling a heavy trailer or supplies for his son’s building extension project. It’s a good job the SIIA is in robust condition thanks to a major refresh a few years ago.
In 2003, after a lengthy search for a suitable rebuild project for himself and his son, VDV 467J turned up in Devon. It’s one of the very last of the 1971 Series IIAs built. For the first five years in Tony’s ownership not much changed in the Series IIA’s life in terms of rebuilding or restoration. It spent its time fetching and carrying stuff for the family.
Then in 2008, the long-awaited father-and-son rebuild project finally got started. At heart, the SIIA was and still is a working vehicle rather than a showstopper, which is why he swapped the tilt for a full hard top, and replace the battered original rear tub with a better condition ex-Series III item.
‘The rear springs are beginning to drop a little’ admits Tony. ‘But with all the work done, the old girl should be good for another 20 years or so of hard work, by which time I shall probably be looking for a rebuild as well…’
Our favourite bit?
Tony’s work at the railway involves bumping and bouncing over the sidings to get more heavy tools as near as possible to the job. An ordinary car or van would be destroyed doing this but the sturdy little Land Rover takes it all in its stride.
And the verdict from LRO writer Mark Saville?
‘It’s great to see an old Series IIA still quietly getting on with things. Okay, so it’s not the most original example, but it remains true to the original design and engineering philosophy; it’s simple to use, simple to fix, tough as an old boot and totally reliable.’
Engine: 200Tdi from a Discovery 1 l Transmission: Four-speed main/two-speed transfer box l Suspension: Standard leaf springs