What's the story?
Meet Ben Chiverton. He's the kind of guy who embraces his passion for Land Rovers, and for Britain's industrial heritage, with an enthusiasm that's hard to rival.
He built his own blacksmith's forge when he was just 16. Now aged 22, foundry worker Ben lives in a beautiful old Dorset longhouse on the family smallholding.
Ben's diesel Series IIA has lived in Dorset for all of its 51 years. Before arriving on the Chivertons' smallholding it was the runabout of a colouful chap called Jack Miles, a local traction engine aficionado. Ben's a steam enthusiast himself and when the opportunity arose to buy Jack's old Land Rover from a neighbour, he couldn't resist.
By the time Ben took ownership, Jack's Land Rover looked sad, mossy and lop-sided. Jack was obviously a big chap - all the spokes on the steering wheel are broken from where he used it to haul himself into the cab. He even had the button for the horn transferred to the bulkhead to prevent it from colliding with his generous belly.
Ben set to work replacing the rotten door tops and the knackered starter motor, and fitting new springs. He also came up with a few DIY improvements of his own.
'The roof and upper sides used to be a really bright white,' he says. 'They were horrible!' Not any more, after being painted with Ben's own version of the original Limestone colour.
His training in forgework also came in handy - he made mirror brackets from a nut, welded to a small section of pipe that's welded to a flat bracket. The nut allows a bolt to be screwed aginst the mirror arm, holding it in place or letting it fold flat against the window. It's discreet, strong and simple.
'Around the farm I use it as a tractor,' says Ben. 'It tows the drag harrows and rollers, especially in the horse paddocks.'
Our favourite bit?
The sun emerges, so we take a trundle around the local lanes with a twin-axle trailer loaded with hay attached to the back - a typical haul.
Ben switches the gears with the confidence of someone who knows his gearbox inside out, and the 2.25-litre diesel pulls admirably; it's not the most powerful of motors, but it's dependable and strong, and everything a Land Rover engine should be.
And the verdict from LRO writer Theo Ford-Sagers
Ben's home-made accessories balance practicality with a desire to stay faithful to the Land Rover's originality. Under his stewardship, this Series IIA should be working hard for many years to come.
Model: 88-inch Series IIA hard top
Engine: 2.25-litre diesel
Transmission: Four-speed manual, two-speed transfer box, selectable two-four-wheel drive
Suspension:Beam axles, leaf springs