What’s the story?
Back in 1990, Andrew Browning bought this Series IIA 109 six-cylinder station wagon for his building business. ‘Sometimes I’d be carrying a lot of heavy materials. People would say you could only drive from fuel station to fuel station – 16mpg, and that’s without a trailer… Apart from that it was ideal, really. We had two boys and were fostering two others. I didn’t have much time for holidays, but we could get away in the Land Rover for a few days.’
But good times didn’t last. ‘It got to the point where it failed the MoT, so I bought a Volvo. I’d a vague idea of rebuilding the 109 one day, so I put it in the back garden and built a shed around it. I think even then I knew it would be too big a job for me. Then James came along…’
James, Andrew’s nephew, remembered the Land Rover from boyhood trips. But here’s the key thing – James is a trained engineer.
Our favourite bit?
In pre-Range Rover days, this was the flagship of Land Rover production – expensive, powerful, smooth, and well-appointed for its intended use. Very few are like that now – but this one is, and it’s a real pleasure. The interior is light and airy, and you just cruise along, looking down on lesser traffic with a superior smirk on your face. You can’t help it – the smirk just happens.
And the verdict from LRO writer Jerry Thurston?
Long-wheelbase Series station wagons were once a fairly common sight. But as they aged they became bent and bodged, many ending up with retrofit diesels. Now good ones are so few and far between that only a handful of enthusiasts understand what they’re like to ride in and to drive. The answer: wonderful.
Vehicle: 1968 Series IIA
Chassis no: 35000539D
Engine: 2625cc six-cylinder inlet-over-exhaust
Transmission: Four-speed with synchromesh on third/fourth, two-speed transfer box, selectable 2/4-wheel drive, Fairey overdrive
Configuration: Station wagon
Track width: 51.5 inches