Although I have a big soft spot for all Land Rovers, my real passion is for Series vehicles and older Defenders.
I bought this 1964 2.25-litre diesel as a wreck to restore for my dad John's 65th birthday two years ago. I came across it on eBay, for sale at a canal boatbuilder's in the Midlands. I paid £650. It still has the original chassis under it, but it had a bit of plating on it before I started. Although the chassis was complete, it was knackered: it practically snapped in half when the time came to remove the body to repair it.
The bulkhead was rotten, so we repaired that. We rebuilt the engine, gearbox and axles - everything, really - and put in a new wiring loom. We had the deadline of Dad's birthday to aim for, and fitted the work around other jobs over eight months.
It was more of a rebuild than a restoration. Dad brush-painted it. It's called Chugger and has a brass nameplate on the dash. When the previous owner bought it, the receipt said he had to keep the name, so we did too.
Although it's my dad's Land Rover, I've been happily using it every day for th past two months as my runabout.
I decided to take it caravanning, and it performed well - we've got a pretty big caravan too. It rattles along remarkably well for a 2.25 diesel, bless it!
Published in the January 2015 issue of Land Rover Owner. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.
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