This is my South African Series III, originally assembled from a CKD kit at the Leykor factory in 1971. The current petrol engine is out of a 1974-75 SWB. Sadly, little is known of her time in South Africa until she left in 1986 as a white hard top. She was imported into the UK in February 1987 by Overland Vehicle Supplies Ltd and registered on February 16, on a Q plate as the year of manufacture was given as 1980.
With the help of George Coulson and the LROC of Southern Africa the correct age was established and I am now an honorary member of the club.
During her lifetime, she's had 10 registered keepers. I spotted her on eBay. I was the highest bidder but below the reserve price, but I negotiated a price with the seller. My son Malcolm drove her home and christened her Laura.
Over the six-and-a-half years I have had Laura, the gearbox has been rebuilt using all new parts, the rear crossmember was replaced (like for like) as a civilian one was fitted when purchased, the one-piece front bench seat was re-upholstered in leather to the same pattern as the original vinyl, the front dumb irons were repaired rather than replaced and the bulkhead had its first patch at the same time. A new Weber carburettor and electronic ignition system are now fitted. The latest replacements are the front fuel tanks, still filled from their respective wing tops, which were fabricated using the old tanks as templates.
The other job I've done is to change the suspension from 11-leaf springs front and rear to four-leaf parabolic springs on the back and two-leaf parabolics up front, with new dampers all-round.
When I dismantled the original springs, I discovered that three leaves of the off-side front and two on the nearside spring were broken. It now rides considerably better than before the change!
Published in the July 2015 issue of Land Rover Owner. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.
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