In a great cloud of dust it was finally out, cobwebs and all, sending spiders the size of dinner plates scurrying back into the dark shed.
Adam, a farmer, had at last managed to pull his grandfather’s 1972 Series III 88-inch from the barn that had been its home for the past decade or so.
Out in the sun, the Land Rover didn’t look in bad condition. The usual signs of a parked-up vehicle were startng to show and it was going to take some TLC to get it back up and running.
The bodywork and the paint had survived the years of solitary confinement and, after a thorough clean, the Series III was close to resembling what it had looked like when it was first driven out of the Warrnambool Motors showroom in Victoria, Australia, Adam’s grandad’s local British Leyland dealer in 1972.
A new rear crossmember had to be fitted, and the brakes and clutch replaced. Rodents had found the vehicle’s wiring to be a tasty meal, so it needed to be repaired before it could even be started. Adam also fitted an Australian Army-pattern bush bar, to protect the lights when it’s used for rounding up cattle – it’s the only modification. After a year of weekends working on the Land Rover, it fired into life.
Having got the Series on the road again, Adam now proudly uses his first Land Rover for his day-to-day life on the family farm. It’s Adam’s daily driver as well as being used to cart livestock feed and collect firewood.
It’s the perfect vehicle for the farm: small and nimble to get around and perfectly capable of towing a trailer laden with milk, a grey Ferguson tractor or, as it just proved, a Series III 121-inch.
That 121-inch, Adam’s latest project, was originally sold by the same dealership that the 88-inch came from. Adam doesn’t know why or when it was stretched, but he’s trying to track down the original owner to find out.
‘I couldn’t resist buying it when I saw it, it’s just so different,’ he says. ‘Plus, one Land Rover just isn’t enough!’
This owner review appeared in the May 2011 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.