This week on “Rare Finds,” TFLcar.com has found an example of one of the most iconic off-road vehicles in history. Spotted on Craigslist in Lone Tree, CO, the 1963 Land Rover Series IIA pictured above is a beautiful reminder of the rugged heritage that every Land Rover product has carried for over seventy years.
According to Land Rover FAQ, an online website documenting Land Rover production and specifications, a total of only 12,600 examples of the 88″ (short wheelbase) Series IIAs ever rolled off of Land Rover’s assembly line at Solihull, Warwickshire in 1963. Plagued by electrical problems, failing transmissions, and years of off-road abuse from their owners, few of the original 12,600 Series IIAs remain today in working order, and even fewer are as mechanically and cosmetically sound as the example we’ve found.
To help make this stripped-down, no-frills Series IIA into more of a manageable daily driver, the current owner has made a few key modifications. The car has been converted from the ancient 4-speed manual that came standard on Series IIAs to a more fuel-efficient and practical 5-speed. In addition, the rear seats have been changed to accommodate four jump seats, a feature normally found on the Defender 90s and 110s of the 1980’s-90’s. Included also is a brand-new canvas top that is custom-made for the car, allowing passengers to enjoy open-top cruising.
The car also has a number of desirable exterior features. A custom-made brush guard and taillight guards add to the rugged appeal of this Series IIA, and an optional rear spotlight allows for easy visibility when loading or unloading. The trailer hitch, too, speaks to the all-purpose capabilities of the Series IIA.
Under the hood of this particular example, as a 1963 model year, sits a 2.25-liter diesel I-4 producing a meager 62 horsepower. However, spirited, high-speed driving isn’t this Rover’s specialty; rather, the little diesel I-4 provides plenty of torque to pull this offroader up steep gradients and over massive obstacles. Interestingly, despite the capability of previous Land Rover models, it was the combination of this stalwart diesel engine and capable chassis that made the Series IIA one of Land Rover’s most beloved models. The car even became a star itself, making a famous appearance in Born Free, an American documentary set in Africa, as the ultimate safari car.
Altogether, this well-kept, tastefully-equipped Series IIA is a must-see for any collector of off-road vehicles or any British car enthusiast. And with a price of just $16,500, this Series IIA is within reach of even the stingiest Roverphile.
If you would like more information about this week’s featured car, please follow the link below.
Please enjoy this TFLcar.com video of a 1970 Land Rover Series IIA.