A Brief History of the Land Rover

The 1960 88” Series 2 Land Rover came from hiding in April of 2011 to be sold at an auction held by John Cranfield. It had been lying undisturbed in a collapsed Quonset hut just outside of Kingston Nova Scotia for over a decade. The truck, looking quite dilapidated at first glance, didn’t attract much attention at the auction, although those who looked just a little closer soon realized its potential. Shawn South, a friend of mine, and past owner of Flivver (a beautiful red series 2 109”) had no choice to bid on the truck, which he took home for only $800. Fortunately for me, he bought a sail boat at approximately the same time and was forced to part with one. When he told me he would give the truck to me for what he had paid for it I couldn’t refuse. The frame had an abnormal lack of rust, the engine idled after replacing just the ignition coil, and it hadn’t been picked clean of all the nice bits. I am not saying it didn’t need a lot of work… but it was an achievable project for someone with limited experience with rovers.

Being a recent graduate of mechanical engineering I had limited hands on mechanical experience with engines. But I sure as hell could calculate the theoretical temperature and pressure at all stages of the Brayton cycle. Of course this is completely irrelevant to antique vehicle restoration. The truck took its first steps under the new ownership at the following Labour Day rally in the Gaspereau Valley thanks to some knowledgeable and somewhat adventurous members of M.O.R.E. This is where I was first introduced to beer bottle gas tanks, and I have used them religiously ever since.

Since that fateful day the truck has undergone a complete transformation, and is now what some would consider a respectable truck. New deluxe seats, one-pump brakes, and a stereo system? The thing could be confused with a vehicle of luxury. Although there is some scepticism in those who’ve heard that the vehicle is taking us to the southern states and back. I don’t blame them.

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15 responses

  1. I Never met you but saw your awesome Land Rover and camper at WalMart in Ocala Florida a couple months ago. I just stumbled onto your blog via a pinterest pin and instantly recognized the vehicle! Hope your travels were amazing!

  2. Hi Guys,

    I’m a fair bit older than you and did a trip of a similar nature to yours, I left Melbourne, Australia, when I was 18 in a 1963 88″ rag top and spent 4 years on and off, traveling through the center of Australia and all over our great outback with coastal visits.

    The memories I have are strong and magnificent as are the friendships I made so I know what you have ahead will be outstanding! I traveled solo along with my blue heeler (a cattle dog, not sure if you have these at your place?) which made it a lonely at times so to you both, enjoy and I look forward to updates on your blog!

    Regards.

    Mark

  3. So, what is a beer bottle gas tank? That sounds like a neat project for my or my wife’s Defender 90. By the way, totally envy what you guys are doing. Can’t wait to roam around the planet in our Land Rovers.

    • Since there always tends to be an empty beer bottle around when we’re working on a rover, they seem to be a convenient choice to hold gasoline. A bit of hose from the fuel pump to the cup holder and you have yourself a gas tank that will take you a mile or two. Be careful not to grab the WRONG beer! Make sure you send us your blog when you get on the road!

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