The Landrover Diaries: In Which We Buy Two for Christmas

"How's things? I hear you're two Landrovers richer,' a friend asks. It's funny, because no one says 'richer' and 'Landrover' in the same sentence. However, they are getting more valuable and they aren't making any more like them - we've seen some go for nearly 80k for a full resto. Whether that's reasonable or rational is quite another story.

I'm far more interested in the 2A. We'll likely sell Buttercup, the Series 3, and use it to finish the Defender 130 (which is getting costly - more on that in another post) and do up the 2A as a classic drive. Ideally, I'd like a Series 3 short wheel base, but they getting silly expensive. However, Jamie really likes the military, which will be a fun project - and there's lots of little interesting things on it like a removable cross member on the chassis to drop the gearbox out and front lights that only light up the ground barely, so you're not seen.

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We did an inventory of things to be done this morning, and were quite pleased to find little to no rust in the bulkhead or the chassis, which is a thing on these old Landies. There's lots of little original things like the dials and bakelite ignition switch and steering wheel which are hard to find original, and the wiper motors. We plan to make it as original as possible, without being overly pedantic about it. We're still not sure on the year - there are a few clues to narrowing it down - mid 1960's anyway.

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One day, hopefully, it'll look like this:

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Ours isn't a shorty, but I couldn't find a photo of a marine blue short wheel base. How cute is it in blue? Jamie wanted it patina, but I argue patina is just because people are too lazy to paint it gloss.

We'll start on the chassis first, get that up to scratch and then the engine. Over the next few months we'll keep an eye out for a new tub (ours is kinda okay, just a bit dinged up from people throwing logs in the back and so on, so if we can pick up a reasonable tub I'll be happier). We're starting to spreadsheet all we do with them now so there's a record if we sell them for tax purposes, and just generally to know what they are worth in terms of restoration money - time's quite another story. But, as we keep saying, it keeps Jamie off the streets!

I think a lot of people think we're crazy, but hey, we all gotta have something we're crazy about, right?

Jamie was talking to his Landrover mate from up the road (he builds accessories for Landies) and they were talking about the 'wivees' - agreeing that it was because 'the wives' were brought up with old cars that they appreciated old cars. I remember having to find weird fixes for the Valiant - like attaching the wiper hose to the radiator to cool it down on a trip back from SA as it kept overheating, or changing my own tires and starter motor and things. You had to do or die and we didn't have the money to take it to a mechanic. 'Kids these days' get new cars with warranties and wouldn't have a clue how to change a tyre - my son certainly didn't do it til he was 22!! I don't mean to be like 'ah, the youth of today', but it's kinda how it is. It does explain my interest in old cars anyway - it was part of my growing up.

I was so excited about the 2A I even dreamt about it.

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