It has been nearly 44 years since this 1965 Land Rover left the factory in Solihull England. It spent most of the first thirty years of its life on a potato farm in Idaho. I acquired it from the original owner in the mid 1990’s. The truck wasn’t in show room condition by any means, it was however, very original and had a mere 35,000 miles on the odometer.
She began a new life of off roading, camping trips and then the ultimate challenge came in 2001. This nearly 36 year old vehicle was prepared for the adventure of a lifetime - Offroad across Western Africa- 8000 miles of difficult punishing terrain. We prepared her for the journey, loaded her up and then for good measure, loaded her some more.
That was in 2001. When she was eventually loaded into the container in Ghana for the voyage back to the States it was one of nessesity. None of us were certain there were any miles left in this Africabeaten truck. An old workhorse doesn’t die that easily and she did the show tour back at home for several years before I decided it was time to restore her back to “pre Africa” days.
On December 25, 2008 the 2.25 liter engine fired for the first time in 5years, 1 month and 3 days! I know, not exactly the quickest rebuild in the history of automotive restorations. She is back though, and the following photos tell a tale of her in pieces and ultimately the return of a true Trans-Africa Expedition vehicle.
The 1965 Series IIA is back to life! Note the seasons change in the photos. (Click on photos for larger view) Special thanks to Jim Leach for the many hours spent painting, rebuilding the engine and getting her back running again.