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Thursday 24th May 2012

PH Fleet: Series One Land Rover

With the M5 back up and running Harris turns to another member of his fleet...



Well, what a week to be finalising preparations for the restoration of an old Land Rover. Were I the most cynical man in the UK I would now abort my plans, wait until November and just drive the thing as it is. However, I don't want to die, so I will carry on as intended.

The story so far...

Another impulse buy lurks on the Harris drive
Another impulse buy lurks on the Harris drive
At the end of 2010 a car trader friend said he'd been offered a Land Rover pick-up, and wondered if I'd be interested. He knows me well enough to be familiar with another of my hobbies, which involves muddy tracks, chainsaws and axes. He reckoned it would be ideal for wooding, and give my old Rangie a well-earned rest from being used as a Hi-Lux.

(Off)road legal
When the vehicle landed, all was not good. The chassis was badly corroded and beyond any kind of MOT attempt. The upside was the age of the vehicle.It looked like a Series One to me, but not actually having much of a clue about these things I assumed it was a Series Two because it was registered in 1962. On that basis, I bought it thinking it would be ideal to use away from the public highway and could serve as a restoration project the following summer.

It was used twice, and it hasn't moved since. It sits bang outside the front door.

This is, possibly, what they mean by utilitarian
This is, possibly, what they mean by utilitarian
Joining the PH team spurred me into action earlier this year. Fellow motoring writer Andrew Frankel re-framed his Landie a few years back - the job was quick and of high quality. He bought the chassis from Richards Chassis, so I phoned them and asked what was the best procedure.

Heart of the matter
The bloke with the skills is Paul Marsden. Frankel's S2 was one of his first jobs, since then he has completed more than 100 new chassis rebuilds - he told me to send some pics and he'd confirm what the car was and what might be done with it.

In his opinion it was a Series One. This was both good and bad news.

Good because it makes a more interesting vehicle with potentially a greater value. Bad because I couldn't just buy a chassis for it. I had to contact the Series One owners club which, incidentally, Paul had done to get the exact date and type of my car. To some people this would be a pain, but I was rather enjoying the sleuthing.

Paintwork one clue to original ownership!
Paintwork one clue to original ownership!
Derek Heynes of the club said my old rust tub was in fact a 1956 107-inch pick-up, most probably military, hence the later road registration date. The slightly naughty bit is that you can only order the chassis through the club because it owns the rights to the blueprints and the jigs, which I assume were bequeathed to them by Land Rover itself. The work is still done by Richards, but as you'd expect, there's a significant premium of around £400 plus VAT. Total cost is £1,850 plus VAT, plus delivery.

Add to that the labour for the body off work and no doubt a heap of mechanical fettling, and I doubt there's much profit on offer.

What I want is a mechanically robust, rust-free machine still covered in the original, rather shambolic body panels. This looks to be achievable, so hopefully in the coming weeks I'll drag it oop north and get things started.









FACT SHEET
Car:
1956 (probably) Land Rover Series One 107in Pick-Up
Run by: Chris Harris
Bought: Oct 2010
Mileage: Indeterminate
Purchase price: £1,000, or thereabouts
Last month at a glance: Finding out exactly what it is, learning the eccentricities of the Land Rover club scene ahead of taking the plunge on a new chassis


Previous reports:
PH Fleet: BMW M5 (E28)

Chris Harris
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Author Discussion

Krikkit

Original Poster:

5,189 posts

68 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Why not do it yourself? You've got plenty of room to take it to bits if you take a couple of cars and leave them outside.

hora

19,018 posts

98 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Wow I like

Ayahuasca

18,296 posts

166 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
nice

Flewis

11 posts

53 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Surely being pre 1960 it won't need an MOT now?

Trusty Steed

229 posts

81 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
At last a proper landie, not of those pumped up DC100 thingys!

Keep it Green and Gold!!
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beeblebrox

177 posts

45 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Flewis said:
Surely being pre 1960 it won't need an MOT now?
Correct, however:

Chris Harris said:
Were I the most cynical man in the UK I would now abort my plans, wait until November and just drive the thing as it is. However, I don't want to die, so I will carry on as intended.

paulrussell

1,257 posts

48 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Flewis said:
Surely being pre 1960 it won't need an MOT now?
No it won't, but as Chris said he doesn't want to die.

Wetsuit

15 posts

73 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
A note to all; Join the Land Rover Series One Club, it's only £25ish a year with a great club magazine!

doogz

23,381 posts

74 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Maybe I'm missing something, but if it wasn't registered til '62, he's still going to require an MOT.

And even if he didn't, driving about with an incredibly rusty, weakened, knackered chassis, just because he can get away with it is a pretty bad idea IMO.

RichTBiscuit

403 posts

38 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Chris - Why don't you order the chassis and do the job yourself?

As someone mentioned you've got the room! Nothing to worry about - if you break something taking it apart, it didn't work in the first place anyway!


mrdelmonti

1,391 posts

68 months

[news] 
Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic.

To save a bit of money you could just strip all the panels off yourself, if you have ever used meccano you'll be able to strip a Land Rover down, albeit with the help of some penetrating fluid.

Look forward to seeing more of this thumbup

Edited by mrdelmonti on Thursday 24th May 12:35

thirsty

715 posts

151 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
If it was me, I would have the chassis done by a pro. However, I would love getting my hands dirty on the rest of that LR. What a cool project that would be.

CampDavid

8,686 posts

85 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
doogz said:
Maybe I'm missing something, but if it wasn't registered til '62, he's still going to require an MOT.
Nope, it'll be fine.

Same with 1973 cars. If the car was registered in, say 1974 but you can prove that it was built before in 1972 or before, then it's a tax free

monthefish

18,136 posts

118 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Cool as feck.

thumbup

Love it.

I dream of having such a project, a big fully-tooled up workshop, a (very) large budget and Edd China on my staff.
Happy days.

FWDRacer

3,277 posts

111 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Weigh it in.

b14

449 posts

75 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
FWDRacer said:
Weigh it in.
No way. That Series I is basically brand new compared to the 1960 Series II I restored.

A warning Chris, I did the work all myself and the total bill was still £6k plus... although that included an engine rebuild and new gearbox.

hwajones

244 posts

68 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
Love this, fit some Brembos!
Worst brakes i have ever felt!

H

Bluescore

10 posts

50 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
monthefish said:
I dream of having such a project, a big fully-tooled up workshop, a (very) large budget and Edd China on my staff.
Happy days.
Is this your way of saying that you want to be Mike Brewer? getmecoat

FoundOnRoadside

436 posts

31 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
FWDRacer said:
Weigh it in.
Don't be stupid, there's few enough Series I left. They'll only appreciate.

Adz The Rat

7,630 posts

96 months

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Thursday 24th May 2012 quote quote all
That looks fantastic!

Start a readers cars thread about it.
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