Land Rover Series II/IIA Buying Guide
It may not be the collectors’ choice, but as a workhorse classic the Series II/IIA is second to none. Here’s how to bag a good one
How much to pay
• Project £1000-3500 • Good £3900-12,000 • Concours £12,500+ •
Running costs ★★★
DIY friendly ★★★★★
After the original Land Rover conquered the globe and set out its stall as a truly iconic vehicle, the second generation arrived in 1958 – sporting fewer sharp edges and numerous engineering upgrades. It proved to be a winning formula, with record sales figures and improved dependability.
The Series IIA – offering slight cosmetic changes and further-improved running gear – took the reins from 1961 until ‘71.
Leaving a cultural stamp like no other vehicle, appearing in the Born Free franchise and Daktari – not to mention Clarence the Cross-eyed Lion – the Series II/IIA personified the ideals of an archetypal Land Rover. It was largely indestructible yet almost romantic in its mantra as the 1960s exploration vehicle of choice; there are very few places a Series II/IIA can’t get you or hasn’t already been.
As Series I prices spiral out of reach for we mere mortals, enthusiasts are quickly turning to the next generation for a true taste of Land Rover’s raw and unbridled originality. Setting the classless design employed by the 90/110 and Defender right up until 2016, it won’t be long until the Series II/IIA goes the way of its predecessor and climbs the pricing scale.
The time won’t get any better to acquire the healthiest specimen on your budget – here’s what to look for when buying your ideal Land Rover Series II or IIA.
Ultimately improving upon the original 2.0-litre petrol and diesel variants, very early Series IIs (the first 1500, at least) utilised old stock from the Series I before the trademark 2250cc petrol unit was installed under the bonnet. This larger engine produced 72bhp and remained closely related to its diesel brethren, staying largely unmolested until the introduction of improved diesels with the arrival of the Land Rover 90 after 1984.
Both the petrol and diesel variants can easily cover 150,000 miles before requiring a rebuild, but maintenance remains key. Engine tuning for the petrol can be undertaken by those with very little mechanical experience, and only when the oil consumption is significant should the drivetrain raise cause for concern.
Examples from 1958 feature a larger 2.0-litre petrol engine with Siamese bores, meaning that there are no water passages for cooling between the cylinders. Cracks in the block where overheating has occurred should be obvious, but inspect for hairline cracks.
Listen out for low knocking sounds that signal worn crankshaft bearings, and ensure the exhaust is free of oil residue and blue smoke. All classic Land Rover engines belch from the exhaust, but if the smoke remains excessive then expense is heading your way.
A worn diesel will produce indescribable emissions when the crankcase breather is removed, and a higher-than-usual idle speed can indicate badly adjusted or worn fuel injectors. Oil drops are uncommon should the engine have received proper maintenance, but if the sump is contaminated with diesel then a rebuild is a must – regardless of how healthy other components may present themselves.
Check fluid levels and the condition of the radiator; it isn’t uncommon for those who abuse a Series II or IIA rather than caring for it to have run the cooling system dry. Also, should the engine have been run with little to no oil on the dipstick then a rebuild is also wise.
These vehicles have been used for serious off-road activity and decades’ worth of towing, so inspect all pipes for leakage and signs of stress. Head gaskets are strong but will perish over time. Check that all pistons fire without protest and timing is correct. These are easy fixes but can be time consuming.
Shelby Mustang GT350 2016
2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang ◾All-new Shelby® GT350 Mustang is a thoroughbred capable of tackling the world's most challenging roads and racetracks ◾GT350 is powered by a unique, high-revving flat-plane crankshaft 5.2-liter V8 engine that will produce more than 500 horsepower – the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever ◾Advanced materials, MagneRide dampers, aggrFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Oxfordshire, UK£ 59,000
Teal Bugatti Tourer replica, Teal Tourer Special 1975
Teal Tourer Special (Aluminium) This superb Teal Special was built by 1987 by Peter Farrell and Bob Jones at Teal, Only 10761 recorded miles since. Correctly registered as the law of the day as a Teal Tourer 1975 Very rare Tourer special with swept wings and doors! Believed the only one in existence! Finished in unmarked Aircraft Bugatti French blue, Full aluminium body detailed with leatherFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Epping, UK£ 59,995
Fiat 124 Sport Coupe 1973
Here is a wonderful 1973 Fiat 124 Sports Coupe, Odo is 45,k miles and by the looks of the dash, interior and body, I'd say it is Original. This car has been stored and in non-use for many years, the Calif License Plate with the car, was last registered in 1990. This car is equipped with an 1800 Twin Cam Engine, ( Odd, because this year car originally had a 1600), with 11:1 Compression Pistons, WitFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Astoria, OR, USA$ 7,500
Dodge Dart 330 1962
1962 Dodge Dart 330 56,000 miles Has original spare tire Lots of new parts Last six months New 440 .030 Edelbrock aluminum heads Mopar performance rocker rollers Comp cam .509 New 2500 stall New 3:55 posi New rebuild 727 push button trans New front suspension FIRMFEEL New TTI 2 1/2 exhaust New rims and tires TTI Headers Red original interior very nice Radio delete plate RechroFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Vancouver, WA, USA$ 20,000
Ford Maverick 1970
This car has too much to list. It is 10.75 sec car. It has a 355 small block Chevy motor. 14 to 1 compression. No Nitros. Race fuel only. If you are interested, Please call and schedule an appointment to see it. Serious Inquires Only If interested contact us ASAPFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Damascus, OR, USA$ 13,000
Lincoln Continental 1964
I have this beauty that I have maintained over the last 3 years. It's been an amazing car to own. It's hard to believe that cars were made so well 50 years ago but they were. Suicide doors, Powered door locks (that work), power windows (fronts work). I have not rebuilt the engine. It's original with original mileage. Nothing fancy under the hood. I just want to put some feelers out there and see iFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Molalla, Oregon, USA$ 17,500
Citroën 2CV6 1971
100% original low km Citroen 2CV. Original paint, and only 33k km from new. I've updated a few things to make it a driver. Fuel tank is new, and is plastic rather than the steel version. New master cylinder and brake lines. So it will stop nicely. Powder coated wheels, and added the correct Michelin X 135-15 tires. New folding cloth top, so it stays dry even when it rains. She always staFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Portland, OR, USA$ 9,250
Plymouth FURY III 1969
This is a 1969 Plymouth fury three. The body is extremely straight. Interior is in fairly good condition. His car is deafly not a 10 but it's a great little project car. Has a big block 393 in it. Turns heads everywhere you go. When I say project car what I mean, Is it needs a new dash pad, little things like that. Car actually runs and drives great. Just a heads up, I am not good at emails. It iFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Portland, OR, USA$ 6,900
Ford Roadster 1929
1929 Ford roadster, pro built, [Magoos street rods So. Cal, ] Harwood glass body, steel 3 piece hood,. rumble seat for the grand kids or mother in law. very nice black convertible top, [glass rear window] yes it folds down, when not in use, custom aftermarket frame, chrome dropped axle, polished 4 wheel disc brakes, 4 bar, every piece of the suspension is chromed. or polished. rear end is a fullyFor Sale | 24 May 2018 | Woodburn, OR, USA$ 23,500
Shifts should be easy and distinctive. If there is difficulty or excessive noise when trying to select a ratio, the synchromesh may be severely worn – it is therefore common to find the ’box jumping out of gear.
Low range and the optional four-wheel drive should engage smoothly by operating the red-top lever and yellow plunger. Axles are noisy and driveshafts can judder, but these characteristics are presented by even the healthiest of examples. Leaks are common, but make sure they’re not excessive.
Expect some clunking from underneath due to the sheer number of joints in the drivetrain. However, do check that the front swivel hubs have a smooth finish on the chrome, as damage or pitting will result in oil leaks and wear.
Suspension and brakes
As this model has already plumbed the depths of the price trough and endured tough conditions with little mechanical sympathy, you’ll need to check for suspension damage. All Series II/IIAs employ leaf springs, so check for signs of stress, substantial corrosion, off-road damage and evidence of neglect – sagging and cracked springs are dangerous on road.
Bushes and shackles are serviceable items and need to be changed regularly – especially if venturing off the beaten track. If the stance is lop-sided then the wrong leaf springs may have been fitted. If you spot coil springs, you’ve got a modified vehicle on your hands.
Brakes can suffer from prolonged off-road use. Lines and drums perish, which results in an unresponsive pedal and excessive stopping distances. While the Land Rover may not be overly quick it still weighs in at over two tonnes, and therefore the braking system is hugely important – again, especially when traversing off-road. Tightening a slack handbrake is neither overly expensive nor difficult.
While panels and outer bodywork are made from Birmabright, and so escape the dreaded tin worm, the bulkhead and chassis are a different matter. They can rust spectacularly. If the chassis outriggers have gone, you can weld fresh ones on – but if the main structure is unsafe you’ll have no option but to take the financial hit and re-chassis the vehicle. Mounting points are hugely important; ensure these are healthy, or else walk away.
The bulkhead is also critical to the entire structure, and can rot badly. We would recommend scrutinising the edges and windscreen base, as they are the first areas to suffer.
Corroded footwells are the biggest telltale sign of looming trouble. While re-manufactured bulkheads and chassis can be purchased from specialist suppliers, they aren’t cheap.
Door frames are steel and can corrode the alloy where they meet, along with the bulkhead seams. If you are after a long-wheelbase model (109-inch) be prepared for all the challenges and costs brought about by maintaining extra bodywork and a lengthened chassis.
Although there is barely an interior to mention, seats are hard wearing and the minimal electrical systems – ignition, lights, indicators and dials – are usually strong. If the wiring loom is frayed, then new looms can cost upwards of £400 to purchase and have professionally fitted.
There is little in the way of creature comforts, but for good reason – the cabin is far from fully weatherproof. If door rubbers have cracked and perished, you can expect Mother Nature to inject a healthy dose of rain and wind into the interior. When wading through water, the frame is designed to allow water in – ensuring wheels grip on the riverbed to provide forward motion – so check for signs of water damage to seating.
Rear benches face inwards, with the 109-inch Station Wagons offering an additional centre row. Replacement seating was once a nightmare to source, but can now be purchased brand new. Upgrades are available to provide extra comfort and sound deadening should originality not bother your conscience.
• 1958: Series II production starts, using old stock from the Series I. Series I 107-inch production continues until early 1959
• 1961: Series IIA arrives in showrooms with improved running gear and styling tweaks
• 1969: Record sales figures hit 60,000 units a year
• 1971: Last IIA rolls off the Solihull factory line as the Series III is introduced
The Series I may be the Land Rover genesis and have collectors falling over themselves at auction, but the Series II and subsequent IIA make for more usable vehicles. They aren’t fast and they sure aren’t comfortable, yet none of this matters. Never before has a cruising speed of 53mph been so exhilarating.
They’ll get you as far into the wilderness as you would ever need to go, and prove an excellent workmate for skip runs and carting things – and people – about. Interestingly, the law still classes 12-seater 109-in variants as a mini-bus – meaning you escape London’s Congestion Charge!
Values are on the up, and with the original Land Rover almost out of reach for those of us stuck in the real world, it won’t be long before the second incarnation of the classic Landie joins the ranks as a prime collector vehicle.
We would strongly advise you to buy now if you have a hankering for a classic Land Rover that can still keep modern rivals firmly in second place when the going gets tough.
|0-60mph||55 seconds – if you are patient enough|
|0-60mph||58 seconds – downhill. With a wind behind you|
|0-60mph||Depends on how brave you are|
Looking for your ideal classic Land Rover?
Have a browse through the AutoClassics classifieds for your perfect classic Land Rover Series II/IIA for sale
Classic Cars for Sale
2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang ◾All-new Shelby® GT350 Mustang is a thoroughbred capable of tackling the world's most challenging roads and racetracks ◾GT350 is powered by a unique, high-revving flat-plane crankshaft 5.2-liter V8 engine that will produce more than 500 horsepower – the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever ◾Advanced materials, MagneRide dampers, aggr
Teal Tourer Special (Aluminium) This superb Teal Special was built by 1987 by Peter Farrell and Bob Jones at Teal, Only 10761 recorded miles since. Correctly registered as the law of the day as a Teal Tourer 1975 Very rare Tourer special with swept wings and doors! Believed the only one in existence! Finished in unmarked Aircraft Bugatti French blue, Full aluminium body detailed with leather
Here is a wonderful 1973 Fiat 124 Sports Coupe, Odo is 45,k miles and by the looks of the dash, interior and body, I'd say it is Original. This car has been stored and in non-use for many years, the Calif License Plate with the car, was last registered in 1990. This car is equipped with an 1800 Twin Cam Engine, ( Odd, because this year car originally had a 1600), with 11:1 Compression Pistons, Wit
1962 Dodge Dart 330 56,000 miles Has original spare tire Lots of new parts Last six months New 440 .030 Edelbrock aluminum heads Mopar performance rocker rollers Comp cam .509 New 2500 stall New 3:55 posi New rebuild 727 push button trans New front suspension FIRMFEEL New TTI 2 1/2 exhaust New rims and tires TTI Headers Red original interior very nice Radio delete plate Rechro