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1968 Land Rover Series IIA “Safari Wagon” 109 Inch

1968 Land Rover Series IIA “Safari Wagon” 109 Inch

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Details

Price: SOLD

Engine: 2.6-Liter NADA Inline 6-Cylinder

Transmission: 4-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Beige Exterior

Interior: Black and Grey Interior

VIN: 34300544A

Additional features:

1 of 811 North American Dollar Area (NADA) Series IIA

High / Low Range 4x4 System

Manual Front Hubs

Block Heater

Koenig PTO Winch

Safari Roof (Hardtop) w/ Skylights

Hella Driving Lights

Rear Spot Light

Front Side Steps

High-Lift Trail Jack

Roof Rack w/ Ladder

Front and Rear Trailer Hitches

Mud Flaps

Tuffy Locking Center Console w/ Cup Holders

Tachometer

Ammeter and Oil Pressure Gauges

Re-Uphulostered Seats

Rubber Floor Mats

Steel Wheels

Cooper Discoverer S/T Tires

Colorado Title

Background

1968 Land Rover Series IIA “Safari Wagon” 109 Inch exterior photo

The Land Rover Series vehicles are known for their off-road prowess, following in the footsteps of the original WWII-era Willys Jeeps. However, the Land Rovers came with such luxuries such as doors, and an optional hardtop roof! In fact, it was the first mass-produced four wheel-drive vehicle to be offered with such. The Station Wagon was first introduced in 1955, with the 107-inch wheelbase Series I. It quickly became popular, and its production carried on with the 109-inch Series II and Series IIA, which followed in 1962. 1967 brought several notable improvements in equipment, including the starter being turned by the ignition key (rather than a button), and simplifying the windshield wipers with a single motor. 1967 also brought 811 North American Dollar Area (NADA) “Safari” Station Wagons to the USA, this truck being one of them. What made it unique was being spec’d with a 2.6-liter inline 6-Cylinder to make an attempt at remedying customers’ complaints of lack of power, as well as dual heated windscreens. The 6-cylinder is silky smooth, and while being far from fast, it has no issue comfortably carrying itself to highway speeds. The Series IIA is considered to be the most robust of the early Land Rovers and one of the most iconic.

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1968 Land Rover Series IIA came to us on consignment from our insurance agent and collector, Jeff St. Clair (coverageforyourtoys.com). It is finished in Beige over a black and grey interior. In addition to the standard NADA market Series IIA kit, it features the Safari hardtop roof, a roof rack with ladder, Hella driving lights and a rear spot light, high-lift jack, folding front side steps, a Tuffy locking center console with cup holders, tachometer, ammeter, and oil pressure gauges, mud flaps, and properly sized (skinny and tall) Cooper Discoverer S/T off-road tires. St. Clair brought it Colorado in January of 2019 from a long-term owner in Missoula, Montana. The records binder shows extensive and frequent services and rebuilds from that and a previous Missoula owner at Land Rover specialists Zip Auto that totals a considerable sum. Prior to that, it shows being imported from British Columbia in 2001. The records continue beyond that into mid-2000. In preparation for sale we replaced the fuel pump (imported from a specialist in the United Kingdom), flushed the fuel system, had the SU carburetor disassembled, cleaned, tuned, and mixture adjusted for Colorado altitudes. We also set the timing, replaced the spark plugs, flushed the cooling system, had the radiator flowed and a small leak repaired, and gave it a fresh oil change. The driving experience is wonderfully rich and mechanical; it handles poorly, it’s loud, it’s slow, but tolerable to drive in modern traffic. The only creature comfort is a breath of heat from the front, yet we absolutely love it! Every gear change, every corner, every bump in the road is an event. Then, when you take it off road with determination, you will receive many an odd look from drivers of lifted Jeeps with 35-inch tires who are struggling to keep up. As it sits, it is a fantastic example of a Series IIA with some wonderful patina that is as at home in the mountains and plains of Colorado as it would in the Serengeti.

Exterior

1968 Land Rover Series IIA “Safari Wagon” 109 Inch exterior photo

The exterior of this Series II is un-restored, but very presentable; we would argue that it wears its patina with pride and recommend leaving it exactly as it is. The Safari Roof has been repainted at some point, wearing a gloss green with a beige upper panel to match the rest of the truck. The paint around the rest of the truck shows plenty of history through multiple layers. The body panels are straight, with no particularly large dents or dings. There are lots of scratches and imperfections around the exterior, but it wears those with pride, having been used as it should have been! Some of the door latches take a little bit of extra shove to close all the way due to replacement of the door seals. The worst is the passenger rear door, which is not perfectly flush with the rear quarter panel. The aluminum body construction has kept corrosion at bay, but there is some visible surface corrosion on the non-aluminum undercarriage components, bolt heads, bumpers, and other bits None of it is notable or concerning. The windshield glass is crack-free, as is the side and rear glass. The body trim, lights, and accessories are presentable and match the overall patina. The factory steel wheels are straight and true; there is a slight bend in the outer lip of the driver’s front, but it still balances out. They are wrapped in Cooper Discoverer S/T tires with 85% tread.

Interior

 interior photo

The interior is very similar to the exterior; bare bones with a nice patina. The headliner, door cards, and seats have been recovered and some point and they look fantastic. The gauges function and all of the switches work as they should; the original oil pressure gauge is INOP, but an additional oil pressure gauge mounted with the ammeter functions correctly. The Tuffy metal center console with cup holders is a very nice addition with a lock box. There is no A/C, radio, power windows or locks, or any other sort of electronic features to break. The Safari roof has pop-up air vents, which are really nice. The manual windows slide smoothly in their tracks. The heater blower is quiet and switches on by command; the windscreen defrosting is a nice feature for colder days. Rubber mats are present in the front foot wells; the rears are bare. The rear storage compartment has some various tools and tire chains.

Mechanical

 engine photo

As stated in the summary paragraph, this Series IIA has received a host of recent maintenance summarized by a carburetor disassembly and cleaning, replacement of the fuel pump, spark plugs, timing adjustment, an oil change, and radiator repair. As a result, it runs perfectly, and the engine is strong. It starts on command, idles very smoothly, and pulls with about as much power as you would expect from a 1960’s Land Rover. There is occasional smoke on start up, but nothing unexpected considering its age and mileage. The oil pressure is healthy and the operating temperature stays within the normal range. The transmission detents are tired and do not center the shifter anymore, but it still shifts smoothly with no grinds and a wonderfully mechanical engagement. The clutch does not slip, and the take-up is correct. The transfer case shifts it from 2WD to 4WD with no issues. The suspension is appropriately clunky, but nothing is abnormal and the brakes function correctly. This is a great example of a well-sorted driver; it gets looks and thumbs-up from enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. We would like to find a new owner who will enjoy it and care for it for years to come.