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Jeff Young
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New guy here. Bit of a car nut, having done some wrenching on TR4s, 6s, a Ginetta G4 and some Formula Fords back in California. Moved to Ireland and gave up the old car thing for awhile, but a recently acquired Bentley T2 has gotten me back in the mood.

Currently looking to add a Land Rover to the mix. I need 4 doors and at least 5 seats so it can make the carpool runs on the odd day (the Bentley will be going in for a back-to-metal respray in the spring). I need pre-1981 to avoid harsh registration and road taxes.

So I'm thinking a 109 station wagon. Was originally thinking Series III to get something more recent, but it appears that a Land Rover's particular life has more to do with its condition than its age. So now I'm thinking Series IIa because the absence of all the plastic bits inside greatly improves the ambience.

It'll mostly be used around my property, so mileage isn't a big deal. It needs to tow a horsebox from time-to-time, but it's pretty flat around here. So I'm presuming the 2.25 petrol would be the best engine for me.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Jeff.

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The diesel is just about acceptable in a lightly loaded SWB, if you are serious about having a number of people in a heavier LWB you defiantly want a petrol. It also means you can just about get away without an overdrive too, although it's still very desirable and makes the car much faster and quieter, without one anything above 55mph feels like a strain. Try one without O/D before you commit, although they aren't hugely expensive to buy (over here, anyway) and are not difficult to fit.

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109 CSW is indeed the perfect Land Rover. 2.25 petrol should be OK in good tune, although a V8 conversion makes for big grins. If you can't afford the fuel, then a 200TDi conversion gives a decent power increase and good MPG.

Condition is everything, ignore age/mileage. Be careful of anything buried under layers of paint/waxoyl, and beware overly enthusiastic rebuilds / conversions.

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Jeff, welcome! You are in luck, being where you are, as you've both sides of the border to hunt for cars.

You are right to go for the 30 year old vehicles. Also consider a range rover, you can also find them with discovery bodies and tdi engines - just make sure the chassis numbers do match the paperwork.

Remember the only rule the Revenue and Customs watch for is the age of the chassis - so long as the numbers on the metal match you are fine.

It may be worth your while waiting a couple of years for the first of the coil sprung Defender 110's turn 30 years old.

Drop in a td5 + autobox and a puma interior and you'd have a superb modern classic.

I used to have a T1, superb car, though it didn't have anti roll bars so was a bit wallow-like in the corners. Could sure move though, and great power for the MPG!

There aren't too many 2a SW 109 about, but it isn't a major hassle to import them. Just remember to make sure the numbers match!

G.

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Thanks, guys.

One question: what's "CSW" stand for?

Gazzar, my T2 has the Harvey Bailey kit on it, and handles quite well. I've only driven a couple though, and they were both Harvey-Bailey-ed, so I'm not sure what kind of difference there is. Good to know about the Revenue just looking at the chassis numbers -- that might open up a few options. Hmm... is it an issue for an old one that's had a galvanized chassis replacement, or can you "duplicate" the chassis numbers when you do that?

Cheers,

Jeff.

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A 109" CSW is a fine machine, probably the best looking Land Rover too I think :)

The 2.25 petrol is a lovely engine too, nice and simple and a lovely raspy sound. Not huge amounts of power but enough to move you about! A V8 would be the best choice for an upgrade in my opinion, a Series with a TDi is very sensible...but somehow not as fun :P

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County station wagon was the top of the range more comfortable, road biased, people carrying version of the land rovers. They had radial, on road tyres for example. They had headlining and all the comfy interior options, deluxe seats, door cards etc. The SW (station wagon) is also more of a people carrier then a hard core off roader, it will also have rear windows, rear seats etc.

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County station wagon was the top of the range more comfortable, road biased, people carrying version of the land rovers. They had radial, on road tyres for example. They had headlining and all the comfy interior options, deluxe seats, door cards etc. The SW (station wagon) is also more of a people carrier then a hard core off roader, it will also have rear windows, rear seats etc.

Ahh... so County isn't just another name for the station wagon, it's a different trim level. Got it.

For me, either the CSW or SW would be fine: as long as it has 5 doors, windows all the way back, and at least 5 seats. Did they all have the safari roof, or was that an option?

Thanks,

Jeff.

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Varsas is overstating the luxury factor slightly - the county ones had door cards, cloth seats (not vinyl), roof lining, rear windows (rather than van sides). The off-road ability was no different except maybe for the effect of whatever tyres were fitted.

I don't know about Safari roofs but they do make a noticable difference in summer.

TBH you'll be doing well to find anything which is entirely as it left the factory by this age, and upgrades (eg cloth seat bases) are not going to break the bank. The door cards are not worth it anyway, they are just hiding rusty door frames with manky hardboard and vinyl.

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