1. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  2. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  3. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  4. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  5. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  6. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  7. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  8. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  9. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  10. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  11. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  12. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  13. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  14. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  15. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  16. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

  17. 1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB

Lot Number
1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB
Scottsdale Auction

Offered Without Reserve

ESTIMATE: $35,000 - $50,000
• High quality recent restoration
• Desirable diesel engine
• Recently imported from Europe

2,286 cc OHV four-cylinder diesel engine, four-speed synchromesh gearbox, hi/low transfer box, semi-elliptic understrung suspension, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 88"

Conceived in 1947 by the Rover Company and having been developed in haste, it was released to the public at the Amsterdam Motor Show. Rover, hitherto a luxury car manufacturer of very limited production output, saw a gap in the market in post-war Britain. Undoubtedly inspired by the Jeep of the U.S. Army, Maurice Wilks, Rover's chief designer, came up with a plan to produce a light agricultural and utility vehicle, to serve the needs of the agricultural community in the immediate post-war years. With raw materials heavily rationed, the necessity of using corrosion-resistant aluminum panels at a time of severe steel shortage turned into a positive virtue in the Land Rover and, with the use of existing components, limited production costs and development time.

The Land Rover was designed to only be in production for two or three years to gain post-war cash flow and export orders for the Rover Company so it could restart up-market car production. However, the very capable and supremely versatile off-roader was a runaway success to the surprise of the company and spawned its own brand, which enjoys equal success some 70 years later. Originally the truck was built on an 80-inch wheelbase chassis and boasting 50 HP from the Rover P3 saloon's 1,595 cc four-cylinder engine and accompanying four-speed gearbox, with a new two-speed transfer box and innovative four-wheel drive system. This was a basic vehicle at purchase, with the tops for the doors and a roof (canvas or metal) as optional extras.

1950 saw a design change when the lights moved from behind the grille to protruding through it and, in 1952, a larger 2.0-litre petrol engine was fitted along with a more traditional 4WD setup. At this time, the truck was also reclassified from a commercial vehicle, which was free of purchase tax, but a 30-mph restriction, to a "multi-purpose vehicle". 1958 saw the introduction of the Series II, with 88” or 109” chassis wheelbase and a 2.25-litre engine, producing 72 HP. Variations on body configuration and numerous mechanical upgrades ensued through the Series IIA of 1961, including the addition of a 2.25-litre diesel to the engine line, which after 1967 included a 2.6-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine for the long-wheelbase models. The biggest styling leap was made in 1969 when the headlights were moved to the outer fenders. 1971 saw the release of the Series III, with a progression of mechanical changes through the 14-year model run. In 1980, the 2.25-litre petrol and diesel engines received five main bearing crankshafts to increase rigidity and the transmission, axles and wheel hubs were strengthened. Synchromesh was added to all gears and a more comfortable interior trim specification was introduced with additional safety features.

The Series III on offer here is fresh from a comprehensive restoration. A 2.25-litre diesel-engined 88 SWB iteration of the model, the truck was recently imported from Europe, where it was subject to a cosmetic and mechanical overhaul, including an engine rebuild, and refurbishment to the drivetrain, suspension and brakes. Cosmetically, the truck was treated to a quality repaint in the original blue, and a new interior and soft top were installed in the original black and tan, respectively. Now, with only 200 shake-down kilometres, the truck is ready to show or for any utilitarian duties the new owner may have in mind.

1981 Land Rover Series III 88 SWB
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