1979 Land Rover Series 3 SWB
(Featured on 27th May 2014)
Make: Land Rover
Model: Series 3
Sellers original description:
A very, very rare opportunity to acquire a 1979 10,000 (TEN THOUSAND) mile original and unmolested Land Rover Series III.
Short Wheel Base Petrol 88" Hardtop. Deluxe Seats Freewheeling hubs
Hardly used, cherished and kept garaged by effectively its only owner from new.
Unique in this condition and almost without doubt the lowest mileage best original un-restored 1979 example available.
The majority of parts are original and those fitted on the Land Rover assembly line Lode Lane, Solihull nearly thirty five years ago.
The very best of the best. We doubt that you could possibly find a superior, lower mileage, un-restored 1979 example for sale anywhere – worldwide!
A very rare find indeed and one almost certainly never to be repeated - truly remarkable!
The Land Rover was conceived by the Rover Motor Company in 1946 during the aftermath of World War II. Rover's usual products were luxury cars which were not in demand in the immediate post-war period.
Rover's chief designer, Maurice Wilks, came up with a plan to produce a light agricultural and utility vehicle, of a similar concept to the Willys Jeep used in the war.
The proto type Land rover had a tractor style central steering wheel and used the Jeep chassis. However by the time of its launch in 1948 the steering wheel was mounted off to the side as normal, the bodywork was simplified to reduce production time and costs. A larger engine was fitted, together with a specially-designed transfer gearbox to replace the Jeep unit. The result was a vehicle that didn't use a single Jeep component, was slightly shorter than its American inspiration, but wider, heavier, faster and still retained the Power Take Off drives.
The bodywork was hand-made out of surplus aircraft grade aluminum, mainly an aluminum/magnesium alloy called Birmabright, to save on steel, which was closely rationed. Paint was also in short supply, resulting in the first production vehicles making use of army surplus green paint.
Originally the Land Rover was a single model offering, which from 1948 until 1951 used an 80 in wheelbase and a 1.6 litre petrol engine. It became known as the series 1.
The successor to the Series I was the Series II. It came in 88 in and 109 in wheelbases (normally referred to as the 'SWB' and 'LWB'). This was the first Land Rover to receive the attention of Rover's styling department- Chief Stylist David Bache produced the familiar 'barrel side' waist. The Series II was the first vehicle to use the well-known 2.25 litre petrol engine.
Introduced in 1971 the Series III was to become the most popular of the Series vehicles. The headlights were moved to the wings and the traditional metal grille was replaced with a plastic one.
The simple metal dashboard of earlier models was redesigned to accept a new molded plastic dash. The instrument cluster, which was previously centrally located, was moved to the driver's side.
Original condition Series III Land Rovers have become highly sought after and prices have risen dramatically of late. To find an unmolested example is rare, but to find one that has had just one owner and covered a genuine ten thousand miles from new, unheard of..............
.............until now that is!
On the 28 February 1979 the first and only owner of DPP 495T travelled the mile or so from his home to Land Rover Dealers Dunham & Haines ltd of Luton.
He was collecting his brand new Series III SWB petrol finished in the best colour for any Land Rover - Deep Bronze Green with Limestone Hard Top and correct Green wheels. The owner was a decorator by trade and although registered in his limited company name (same as his name) for tax reasons this was not to be a vehicle that he ever intended to use for work, he used a van for that.
In fact it was his intention to not to use the Land Rover at all other than for pleasure. He had an interest in hunting and although he did not participate himself he liked to follow the Hunt locally 2 or 3 times a year.
He had ordered factory and dealer fitted extras. Deluxe seats, bonnet and safari rear door spare wheel mounts, Freewheeling Hubs, a Dixon Bate tow hitch and ball but with no electrics (he never intended to tow anything on the road) genuine Land Rover rear seats, matching rear fog and reversing lights, rear step, Mud Flaps and an under-seal.
The new owner cherished his beloved Land Rover and as he intended used in very infrequently keeping it garaged when not in use and applying his private plate that included his initials.
According to the service book in the history file the supplying dealer did not carry out the 1,000 mile free service until the early eighties and the 3,000 mile service was not stamped as done, again by Dunham & Haines, until 1987.
The owner was very fastidious if anything was required then it was done.
MOT's in the history file show that by the late nineties usage of DPP 495T had all but ceased. By 1998 the MOT for that year shows the mileage had risen to just 10,033. The 1999 MOT records just an extra 16 miles travelled in the year at 10,049 and even less for the following year 6 miles for the 2000 MOT at 10,056. The MOT for 2001 shows the mileage at 10,792.
After this time the land Rover was not used at all and was laid up in the garage at the owners home.
Sadly the owner died and DPP 495T remained unused until May last year when his partner arranged for the Land Rover to be MOT'ed (10,806) so that the cherished registration number could be transferred.
In August title and the name on the V5C, as the law requires, was transferred to the owners partner (at the same address) although she has never driven the vehicle.
Today DPP 495T is back on the land Rover (its original registration number) on its original Dunham & Haines plates.
The genuine mileage from new is now just 10,900
At first glance you would think - wow there's a well restored Series III but you would be wrong of course this is not a restored Land Rover that has been rebuilt from various other vehicles made into one with lots of none British reproduction parts added.
Since it left Solihull neigh on thirty five years ago, apart from service items and consumables the majority of the parts that make up DPP 495T remain those fitted on the production line in the late seventies.
DPP 495T is incredibly original it still has its factory canvas axle check straps, the floors have never been out so all the fastenings are original and in their correct places.
When we acquired DPP 495T with the exception some small minor dings dents and scratches there was no damage on the vehicle. Some localised paint work had been carried out in the past and new door tops had been fitted and a good job had been made of repairing the inside steel lower door frames but the majority of paint and panels would seem to have been original.
No structural welding seems to have ever been carried out to the chassis or bulkhead although neat and proper repairs have been made at some time in the past to the footwell side kick panels using new metal.
However the original paint had faded a little and worn thin through polishing over the years so the newer paint finish on the localised areas that had received attention in the past was a poor colour match to the old.
For the most part the body and paint finish was excellent and very acceptable for your average 35 year old Series III Land Rover. However DPP 495T is not your average series III Land Rover, it is exceptional and warranted us getting our body shop to refresh the paint to a correct 1979 Land Rover type finish.
We must again emphasize that this was a flat and re-colour of faded paint no bodywork whatsoever was necessary - no body filler, apart from the slightest of surface skims over a couple of those minor dings, was used. we also replaced the door bottoms with new to match the tops.
The rear load area, which has only seen light use with just a little scuffing in places and has no dents, was left original as was the inside of the hardtop.
The underside was under-sealed from new, we have not added any new sealant to it anywhere. Below that underseal as can be seen where it has lifted in places the chassis still has its factory paint and is in superb condition. No welding has ever been done and none is required now. You are most welcome to carry out any inspection and prod and probe as much as you like before auction end.
The chassis number is clearly visible stamped in its correct place on the right hand front dumb iron of the chassis so if you want to import it to Germany, Holland, The USA or anywhere else for that matter you will not have any issues with identity
Exemplary - by far the best original Land Rover Series III interior we have seen. Virtually unmarked, clearly this is a 10,000 mile vehicle.
The factory fitted Deluxe seats are perfect no rips, distortion or tears, and have the correct moulded chipboard wood bases and still even have their leather retaining straps intact and Land Rover trim shop tags.
New rubber floor mats.
The glass is not scratched or marked, as is often the case with series LR's
No modifications whatsoever, never even had a radio fitted.
The dash is unmarked.
The hardtop is excellent and virtually unmarked.
Original unused jack handle, wheel brace and starting handle behind the seats.
Under the passenger seat the compartment is in first class condition and contains, wooden handle for the jack, original tool roll that is totally complete and unused. The pliers are still in their original wrapper which has never been opened as is the tyre pressure gauge. Even the tiny grease gun and feeler gauge are there. There is also a standard and rare stirrup pump again new and unused. All of this on its own we would suspect is worth several hundreds of pounds
The load area is exceptionally clean.
Original spare wheel and factory fitted tyre which looks to have never been used.
UNDER THE BONNET:
Again the best original engine bay we have seen on a Series 3, Extremely clean with original stickers still in place.
Original paint to engine block.
We have just replaced the carburettor with a brand new Weber conversion which makes so much difference.
The brake master cylinder is also being replaced with a brand new one which, some of you may have noticed, is why its missing from the photographs.
ON THE ROAD:
We just keep on saying the best we have ever seen and on the road we have to say it again.
Starts on the button with just a little manual choke.
The engine runs really smoothly on that new Weber with no excessive smoke.
It is apparent that this is a vehicle that has been maintained to high standards and covered little miles.
The gear box is not noisy and it does not jump out of gear.
An absolute joy to drive and such fun.
MOT May 2014.
Lee our mechanic has just been through the vehicle and completed his pre sales checks.
Lee has always been a fan of series Land Rovers, there's not much that he does not know about them he has owned/driven hundreds of them since he served has apprenticeship at a BL dealer.
He has returned from test drive. "Wow" was his reaction "I haven't driven a Series Landy that drives that well since I last did the Pre Delivery Check on a new one" High praise indeed thank you Lee.
Four wheel drive and low range engage as they should.
The gears change up and down as they should.
Like all Series Land Rovers it drips a little oil.
The steering is light and as it should be.
All the Tyres are the original 1979 Avon cross plys. We have left them on for the sake of originality and for those who may want to show the vehicle. However a caveat on tyres of this age they are quite heavily cracked to the side walls, although this has not been noted under advisory information on the last two MOT's they should be professionally checked.
1. V5C. Showing the first owner until last year and then his partner who lived at the same address.
2. Some old MOT's
3. Unipart correspondence addressed to the owner at the same address as his partner.
4. Instructions from Land rover re Freewheeling hubs.
5. MOT May 2014.
6. Instructions from Dixon Bate re tow hitch.
7. Dunham & Haines Sold sticker with instructions to PDI fit Plates and Mud Flaps and under-seal
8. Original blue plastic Leyland cars Supercover wallet, with hand book, Service book stamped by supplying Dealer all Supercover information.
9. internet car check showing all clear insurance and finance.
DPP 495T is completely unmolested and original.
It must surely one the lowest mileage best original examples left anywhere.
DPP 495T has so obviously been cared for.
If you have been looking for the very best of the best when it comes to original condition Series III Land Rovers then your search almost certainly is over.
This Land Rover has many possibilities.
It is a show winner if ever we saw one. Furthermore when you meet other Series owners at those shows with their restored examples no matter how well those cars are done you will know and so will they, if they are honest, that what they have is not an original car at all like yours will be - but in fact nothing more than a reproduction of one that's probably cost them more than the real thing will have cost you! We are sure that you will not smirk or gloat though!
Here is an excellent investment opportunity if you are able to keep it in the same way that it has been kept in the past.
It also is in fact a very useable Land Rover for daily use if that is what you wanted to do.
It is a one owner, exceptionally low mileage vehicle in outstanding original un-messed with condition, mechanically sorted and one of the best we have ever driven.
If you like lots of checker plate, wide wheels, lights on the roof and Rover 200 seats in your Series III this is not perhaps the Land Rover for you!