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A Land Rover Restoration By Chance

My Land Rover obsession happened quite by chance. It goes a little something like this. My father plays cards with our old next door neighbour from 5 decades ago, and he was asked “does your young bloke still muck about with cars?”. Father replied, "possibly".  So, I was invited to take a look at a damaged vehicle to see if it was worthy of repair.

I drove up for a look, it was an early 2000s Nissan Tiida, and decided it was not something I’d be interested in. I did however notice the old Series IIa in the barn and made the comment “that's not a bad lookin’ old thing.” Norm, the old neighbour replied with, “Well its been sitting there for 20 years, it’s yours if you want it!” I offered to pay, and he said no, just take it. Now, bear mind I’m 60 years old. Norm has given me 2 things in his life. A pair of boxing gloves when I was around 8 years old, and 50 plus years later he’s given me his Land Rover!


A week passed and we hooked the trailer up to my daughters Toyota FJ Cruiser, and Hannah my daughter, Ian a lifelong friend and myself went up and recovered it from the barn. Pumped up the tyres, hooked up the chain, and the old Rover moved for the first time in 2 decades. Once home we washed it down and with no patience, hooked up a battery to see if the Holden motor would fire up!  Bit of Aerostart (ether) down its neck and away she went!

Initially, I was unsure whether to proceed with a renovation, but I bit the bullet and ordered a few parts from Bearmach. Well, 6 days later the parts arrived in Somerset, Tasmania. To say I was impressed with the delivery speed would be an understatement! Since then, I’ve removed all rusty outriggers, built up a new footwell, cleaned, scraped, descaled, ordered and received plenty more parts and have every nut and bolt now covered in penetrating oil ready to release.


I can honestly say that the quality of parts, the range of parts and the speed of delivery has convinced me to keep at it. If parts and supply of, had been an issue I don’t think I’d have persevered. Thanks guys for giving an old bloke the opportunity to take on a project knowing that “parts & service” won’t be an issue!

You can see what I've been getting up to with my old Rover 'Barney' over at my Instagram page.

Paul Ledger

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