The Land Rover 109 Station Wagon Series 2a from 1968
A throwback to 2018, when I found this incredible Series 2a Station Wagon diesel from 1968. The story is impressive and includes 800 kilos of genuine parts, a true low-mile Land Rover and an owner with big dreams but no driver’s license.
Split, Croatia, 1982. A well educated doctor bought his first Land Rover at an auction of the local public transport company. This low-mile 109 had been driven in sunny Split. It was used to drive coins from the bus station central to the bank. After the purchase, the doctor shared his enthusiasm with a patient, who was working at the Solihull Leyland factory in the UK (the manufacturer of Land Rovers). This patient convinced the doctor to resto-mod his new purchase and that he would help him with ordering genuine parts directly from the UK Leyland Factory. The doctor assumed this would be a project that would last for years, so he prepared rigorously.
His intention to make a newer Defender style 110 was very appealing at the time, as 1982 was the last year of the Series and the more modern 110 was introduced. Over a year he took off and precisely labelled and packed everything from the car that could degrade or rust. The wheels were removed
and the chassis was placed on bricks. What he could not take off, he corrosion-protected. Window channels were stuffed with filling to prevent water entering the door frame. The Alpine window was covered to prevent the rubber from degrading in the sun. Lights, lamps and the whole interior were taken out and carefully stored in the garage for the next 36 years to come.
The doctor didn’t have a driver’s license, but that did not stop him from purchasing a whole bunch of new parts. At first he bought all sorts of workshop manuals, parts catalogs, imperial tools and dictionaries. In the following year, he studied the books and even taught himself English! Now he could start ordering parts. In the following 4 years he ordered genuine parts with a total value of 15,000£ and a gross weight of 800 kg. Adjusted for inflation this would be about 45,000£ in today’s money! Most of the parts never left the wooden crates in which they were delivered. The parts included interior trim, several engine overhaul kits, plenty of nuts and bolts, steering joints, grommets, bearings, oil seals, hundreds of light bulbs and many, many more.
In 2018, we bought the 109 and a collection of parts. Since then, we have given the car new life – the engine has been started without major issues, but it needed a rebuild. Other jobs included brake, clutch and steering overhaul. To appreciate the story of this vehicle, everything was done using genuine Land Rover New Old Stock parts.
The car is now with its lucky new owner in The Netherlands, and it is finally being driven and enjoyed.
By Vladimir Stec, owner at Heyus