WHICH LAND ROVERS WERE IMPORTED TO NORTH AMERICA?
- There are two common types of Land Rover in the United
States, a third more uncommon type in North America, and
a fourth uncommon type in Canada and the UK. The common
Land Rovers are the short wheel base Series model 88" and the long wheel base model 109".
The model 109 was imported into the US until 1968. The
model 88 was imported until 1974. There were older models
but they are few in number and parts are difficult to obtain.
Starting in 1987 Range Rovers (all automatics) were imported
to North America. The Range Rover (mk2) started to be imported
in 1995, the same year that production of the Range Rover Classic
ceased. In the early 1990's, a subsidiary, Land
Rover Canada was created.
In 1992, a special version of the Defender 110 was imported
into North America. 500 went to the United States, and 25 to
In late 1993, Land Rover
North America (LRNA) started to import
the North American Spec (NAS) Defender
90. About 3100 soft top and plastic top
models were imported. All were model year
1994 and 1995. Towards the end of 1995 LRNA
imported and additional 500 Defender 90 Station
Wagons. These Rovers featured a metal hardtop,
one piece doors and a rear door.
was a 1997
to LRNA, 2500
90s were imported;
All will feature
A final batch
of 300 limited
at the end
of 1997. There
are no 1998
to the US.
- Series I
the 80", 86", and 107". The basic engine was the 2 liter,
four cylinder cross flow engine. In 1956 the 88" was introduced,
followed in 1958 by the 2 lit re diesel and 109".
- Series II
of the 2.25 lit re petrol engine.
and 109 inch wheelbases. In 1962, the 2.25l diesel engine
along with the Forward Control model. In 1967 the 2.6 lit
cylinder engine was introduced for the 109 Station Wagon,
as the Series IIB 110 Forward Control model
- 1969: headlamps moved from centre radiator grill to wings
- Series III
- Series III were produced from 1971 until the early 1980's. Imports
into North America ceased in 1974. The Series III saw the dash
revised with black plastic, instruments moved from the centre of
the fascia to a position in front of the driver. The door and bonnet
hinges are flatter than Series IIA. More hidden was the all-synchro
gearbox that was introduced, an uprated clutch, modified brakes
with new drums, re-routed brake pipes and servo-assisted brakes
as standard on all Station Wagons. And there was the all plastic
- In 1972 the V8 101 Forward Control was developed, though not actively produced
until 1975 for the British military.
- Electrics are positive earth from 1947 until 1967 when they
were changed over to negative earth. (Note: a number of owners
have changed their Land Rover from positive to negative earth,
along with going from the dynamo/generator approach to an alternator.
This should not effect the value.)
rebuild kits are difficult, if not impossible, to obtain for the Solex.
can be rebuilt once. After that it will need to have parts changed that
no longer available. The recommended carb. change when your Solex is
to change it to a Weber for increased gas mileage and a few more horsepower.
You will need the adapter plate used for the Zenith to fit a Weber.
- Long Wheelbase Models:
- The 109 came in several versions, of which the two door (pickup)
and four door (station wagon) are the most common. The 109 2 door
has a 6 foot bed. There is a rare model of four door 109 called
the Dormobile. It is the Land Rover camper. It has a pop up top
(like the VW van camper), refrigerator, sink, propane stove and
- 109 versions:
- Regular with canvas top
- Pick-up with 3/4 hood with side windows
- Regular with hard top
- Station Wagon (10 or 12 seater)
- High capacity pick-up
- Short Wheelbase Models:
- The swb, or 88 came as a two door pick-up, or the more common
three door version. Unlike the 109 Station Wagon, it is possible
to remove the roof and windows of a swb to create a soft top version.
- 88 versions:
- Canvas top
- Pick-up with 3/4 hood
- Hard top with sliding side windows
- Station wagon
- Other Types:
- The third type is the 101 Forward Control. This is very rare
in North America. Of hand I know of between 5 and 10 in the US
- The fourth, uncommon type which can be found in Canada is the military lightweight.
This is the military version of the swb Land Rover, and despite the name, actually
weighs more than a swb Land Rover, though narrower so to fit into an RAF Andover
- Long and Short Wheelbase Comparisons:
- 88 - 109 comparison: The 88 being lighter and having a shorter
wheel base, is a superior offroad car. It doesn't get stuck as
often and can turn in almost half the radius of the 109. Of course
you can sleep inside a 109 two door or doormobile.
TerriAnn Wakeman notes:
- I have no problems taking my [Series] LR on long trips and have on
several occasions been driving it 8 to 10 hours a day. It went car camping
between Monterey bay and Portland Or last year, and on several 200 -
300 mile trips. This year I will take it back to Portland for the Portland
all British car meet and to the LA area for the national Dairy goat show.
My two door 109 is a great car camping long distance car. Its a bit on
the noisy side (a common LR trait) but it is reasonably comfortable and
if kept up extremely reliable.
Benjamin Smith notes:
- Despite having a 24 year old Land Rover, I have found it to be very
dependable. I regularly take her on 300 mile trips and even some
1000+ mile long weekends with lots of heavy off roading. I drive her
from the West coast to the East Coast and back at least once a year.
I have *never* had a mechanical brake down that I couldn't drive to
the next town with or make a repair with carried spares. Once I even
drove 500 miles with a blown head gasket on 3 cylinders. (I now carry
a spare). The best part of a Rover is that they are over-engineered,
and that you can maintain them in the field.
- When I go on long (more than 500 mile) trips I carry:
- Tools (wrenches, sockets, feeler gauges, screwdrivers,
files, etc), 8 quarts of oil (20w50), 2 quarts of 90w, spare
points, cap, rotor, water pump, Castrol 2 pints GT-LMA brake
fluid, main gear (in case the Overdrive fails), spark plugs,
coil, wire, crimping parts, rubber brake parts, brake cylinder,
axle half shafts, a random assortment of nuts, bolts and
hose clamps, water/anti-freeze, some gaskets, Shop manuals
(Haynes and factory) and parts catalogs from mail order shops.
Before a trip I'm careful to topoff all of the fluid levels.
- It sounds like I carry a lot, but my tools fit in a small
NATO 5.56mm ammo can. I carry a standard toolbox with other
tools and random junk. All the spares fit into a water tight
40mm ammo can. Obviously some of the spares are redundant,
especially for road use--(if I brake an rear half shaft I
could always pull the other half shaft and rear propeller
shaft and drive in front wheel drive). but I figure that
it's easier to fix the problem or jury rig something than
to walk 100 miles in the desert.
Since Land Rovers are still in production,
you can still get genuine factory parts. There are a few
mail order shops in the United States>. If you are willing
to pay overnight, you can get any part for the Land Rover,
new or used, next day.
|Copyright Dixon Kenner, 1995-2011. Last modified March 15, 2005.
Comments? Send mail to Dixon Kenner or Benjamin
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