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A quick identification guide to Land Rovers

by Miles J. Murphy

As a rule I'm not a Rally goer. Not because I'm anti social (well, mildly) or the like. Its more to do with the tooth grindin' bone shakin' arse numbin' endless drive to get to some of the damn venues. I made it to Rovers North once. Course I felt a wee bit out of place, me being the only one driving a V8, automatic, red Ford "Mustang" of 1965 vintage.

A few years later I happened to be in the Lake Lucerne area of New York around about the same time as the ABP annual get together. Mechanicsville was just a hop skip and a jump from the foothills of the Adirondacks, so myself and Buxom Blond Buddy (sexist remark made only to refresh the memory of OVLR members who still fantasize about the woman) made tracks to the field next to the sewage treatment plant.

All the usual adventurers were there. I met up with Sandy Grice and Sand Toler of ROAV and BRLRC respectively, but the topic of conversation was - as you can imagine - bloody Land Rovers. I poked around the place, met one or two familiar faces discussing this and that - anything to relieve the boredom. Dick somebody, or maybe his name was Steve tried to entice me to consume a wad of greasy chicken - but the small sum of somewhere near $40 U.S. was required first. Naturally I graciously declined, thinking that I could feed myself and herself for half that amount in one of Mechanicsville's best fodder houses.

The hot July sun was sapping my energy fast. Hot chicken grease and sewage fumes wafting on the breeze were playing havoc with my mucus membranes. The only thing left to do was find herself and split, but not before checking out the people milling around a handful of 86" Series Ones at the opposite end of the field (from the sewage works). If memory serves me right, one vehicle was painted medium to dark grey. No sooner had myself and lady friend arrived in the midst of this rowdy lot, chairs were found or vacated. We were immediately made welcome and invited to sit and share whatever was being consumed. All I can say is I haven't enjoyed the company of complete strangers as much, before or since. And let me add they were strange.

I have always regretted that Ottawa is not closer to mid-coast Maine.

Ever since that day I've been getting the OVLR newsletter. Of all the newsletters that arrive, its the only one I really look forward to. When Dixon asked if I'd be interested in doing a series on Land Rover Recognition, similar to what appeared in the current Rover's North Parts catalogue. Well, what could a fellow say but - "only too happy to oblige."

The first installment - printed in this issue - covers the "Lightweight" in its British, Spanish, and Iranian forms. There were of course other Lightweights - of sorts - but most never made it off the drawing board.

The Australian Rover company currently builds a lightweight version of their 6x6 version of the 110. At first glance, the "Perentie" (named after an Australian lizard) looks like a Land Rover, but it is essentially a whole new vehicle.

In the next issue we will cover the 80" Series Ones from the late 1947 prototype to the final 80" made in late 1953.

Now, I'm no expert on Land Rovers, just unfortunate enough to have an eye for detail and the self taught skill to hold a pencil steady. Do let the Editor know what you think of this new OVLR Newsletter venture. Finally, its nice to be of service to what I regard as North America's premier club.

Reprinted from the OVLR Newsletter, December, 1994
Copyright Dixon Kenner, 1995-2011. Last modified March 15, 2005.
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