Proof, were it needed, that Mark’s the real deal – he’s bought a clas­sic Land Rover

CAR (UK) - - Inside Jlr Classic Works -

My own re­cently ac­quired Land Rover isn’t like the JLR Clas­sic Se­ries 1s, ei­ther be­fore or after they’ve been re­stored. Be­fore, they tend to be ab­so­lutely orig­i­nal with doc­u­mented his­to­ries; af­ter­wards they’re just mint. Mine on the other hand is like most Land Rovers out there in the world: a patchy his­tory, a few bodged re­pairs, and a list of non-orig­i­nal parts.

So mine is an early, short-wheel­base 80-inch car, built in Jan­uary 1952. It wasn’t road-reg­is­tered un­til 1984, and the sus­pi­cion is that it was sold into the army and not de­com­mis­sioned un­til the 1980s. At some point the bulk­head was re­placed. It’s com­mon for this to rust, but rather than ‰it a new gal­vanised part, one was scav­enged from an older car. It’s also got a 2.0-litre en­gine bor­rowed from a later car. Told you it was a mon­grel!

But you know what? It’s solid, it starts, and it’s got bags of char­ac­ter. It also has that sur­pris­ingly feisty per­for­mance that al­ways wins over new driv­ers – you ex­pect it to drive like a tank, but it ac­tu­ally feels light and will­ing. I’d love a pris­tine JLR Clas­sic ex­am­ple for £80k – but for around a ‰ifth of that bud­get, mine will do me just ‰ine.

This isn’t just any well-used, mildly mon­grelled Land Rover Se­ries 1, this is Mark’s well-used, mildly mon­grelled Land Rover Se­ries 1

Not a restora­tion, this XKSS is new from the ground up

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