CAN LAND ROVER SUP­PORT SUP­PLY AND DE­MAND?

Land Rover Monthly - - LRM Technical -

For decades, Land Rover has shown a fluc­tu­at­ing in­ter­est in the real classic Land Rover move­ment. That’s un­der­stand­able be­cause the busi­ness ex­ists to make an in­come from sell­ing new ve­hi­cles with, of course, the obli­ga­tion to pro­vide a rea­son­able spares back-up for the older mod­els. With the ex­cep­tion of Defender, which re­mains vir­tu­ally cur­rent, the tra­di­tional beam axle Land Rovers have no con­nec­tion with the cur­rent model range, other than the in­tan­gi­ble con­cept of her­itage, and per­haps, a ten­u­ous con­nec­tion in essence. So, it’s not sur­pris­ing that spares for pre-2000 ve­hi­cles are pro­gres­sively less avail­able as we go back in time.

Some years ago Land Rover ad­dressed this sit­u­a­tion by launching Land Rover Classic Parts to pro­vide new Genuine spares for older ve­hi­cles. Sadly, that ven­ture no longer ex­ists, pos­si­bly be­cause in­de­pen­dent parts man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers al­ready ex­isted to fill the vac­uum cre­ated by the ab­sence of af­ford­able parts sup­port from Land Rover for its early mod­els.

In April last year, Land Rover be­gan another parts ini­tia­tive. Land Rover Her­itage Divi­sion was an­nounced with fan­fare at the Techno Clas­sica show in Essen, Ger­many, claim­ing to sup­ply Genuine parts made on orig­i­nal tool­ing If ve­hi­cles that have been out of pro­duc­tion for over ten years (Free­lander 1 is the lat­est ad­di­tion to the range). The parts are avail­able through deal­er­ships, so it’s worth check­ing with them. Deal­er­ship de­liv­ery times are ex­cel­lent, and of­ten prices are com­pet­i­tive. Oddly, Land Rover Her­itage has now an­nounced a sale of 25 re­built Se­ries I mod­els, though I’m not sure how this helps en­thu­si­asts, nor the parts sit­u­a­tion.

If Land Rover re­ally in­tends sup­ply­ing Genuine parts for classic mod­els, it needs to pro­duce a com­pre­hen­sive range that we can de­pend on. Or at least con­cen­trate on pro­vid­ing an al­ter­na­tive to some of the ex­ist­ing re­pro­duc­tion parts of ques­tion­able qual­ity, such as sus­pi­ciously cheap hy­draulic brake and clutch com­po­nents. Oth­er­wise, leave the ex­ist­ing af­ter­mar­ket busi­nesses to con­tinue the great job they do of re­pro­duc­ing and re­con­di­tion­ing the parts we need.

I’m de­lighted to have just landed a set of Genuine brake and clutch cylin­ders for my own on­go­ing Se­ries III re­build, but it is vi­tal that this sup­ply of high qual­ity safety-re­lated com­po­nents con­tin­ues. Whether that comes from Land Rover or the af­ter­mar­ket, is im­ma­te­rial.

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