Thursday, 22 June 2017

Suffix "A" '72 Range Rover V8 based Land Rover 90 Soft Top *Tax Exempt*

Sellers Comments -
This is a very special vehicle, it is a Suffix "A" 1972 Range Rover 3.5ltr V8 with a 10" shortened chassis and a Land Rover 90 body fitted. The vehicle is still classed as a 1972 Range Rover on the V5 and hence the vehicle retains it's Historic Vehicle classification with the DVLA and is therefore tax exempt. 

I bought the vehicle from its second owner since the conversion, who had limited information about the history and the conversion. All I've been told is that the original owner, spent about 2000 hours on the conversion back in the early 2000's. The conversion was done very well however, you might even think it was factory specification.  He was a member of the Norwich 4x4 Owners Club but has since moved away. I have been meaning to find out more of the vehicles history however I never have got round to it! If some more history could be found I'm sure it would be extremely interesting as I believe that there were even pictures of the conversion and the original Range Rover; the owner whom I purchased the vehicle off, saw a picture of the original Range Rover when he bought it. Whether the original owner has these images still, I'm not sure, as unfortunately I currently have no means of contacting him.

More about the vehicle:

The 1972 Range Rover Classic chassis and drivetrain is all original and the chassis number plaque displayed in the engine bay (see picture) 
The spec is as follows:
  • Original Range Rover chassis shortened by 10". 
  • Original 130bhp Rover V8 3528cc with rare twin Zenith-Stromberg 175 CD-2 type carburettors.
  • Original LT95 combined 4-speed manual transmission and transfer box. Central differential lock works perfectly as does the high and low range.
  • A genuine Fairey overdrive unit is fitted, which also works faultlessly and improves fuel economy enormously. 
  • Original front and rear axles with disc brakes.
  • The rear prop shaft has been shortened to fit in the shortened chassis.
The Range Rover drivetrain has remained untouched since I have had it, aside from a service as they are all in good working order. However, although it runs and drives well, a mechanical overhaul and rebuild would be good way to further preserve the original Range Rover parts, something I never got round to doing myself unfortunately. 
Further parts:
  • Suspension components are all original or at least period correct O.E parts.
  • The rear of the chassis has been modified and is fitted with a Land Rover 90 rear cross member.
  • The front of the chassis has been fitted with a Land Rover 90 style bumper. 
  • Rock sliders have been welded to the chassis and line up well with the body.
  • The original manual steering has been upgraded to a power steering setup, presumed to be from the Land Rover 90.
  • B F Goodrich Trac Edge mud terrain tyres with modular steel wheels. (Plenty of tyre tread left.)
  • Land Rover 90 side fuel tank.
  • Land Rover 90 dashboard and gauge cluster, with speedo milage reading at 154,270. However this is not correct for the actual vehicle because of the body swap. The correct milage of the original Range Rover is unfortunately unknown.

Last year the body underwent a minor restoration, as it was a bit tatty. I gave it a full respray in desert sand colour. I used U-Pol Raptor truck bed liner to give a unique look that suits the rugged styling of a soft top land rover. U-Pol themselves have also resprayed one of their own vehicles in this product, which can be seen here: 
The coating is extremely durable and provides a water tight seal, keeping moisture out, practically eliminating the chance of rust. I felt that this coating would mean that when the canvas is rolled up or even removed, if it did rain (which in British summers is likely!), this would not be a concern as the body is protected by the Raptor coating. For a soft top vehicle I thought this was an excellent option, and the colour came out just right, with a slight military style yet still remaining subdued and simplistic for classic summer day cruising. Aside from the respray it also received some new parts, and repairs to the bulkhead floor sections.

New parts include:
  • All new brake, side and indicator lighting units and bulbs.
  • Headlights are only a few of years old.
  • Exmoor Trim canvas hood new last year.
  • Exmoor Trim half roll cage hood hoop with seat belt mounts.
  • Galvanised rear hood hoop setup.
  • Series 3 style half door and sliding glass tops.
  • Stainless steel door hinge bolts.
  • Side hinged rear half door with custom gas strut rear door stay.
  • Original Land Rover 90 seats re-upholstered with Britpart black vinyl seat re-trims.
Overall the condition of the vehicle is very good for the age; the original Range Rover chassis had been repaired in places where rust had set in but is now rot free and in good condition for a 45 year old chassis. The Land Rover 90 body is in great condition too after it's repair and respray last year, as described above. There are of course a few jobs and issues that will need sorting, these include:
  • The temperature gauge not accurate, the gauge is from a diesel Land Rover 90 and the temperature sender is a Rover V8 part, and hence does not really work.
  • The fuel gauge is also not accurate, I believe it is just the sender unit in the tank that needs replacing. This would be a Land Rover 90 part as the tank is a 90 part.
  • The windscreen rubber is cracking and could really do with being replaced, although it does not leak. 
The vehicle will come with a years MoT and a service along with a few extra parts:
  • Exmoor Trim pickup style mohair hood and front screen rail.
  • Land Rover middle front seat.
  • Spare wheel and tyre.
I am selling the vehicle to make way and fund my new project Defender but I will be sorry to see it go, it is a wonderful fun with loads of character and it makes an awesome sound from that Rover V8. Always a head turner and a very interesting vehicle to own. I have never used it for off-roading, just for bumbling along the country lanes and trips to the seaside. It really is perfect for those summer day cruises with a picnic or popping to a pub! The complete canvas top can be taken off, the door tops removed, the hood hoops removed and the windscreen folded down to make a proper sunny day cruiser or greenlaner!