1974 Land Rover Series-III 88

1974 Land Rover Series-III 88


Status: Sold to Mark S. of Whitsett, NC
Manufactured: Solihull, England
Imported: Felgueiras, Portugal
Engine: 2.25L four-cylinder gas   
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
VIN / Chassis Number: 90406854A

The meeting spot was the end of Rattlesnake Hollow Ln. The little Landy charged along Virginia’s back country roads, through small towns and along farm lanes to get to the meetup location. The property we wanted to inspect was laid out in front of us at the top of the road. We sought the view from the top; craving the Blue Ridge Valley in a way only elevation can provide. Rattlesnake Hollow’s terminus was far from the top. Where the road ended, a narrow, aged logging trail continued. Along the ridge was a second-growth forest; the towering trees were the new growth following timbering long ago. This logging road reflected their age; it was steep, spartan, and strewn with rocks and sticks. A Land Rover was an appropriate tool.

We left the other cars on the road and started up the mountain. Low-range was a requirement from the start. The Series-III began to crawl upwards. The old road was meant to get equipment in and trees out. It wasn’t built to be pretty or comfortable. The narrow switchbacks required tight, uncomfortable turns. I was grateful we’d brought a short wheelbase truck. Deep ruts bore witness to mother nature’s attempts to reclaim the old trail. The trip was almost cut short as we came upon a boulder in the lane. Passengers debarked, and the Landy slowly and carefully navigated the space left between the rock and the edge. Again, we climbed. Stopped to move rocks and branches, then climbed again.

The top wasn’t so much a reward as it was an abrupt stop. The road ended where the loggers needed it to. Out we piled and walked a little way into the woods. The sound of small waterfalls could be heard not far off in the distance. Standing perched on a large fallen tree the loggers must have pitied and left to protect the mountain however many years ago, we stopped. There was no other noise. High up as we were, and oh-so-far outside the city, there was only the falls and the breeze. The Land Rover had become our four-wheeled funicular.

At 44 years young, the beautiful Series-III 88 had done what it was built to do: Explore. This one started life in the UK, was imported to Belgium, made its way to a collection in France, and later a collection in Portugal. We found it there and brought it to Virginia. This is one well-traveled, and well-loved Land Rover. And it’s ready to keep going.

Driveline. The 2.25L four-cylinder gas motor is mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Truck is geared to permit a top speed of around 65mph on flat roads in fourth. High-low transfer case help down gear the truck to climb the mountain of your choosing. Motor has a zenith carburetor, and flicks to life easily. Odometer shows 18,270 KM; our assumption is that’s 181,270 KM, or 73,000 miles. Gearbox shifts beautifully; no signs of grinding.  

Exterior. Truck wears bronze green paint under a white roof with matching wheels. Paint presents beautifully. Not show quality, but certainly a lovely truck. Truck is rust free. Bulkhead, floors, doors, and chassis are all beautiful. Driver and passenger door were replaced in early 2018, along with all window components. They shut and slide like new. Lights, signals, and horn all function as intended. Truck currently wears a matching set of BF Goodrich Long Trail T/A tires with lots of life left.  

Interior. Currently configured to seat two, the truck has black vinyl upholstery. Truck is equipped with seatbelts. The interior is largely original, with a diamond-patterned white headliner providing a subtle, up-market look to the otherwise spartan Series interior. The Series interior has a manual throttle, along with a few gauges and switches. It is otherwise functional; designed to keep you focused on where you’re going. We hope this one stays on the road where it belongs.

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