SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
This is a 1964 Land Rover Series 2 109 – on the surface. What sets it apart is the chassis it’s mounted to – under the classic body lies a 1993 Range Rover chassis, complete with the running gear, electrical system, drivetrain, and 4.2 liter V8 from that era. This is a professionally executed frame-off “resto-mod” Land Rover that combines the iconic looks of the 109 with notably newer, more robust underpinnings.
The body comes from a well preserved and rust free 1964 109. All exterior trim was restored, and the body professionally painted in Safari Beige.
The interior is where the combination of old and new is most apparent. All electrical systems and the 4wd system are from the Range Rover chassis. Aftermarket gauges are used for instrumentation. The seats are re-trimmed by Exmoor, which specializes in Land Rover, and includes 5 forward facing seats, and two jump seats in the rear. In addition to the manual vents the 109 has, this vehicle also sports the full heating system from the ’93 Range Rover, which is fully functional. This vehicle also has an a/c compressor, but it is not functional at this time.
The basis for this build is the chassis from a 1993 Range Rover. This means it comes with the Buick-derived 4.2 liter V8 that Land Rover used for many years, The full time 4wd system is from that vehicle as well, with a ZF four speed automatic transmission, and a two speed transfer box.
The resto-mod was executed around 2016. There is not a lot known about the vehicle prior to the work, but this was a ground-up build using freshly restored and/or new parts.
This build is as close as you can get to a “best of both worlds” scenario. The 109 is the model people think of when picturing an old Landie, but with their four cylinder motors that barely made three-digit horsepower, maintaining highway speeds on any uphill section of highway is a dubious proposition. All practical aspects of driving this vehicle are improved dramatically with the modern running gear using the Range Rover platform, while also keeping it “in the family”, and the transformation was a relatively easy process. This example in particular is well executed, and as the pictures show, the assembly is as proper as a factory made unit. No quirks or surprises here, this is ready to go on a daily basis.