Chassis # 31600162C
Model: 88" Station Wagon (RHD).
Date of build: 10 February 1966.
Origin destination: Invercarron for Nepal,
17 February 1966.
December 2006: This is a historic
LAND-ROVER is now completed and has made its maiden voyage around the
streets of Livermore, CA.
As you can see from some of the photos,
this vehicle was stripped 100%, right down to every nut and bolt. Each nut
and bolt was then cleaned, touched up, then re-plated for use in the
restoration. All hardware received the same treatment. As we stripped
the vehicle we found NO rust anywhere! We couldn't believe how good of
condition this LAND-ROVER was in. The rear cross-member on the
chassis was straightened, then sandblasted and powder coated gloss black...
looking very impressive when completed. All other parts that were black when
new received the same treatment, the quality is far superior than the baked
enamel used in England. The firewall was near perfect, and it too was powder
coated, along with the rest of the body work in the original shade of Green.
This was done by MAAS Bros in Livermore. The body, which for the most part
wasn't bad, it surely wasn't perfect. Left side damage required a new
LH/Rear outer fender panel. Attaching it was the difficult part, as it was
not only riveted, but spot welded when new. Mark Cassimus of Cassimus Co
came to the rescue, as he had the ability to spot weld the panel like
Solihull did when new. Both front wing outer panels (fenders) were full of
bondo, so these too have been replaced.
Under the hood: We found a tired but
running 2.25L Petrol engine, the original. When we took it apart we found
the big-end bearing clapped out, and the mains not far behind. The crank was
hence ground/machined and refitted. Cylinders needed boring +.040" to clean
up, and new Hepolite pistons fitted. The cylinder head was decked, and
overhauled with hard seats and late model exhaust valves. The Solex carb
was, like most things, not that bad, and after a bit of machining was like
new. Prior to the All British Car Meet In September 2006, we pushed the
switch and the little 4-banger burst to life... it runs like a watch!
The gearbox and transfer needed a bit of
work too, receiving numerous bearings, gears and such. The axles, hubs, and
brake system was all overhauled and brought back to new genuine condition...
including oil leaks! Stops them from rusting.
The wheels too were blasted and coated in
green, and 6.50x16" Firestones knobbies fitted with tubes.
Inside: Under the dash lurks a new
replacement wiring harness, and new lamps on all corners (the originals were
beyond use or repair, but we saved them). Now we're waiting to fit
some new seat cushions up front, the originals showing their age, while the
four rear seats were refitted with EXMOOR Trim seats & door panels... due to their condition. And YES, we will save
the original seats and trim.
As to its future, the Dalai Lama Foundation
is considering options as to its sale in the near future, which will
benefit the organization. I hope to see His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
see and possibly drive it once again... time will tell.