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Series IIA Land Rover's 50th Birthday

The Land Rover Series IIA, marketed as "The World's Most Versatile Vehicle" and sold at that time in 170 countries, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Outwardly, the vehicles changed little during their 10 years of production. Infact one area of little change, was to their exhaust emission figures, which in turn lead to the 109in Station Wagon being banned from the North American market in 1968. Other, less fuel thirsty versions, were able to comply.

The Series IIA model was host to two production figure landmarks; both the 250,000th and the 500,001st Land Rovers off the production line were Series IIA's. During the final year of production, over 55,000 Land Rover Series IIA's were manufactured.

1962, just one year into production, saw the arrival in the UK of the 109in IIA Forward Control and in Spain, of the Santana IIA Land Rovers. The latter were made from a mixture of original UK Land Rover parts and some that were locally manufactured. Infact the Santana IIA's were to remain in production for 3 further years after their UK counterparts were succeeded by the Series III's

The final few years of Series IIA production saw the introduction of the 6-cylinder 109in Station Wagon (fitted with the Weslake-head for the North American market), the 109in '1 Ton' model, the 110 Forward Control and the Military specification Half-ton' 88in model. There were also numerous private companies who successfully gained official recognition to produce modified vehicle bodies. These included the very popular 109in Dormobile, fire tenders, recovery vehicles, ambulances etc.

Whilst the 2.25litre petrol and diesel engines remained throughout the IIA's production, they were modified continuously in minor ways to improve performance and reliability. It is a tribute to their engineering that they were not replaced during the Series IIA production run, though a 6-cylinder engine was introduced as a more powerful option for 109in Station Wagon in 1968.

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Fascinating facts
(No.104 )

101's were used on the west to east 1975 Joint Services Trans-Sahara expedition.


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