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Maurice Thurman's SWB Series III Land Rover

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Series 3 Land Rover

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I only owned this Series 3 Land Rover for the 2 years that I was working in Papua New Guinea. I had arrived there with tools and spare parts belonging to my 1961 Series IIA Land Rover left behind in the UK. My intention was to temporarily import the Series IIA (with full dormobile conversion) from the UK for the duration of my stay in PNG - expected to be at least 3 years. However, whilst 4x4's and both forest and mountain tracks were all in abundance, so were machete wielding 'rascals', so the vehicle import was cancelled and the above substitute Land Rover purchased. I left after 2 years.

Though not illustrated in this particular photo, it is a tribute to the over-engineered characteristics of a Series Land Rover that the front suspension and cooling system could accommadate the spare wheel on the bullbar for most of the time I owned the vehicle. This, despite the nature of the 'roads' and the tropical climate.

Series Land Rover spare parts are not easily obtained in Papua New Guinea and so if a particular part cannot be substituted or fabricated, then import is the next option. It's a question of keeping the vehicle on the road rather than keeping the vehicle authentic as to its original design. The rule is, take care and try not to break it. Of course, 'breakages' have a habit of happening; but when a distributor fault killed the engine on a quiet rural road with twilight approaching the priority was to beg a tow to a safer zone rather than undertake an on the spot repair.

With Papua New Guinea having a tropical climate, there is no use for the heater and its associated ducting in a Series III. So, I didn't really have much objection to a local mouse taking up residence in there. Mind you it was quite a distraction for passengers whenever it emerged from one air vent, ran along the top of the dashboard and disappeared into the other. I can't recall whether it was still in residence when I finally sold the vehicle on to become a fish vendor's transport.

Series 3 Land Rover


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