CC Capsule: 1961 Land Rover Series IIa – I Have No Idea What to Say About This Vehicle, But Look, Here It Is


As soon as I saw this Land Rover on a Chicago street several months ago, I knew I’d have to photograph it to share with you here. But I’ve been dragging my feet. Although I can recognize a Land Rover from 1,000 yards, everything I know to write about them could fit on a grain of rice with room left over.


I recognize these beasts thanks to the movie Born Free. If you were a kid in the late 1960s, admit it: Isn’t this scene the first thing you think of when you see a Land Rover?


I did some Web Fu to learn enough about Land Rovers to say this much: This Land Rover has the body shell of the Series II and Series IIa. It’s hard to tell the two series apart without popping the hood, as a new 2.25-liter inline-four diesel became the standard engine for the Series IIa. So I’m going to ride the fence and date this Land Rover to 1961, the year Series II production ended and Series IIa production began.


The interior looks pretty good for being around a half-century old. Of course, it’s not like there’s a vinyl dash pad that would crack, or plastic door-panel pieces that would fade.


And so I leave it to you to share your Land Rover knowledge in your comments. Does this big boy give off any clues to further help you identify it? Do you have any personal stories to tell about Land Rovers of this vintage?