Trailside Outtake: Land Rover Series II – The Ultimate Status Symbol Here

Yeah, I kid you not. Here in Eugene and other hip PNW towns and cities like Portland and Bend and such, there is no greater status symbol than an old Land Rover. It makes sense; the whole world is besotted with the outdoors and SUVs, so naturally the exotic  granddaddy of the genre (a Willys Station Wagon is a bit too plebeian) is the most sought after and conveys the highest status.

I see a number of these plying our streets, often on warm summer evenings without the top, driven by guys about my age that are clearly well-to-do but trying hard not to make that too obvious. That would ruin the image. In another time, they would have been behind the wheel of a Ferrari or Porsche.

In another time, I would have been behind the wheel of one of these, as I had a deep abiding love for them going way back, along with a few other very utilitarian vehicles. I ended up with a ’66 F100, for its large bed to haul large loads, but if I’d stumbled into a pickup version of a lwb LR, it would still be in the fleet. Presumably.

Of course I’d be happy to have one today, image issues regardless. It would have to be properly battered though; this one is way to nice.

I doubt that the gnarly high-lift jack gets much actual use. But it certainly enhances the looks. And credibility and prestige.

I think I’d throw the spare on the roof rack, given that it’s a lot fatter than the pretty skinny ones that originally came with these.

Like this one, that I shot behind the Sports Car Shop, with very original-sized wheels and tires.

How oddly narrow, from today’s vantage point of ever bigger and wider tires. I had to check what size they were.

7.50 – 16s, Michelin radials in this case.

The big roof rack and ladder are the crowning touch.

I think it’s gone now, but for a couple of years we had a vintage LR “dealer”here that had a couple of dozen of these sitting around the shop, being restored or prepped for sale. Maybe it’s getting hard to find funky old ones to restore and sell?

As much as I love these old Landys, I’m still more in love with my xB than ever. It can conquer the wilds of Nevada and Oregon, but is vastly more fun and pleasant to drive on the city streets and highways.


Here’s Roger Carr’s superb in-depth CC on the Land Rover:

Curbside Classic: Land Rover Series 1 – After 67 Years, The Night Watchman Comes Back To The Pavilion*