WARM-WEATHER IMPORT, RARE SANTANA BUILD, 2.25 INLINE 4, 4-SPEED, BULLETPROOF!!
The original and still undefeated champion of go-anywhere, do-anything utility has to be the evergreen Land Rover. This remarkable 1980 Land Rover Series III Santana is a seldom-seen treat here in the US (it hails from Columbia), but around the world, on the most forbidding terrain, in the loneliest places, these sturdy trucks have been grinding their way into history. If you're a fan of function over form and the beauty that comes from it, this is a fantastic find.
The Series III models were a slight evolution over the Series IIA, and the Land Rover DNA is apparent in every corner and flat piece of bodywork. Constructed of aluminum and designed to be easy to repair and service in the field, the 2-door wagon body is what today's SUVs want to be when they grow up. The recessed grille, split windshield, close-set headlights, and flat-plane sheetmetal are some of the most distinctive styling cues in the 4x4 community, many of which continue today. Finished in an appropriate soft green, it's a little subtle, and it seems like a good choice for places where it might have to battle wild animals and tortuous weather to survive. It's in good condition overall, certainly better than its siblings in Africa, but you don't want a truck like this to be too perfect, so call it patina and just go have some fun. Whatever you're doing, this Land Rover will get you there.
The interior has obviously been freshened and offers a few civilized comforts to go with its industrial-strength persona. The front seats are all-day comfortable and all of the chairs in the truck were covered with durable black vinyl upholstery that is right for the Rover's mission. The dash is brutally simple, with a giant steering wheel and big, round, legible gauges that translate to any language, and you'll note that the speedometer reads in KPH not MPH. A center seat is a great way to add some passenger capacity, and the rear seats are the familiar side-facing benches that fold for added storage capacity. The spare is stowed behind the front seats and there's a nicely fitted green canvas top that's configurable in a multitude of ways depending on the adventure you're planning.
Admittedly, the Land Rover isn't built for speed, but the stout 2.25-litre inline-four got a compression boost in the Series III and if you've got the time, this truck will get you anywhere on the planet. The under-hood area is obviously built with severe conditions in mind, and includes a heavy-duty air filter for the side-draft carburetor, a giant radiator, and wiring that's ostensibly designed to resist the elements and ward off Lucas, Prince of Darkness. The 4-speed manual gearbox is synchronized in all four gears and the 2-speed transfer case allows you to crawl over obstacles that would disable a Hummer. The chassis on this one is clean enough that it probably hasn't seen much off-road action recently and certainly nothing abusive, and thanks to massive parts availability and simple service, it'll be cheap and easy to keep this one running indefinitely. And no Land Rover is complete without the cream-painted steel wheels, with these wearing 7.50x16 General off-road tires.
Yes, it's even cooler in person than you think, and if you're a true lover of the outdoors, this is the ultimate tool to get to your favorite places. Call today!
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