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Movie Star Land Rover 88

The Land Rovers I remember used to be Jeep-like vehicles – unlike the luxury SUVs you see today with that name on them. But you can still get one to go off-roading, but they aren’t cheap. It was almost impossible not to find one or two Rovers in any movie made back when about Africa (like John Wayne’s Hatari!). We’re told this 1970s vintage Land Rover 88 (for its wheelbase) appeared in several Hollywood flicks, though we don’t know which ones. It’s right hand-drive and has no title, so that may explain why the bidding has only reached $970 here on eBay and from where it resides in Santa Clarita, California.

We deduce that this Land Rover is a Series III which was built from 1971 to 1985. These off-roaders were likely the company’s best sellers at 440,000 copies across 15 production years. We’re not told if the seller’s example runs off gasoline or diesel, so the inline-4 engine could be between 2.25 liters and 3.5 liters depending on the year. That would work out to horsepower of between 62 and 91 with a 4-speed manual transmission (the transfer gearbox for the 4WD was two speeds). The Series III differed from Series IIs by outboard rather than inboard-mounted headlights.

North American sales of the Series III ceased in 1974, but considering this edition is not a left-hand-drive, it could have been built anytime from ’71 to ’85. We’re told this old workhorse runs and stops, though it could stand receiving a tune-up. The mileage is said to be low, perhaps from sitting around on the movie studio lot most of the time. The tires are good and the body is fair, but who knows how much trouble you’ll have getting this vehicle titled and licensed for highway use. Maybe it would be best used on a farm or ranch – or to make some more films!


  1. HoA Howard A ( since 2014) Member

    Nice “Landy”. I read, the “Landy” made more vehicle appearances than any other vehicle. For any safari or desert battle, the Land Rover was the ubiquitous choice. I don’t recall many of these series lll, Randy Mantooth drove his own Series ll in the hoaky TV show, Emergency, and James Bond drove one, I think and in some “Peter Rabbit 2” movie,one is featured, but for John Wayne, it was the older style.
    And again, up to $1200 bucks,,this truck is clearly worth more than that. Scouts and CJs bringing 5 figures, makes no sense. And some argue the hobby is just fine,,I don’t think so, and here’s a glaring example, right here.

    Like 6
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    Land Rover people are not normal –
    I used to go to the All British Field Meet in Portland,Oregon.
    While most other car entrants were trying to outdo each other
    by seeing how perfect they could make theirs,the Land Rover
    owners took great pride in theirs being beat & banged up.It was
    actually quite refreshing to see.
    Also at the ABFM,there was a perfectly restored 109 pickup.
    A Land Rover guy was looking at it,and had the look of “I hope-
    no one sees me looking at it” look on his face.

    Like 4
  3. George

    The Gods Must Be Crazy? First thing I saw when I looked at it.

    Though I’m sure that one didn’t make it back from Africa

    Like 5
    • Bill D.

      I think the one in TGMBC is still hanging from its winch in that tree.

      Like 1
    • Pete.k

      Great movie wasn’t it ? !!!

      Like 0
  4. Kenneth Carney

    …And last you forgot about Wild Kingdom too. Jim Fowler and Marlin
    Perkins were always tooling around
    Africa or some other exotic location
    in one of these when they weren’t
    trying to sell your parents some kind
    of insurance from Mutual Of Omaha.
    It was said on an episode of that program that these machines were
    simple to repair and that any major
    repairs could be in a couple of hours.
    And while Jeeps are a dime a dozen,
    it’s Landy’s like this one that steal the
    show. We don’t see many of these
    here in Florida as parts and service
    are hard to get. Great find though.

    Like 0
  5. Oliver

    It’s a 2.25 benzin engine. You can see coil and ignition leads on the picture.

    Like 0
  6. Fred Seelig

    That’s not a Series III. It’s either a II or a IIA. You are nominally correct about the fenders and headlights, but there were some late Series IIAs that had those as well. More likely, it is an older Series IIA that has had the fenders (or “wings” as they say in Britain — replaced with Series III fenders. The metal dashboard and centralized gauges give it away as a Series II or IIA. Also, there is no separate license plate light fixture on the rear, which Series III models have. The roof is also not original. So it’s not one for the purists, but that really doesn’t matter for the fun factor!

    Like 2
    • JohnfromSC

      Fred, great spot, which make this one even a better deal. Series IIIs can’t realistically be converted from RHD to LHD, but Series Is and IIs can.

      I see it’s now gone. If it needs a new frame, that’s also the time for the new owner to convert it.

      Like 0
  7. Mark Mitchell Member

    Very frustrating as this IIA sold for an absolutely bargain price last night – I didn’t receive this BF listing until after the auction had ended. I would have certainly paid more than the winning bid of only $3350. BF – please stop sending listings when it is too late to actually bid on them! I never thought to look in the “Military Vehicles” section of Ebay for Land Rovers – maybe I should start?

    Like 4
  8. Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

    Wow that was a bargain, those go for big $ back here in the east.

    Like 0
  9. Phil G

    I had a ’73 ’88’. Rugged little truck, but seriously underpowered.
    Great for creeping around the woodlot, as low range was really low. But even with the overdrive, not much fun on the highway. I put a fairly nice radio in it, only to discover I could really only listen to it while standing still.
    Oldest daughter called it ‘the bumpy car’. When my second daughter was born, had to trade it in for something with more seats.

    Like 0
    • Fred Seelig

      “More seats”? What’d you buy, a Greyhound? My ’73 88″ seats seven!

      Like 1
      • Phil G

        I guess you could call the benches in back seats, but two children in kiddie seats? Ummm no…….
        We given a Honda accord 4-door, which was ok, but eventually the mini vans were the best option with 3 kids.

        Like 2
  10. dwcisme

    I see one of these and I always think of the ads Land Rover ran in National Geographic about how many times one had been gored by a rhino. “If yours has been gored more often please contact us”. Humourous as well as stating durability.

    Like 1

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