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One Owner Santana: 1977 Land Rover Series III

This 1977 Land Rover Series III seems like an absolute bargain at the moment, even with the shipping costs from Warsaw where it’s currently located. According to the seller, this four-door Rover was a one-owner vehicle in Spain until this shop got its hands on it and set about reconditioning it to prepare it for sale. The end result is a supposedly mechanically-sound truck with some minor cosmetic flaws and awesome presence with bidding sitting at just over $9,000. The seller estimates that shipping from Warsaw will be around $2,500, and even then, this seems like a solid deal all around with no reserve to clear. Find it here on eBay with the auction ending Saturday morning.

Now, what makes this Rover particularly unique is that it’s technically a Santana. This manufacturer was based in Spain and produced Land Rover vehicles under license, along with a variety of agricultural equipment. The truck’s styling featured minor differences, but nothing that would necessarily make one worth more than the other – unless, of course, you’re a Land Rover purist who can’t conceive of owning one made anywhere other than in the UK. Perhaps that’s a reason for its low bidding at the moment, as it would likely be hard to flip it once arrived if the brand loyalists are offended by this copycat. Regardless, if you just plan to enjoy it, this is a great option for enthusiasts not overly concerned with provenance. And what presence – this truck looks awesome in olive green with a full roof rack.

The seller points out that it is a rust-free example but you will find the split in the driver’s seat and cracks in the dash. Fortunately, the Santana was reconditioned while still in Spain with its original owner, and the work apparently focused on the engine, axles, and brakes. The seller doesn’t detail the specifics, but I would assume it to mean a tune-up, replacement axles, and new braking components. Even with the cosmetic faults, the interior still looks wonderfully well-preserved, and all switchgear and gauges appear to remain intact with no major modifications. It is a diesel and the seller claims it doesn’t smoke upon startup.

I’m not sure what the origins of this decor on the sides is, but perhaps it’s a reference to the longtime original owner. The door appears to have a dent in this photo, and the second picture shows what looks like another large dent under the right-side taillamp. The fact that the seller doesn’t specifically call these out is somewhat concerning, as you begin to wonder what else they may have missed. Regardless, part of owning an old truck is living with battle scars, and these flaws may not bother anyone other than me at the moment. This still looks like a low cost of entry into vintage British truck ownership, which is typically an arena that gets very expensive, very quickly. Bid soon if you want a shot at this one-owner Santana.


  1. Raymond

    Carlos would never drive that…

    Like 2
    • JudoJohn

      I don’t know, given enough mushrooms……..

      Like 0
  2. Luki

    Land Rover. It will get you there and leave you there.

    Like 4
    • Phil

      I’ve had a few land rovers, and I have none now. The rest of the non-US world sees these as great, reliable vehicles. In the US they had the lowest reliability rating of all vehicles sold here. I’m just guessing, but I am guessing that our safety and emissions standards were not kind to Land Rover.

      Like 1
  3. Martin Horrocks

    I´m writing from Spain, rather than as a LR freak. Santana built LR under license for the 2nd part of the 20th Century.

    Until 1982 Santanas were CKD shipped from LR in UK and assembled by hand in Jaen, Spain. So identical to the UK product, but probably better-built given that the UK car industry was a quality desert in the 1970s. However, even in a dry climate like Spain, rust happens on LRs!

    In lated years, the specification between UK Land Rover and Santana diversified more.

    Spain is full of these trucks, so not sure what the benefit is to buying from Poland.

    The decor on the side is just sign-writing which relates to the first owner.

    Like 3
  4. Trevor

    I’ve had four of the old series 3 Land Rovers ranging from 1970 to 1982 I’ve never had any reliability issues whatsoever but they are maintenance hungry. Anything all that would happen out on the trails you could easily fix with a Swiss Army knife! These are incredibly slow but great torque in low range, gas and diesel motors. I definitely say find an old tractor mechanic and parts supplier most of the parts of these can be sourced either from a 60s model John Deere or Massey Ferguson

    Like 1
  5. steve

    Rear door and roof above it is different. Rear lights also. Santana offered 6 cylinder versions of the Rover 4 cylinder engines. One hopes that, as a diesel, this was optioned with the 6. Having owned a 4 cylinder 109 diesel wagon I can testify that it is totally inadequate to move that vehicle at highway speeds. Engaging overdrive reduced the hullabaloo under the hood but gave no more speed..
    It will, however, rattle its way through just about anything.

    Like 1
  6. steve

    Oh..and lose the lock-out hubs on the front wheels. The do nothing for fuel mileage and cause lubrication problems as the axle-joints are not splashing oil on the upper bushings and swivel seals. Some vehicles? Yes..Land Rover? No..

    Like 0
  7. Francisco

    A Defender with 180,000 miles just sold on BAT for $95,000. Start hoarding them now.

    Like 0
  8. RodL

    Out of country. No thank you. Been down that rodeo before. No buyer here. Nice Land Rover but major pass.

    Like 0

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