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Short Wheelbase Barn Find: 1960 Land Rover Series II

It’s sometimes hard to tell with old trucks whether they are a barn find or just in unrestored condition but still seeing regular use. That’s certainly the case with this tired 1960 Land Rover Series II that is called a barn find but also looks like it could have been found on the side of the road after being listed for sale by a local general contractor. The two-door Rover is one of the more desirable configurations you can buy, and if there was ever a truck that was a poster child for being parked in front of a seaside cottage, this is it. The Land Rover is listed here on eBay with bids to $5,100 and no reserve.

The no reserve auction for one of the more desirable vintage 4×4 models is a surprise, as finished trucks fetch a good amount of cash these days. The old-school California black plates suggest a long-term residency on the West Coast and the bodywork seems to reflect this as well. Despite being plenty dingy with non-existent paint, the panels appear to be free of any crunchy-ness as the bottoms as is usually the case with a barn find Land Rover discovered in the snow belt states. The photos indicate this Rover has seen some use since being discovered but the seller doesn’t confirm if it’s a runner.

The interior matches the general condition of the rest of the truck, but I wouldn’t be too worried about the state of affairs inside. While Land Rovers today have a reputation for being overly-stuff with technology and creature comforts, the Land Rover of old was very much a British Jeep. Loosely translated, this means even a long-dormant Land Rover is at least fairly simple throughout, with rust oftentimes being your biggest obstacle to a successful restoration. Assuming this is a longtime West Coast truck that runs, it should mean the path to having a running, driving vintage 4×4 in your driveway is a short one; a fully-restored truck will obviously take longer.

The pictures aren’t great and don’t offer much in the way of an explanation, so we’re forced to guess at the story the seller is trying to tell. Regardless, the fact that the listing mentions a new starter was recently installed gives us some hope that the Land Rover was running well enough to justify spending the money on a starter. The seller notes a new service manual is also included, so it sure seems like someone ventured down the path of bringing this Land Rover back to life before putting it up for sale. To me, this seems like a straightforward project to get it running reliably and use it as intended rather than spend a lifetime bringing it back to showroom condition.


  1. Slomoogee

    Change all the fluids, new belts and hoses. Hydraulic pieces if needed, tires, again if needed, a proper wash and brush up as they say, and enjoy. Don’t touch the body, some back country heavy seat covers if you must and enjoy!

    Like 1
    • Timothy Phaff

      I agree 100% and enjoy. This patina look will get second looks.

      Like 0
  2. Chris

    This vehicle brought to you by “Wild Kingdom”

    Like 6
  3. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    As a boy in the 50’s my oldest brother lived next door to an older couple who had a Land Rover similar to this parked in their yard with two military style water cans attached to the back. It never moved, but neither did they except to go to Doctors and such activities which they did in another vehicle. I don’t know what year it was made but it had to have been before 1955 when my brother bought the house next door. I always like the closed metal cab they offered though with heat for winter use. I have no idea what ever became of it but it was still sitting there when I returned from the Army in 1967. Well that’s my story on this subject’

    God Bless America

    Like 4
  4. Hank

    Great find if it was only in the north East I would consider looking at it.

    Like 0
  5. Nick

    Bodies rarely rust on these but the frames will rust right through. The good news is that new, galvanized frames are available. Engines are super tough though, with 4 bolt mains, the same block serving for both gas and diesel models.

    Like 1
    • Tim

      ‘Bodies rarely rust’ as they are Aluminum not steel….. They can suffer from salt corrosion and electrolytic corrosion, but are pretty easy to replace.

      Like 1
      • nick

        Actually the bodies are made of an alloy called Birmabright. I suppose any two adjacent metals bathed in acid corrode, but these bodies seemed to last pretty well on the salty roads in Quebec winters. Maybe the newer ones were a different alloy, but I believe up to the Mk 3 were Birmabright.

        “Birmabright is a trade name of the former Birmetals Co. for various types of lightweight sheet metal in an alloy of aluminium and magnesium. The alloy was introduced by the Birmid Group in 1929 and was particularly noted for its corrosion resistance.”

        Like 1
  6. JohnfromSC

    This is one of the only vehicles worth more with a replacement frame than original if you want to drive it. The bodies were aluminum because it was plentiful in the UK after WWII, while steel not so much. Back then. I’m told the steel they made wasn’t the best. So the frames on these deteriorated just with dampness, even sans salt. You can virtually guarantee this one needs a new frame. $10 K minimum to factor into the price.

    Like 1
    • Bill Lawrence

      A lot depends on where it spent it’s life. I had a 1957 109” and after spending its first 40 years on a ranch in southwest New Mexico, during which time it must have sat in a flooded arroyo for a while, the chassis, after washing out an inch and a half of mud, was pristine. My current project, originally sold to the Belgian Congo in 1959 required patches on two outriggers and a rear crossmember replacement.

      Like 2
  7. Trevor

    After owning three of these, one gas and two diesels. I can truly say it is the slowest vehicle I’ve ever owned I currently drive a 64 jeep Willys for 5.38 stock gears in it, it’s slower than that!

    Like 3
    • Nick

      It is the only vehicle I’ve owned that you can drive all day with the gas to the floor without a problem.

      Like 1
  8. angliagt angliagt Member

    While preparing for the first Hoopa Hillclimb,
    We laid wire for the timing gear,starting from the
    bottom.We were loaned an old LR 88 to do it with.
    I put it in 4 LOW,& we walked right next to it,as it
    crawled up the hill.

    Like 2
  9. Ward William

    Note to Jeff Lavery re your description of this Land Rover as “tired”. Land Rovers do not get tired. Land Rovers are the Chuck Norris of cars.They make the roads and the other cars tired. ;-)

    Like 0

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