Live Auctions

Spotless Restoration: 1977 Land Rover 88 Series III

There is nothing wrong with instant gratification. Tackling a project build has its attractions because the owner can create a vehicle that reflects their tastes and abilities. However, being able to buy any classic and have the option to immediately slip behind the wheel and drive it as the manufacturer intended is also pretty tempting. That is what is on offer with this 1977 Land Rover 88″ Series III. All of the hard work is done, and the buyer won’t need to spend a single dime beyond the purchase price. With plenty of warm weather still on offer over the next few months, tackling the wilds in a traditional British off-roader sound like it could be an enjoyable experience. If you find this prospect appealing, you will find the Land Rover located in Port Of Freeport, Texas, and listed here on Barn Finds Classifieds and here on Hemmings Auctions.

For the buyer, there’s nothing that they will need to do with this Land Rover because it has all been done. The owner has recently completed a restoration, and the work has been pretty comprehensive. The frame has been media blasted and refinished, while the floors were replaced and treated to ensure that they were rust-free. That means that when you take a peek under the vehicle, you find that its condition is better than new, and there is no rust to contend with. The lower body extremities were subjected to the same level of work, and the door frames were replaced earlier this year. Once the owner had ensured that there wasn’t a spot of rust to be found anywhere, he had the Land Rover repainted in its current shade of Yellow. It is a striking color, and the shine on the paint is amongst the best that I’ve ever seen on a vehicle of this type. A sense of purpose has been achieved by adding aluminum chequer-plate on the rockers, door bottoms, and the fender tops. The original roof bows were stripped and reconditioned, and a new soft-top was installed earlier this year. A high-lift jack, a rear-mounted 20-liter fuel can, and refurbished steel wheels with new tires add the finishing touches to the exterior.

Under the hood of the Land Rover, we find the 2.25-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine backed by a 4-speed manual transmission and a dual-range transfer case. With 73hp and 119 ft/lbs of torque on tap, a Series III is never going to be mistaken for a muscle car. However, they perform pretty well on the open road, but they come into their own when the going becomes tough. The Land Rover is renowned for its off-road abilities, and it takes something pretty extreme to defeat one of these classics. The news with this one all appears to be positive. The engine and transmission have recently been rebuilt, and the owner has also added a new Zenith carburetor. It has received a full rewire, with more modern fuses and relays replacing the original items that could be trouble-prone. All of the lights have been upgraded to LED items, and a set of foglights on the front are a practical addition. The owner has also added a booster to the braking system, improving braking ability and driver confidence. All of this work has produced positive results. The Series III starts easily, and it runs and drives well. Nothing is stopping this classic from hitting the roads and trails for a spot of enjoyment. The owner includes this YouTube video of the Land Rover kicking into life from a cold start. It shows just how easily it roars into life and how nice that rebuilt four sounds.

A Series III Land Rover is not a luxury car, but it is a practical and effective vehicle designed for rough terrain. As such, the interior isn’t loaded with luxury extras, but it is practical and easy to care for. As part of the restoration process, all of the steel surfaces were covered with the same shade of yellow as the exterior, and everything else has been cleaned and detailed within an inch of its life. The gauges look clean and crisp, and while the speedometer is typically inaccurate, everything else functions as it should. The gauge fascia doesn’t quite fit properly in the top left corner, but addressing this should be a simple matter. Protecting the floors is a set of rubber mats that would be easy to hose clean if mud or other gunk finds its way inside the vehicle. There is no radio and air conditioning, but Land Rovers are renowned for excellent air vents, so keeping cool on warmer days should not be an issue.

The weakest point with a vintage Land Rover interior is the lack of comfort and support provided by the original seats. They tend to offer little padding and can become uncomfortable on longer journeys. That is not an issue with this vehicle because the owner has performed some very welcome upgrades in this department. He has fitted new front buckets that feature extra padding and heavy bolstering for improved lateral support. They are upholstered in imitation leather and feature quilted sections with yellow stitching that helps tie their appearance with the paint. They do look comfortable and should dramatically improve life in off-road environments. Sited between the seats is a large lockable storage bin that enhances security and versatility. The rear of the Land Rover features a set of jump seats mounted over each wheel well. These are finished in the same upholstery and stitching as the buckets, and it would be possible to seat four children across this pair of seats.

This 1977 Land Rover Series III is not the most luxurious classic that you are likely to find, but it comes with legendary off-road abilities. It is also a vehicle that appears to need nothing, with all of the heavy lifting completed by the current owner. It presents superbly and is just begging to be driven into some otherwise inaccessible location so that its occupants can commune with nature. If all of that sounds tempting to you, perhaps you should contact the owner to talk turkey on a price. You never know, but today could be your lucky day.


  1. steve

    Over-restored and “tarted up”. Media blasted frame on the OUTSIDE, however these being a fully boxed frame, that is only part of the problem. The inside is still likely full of rust. Galvanized frame is the only way to do this. I just did that to my 1965. They did all the work but made a huge mistake by not replacing the frame. I look at Rovers done up like this and see a “lowered” John Deere riding on low profile tires and custom rims.. It’s a TOOL man, why polish a pick-axe?? Any yellow of that age would normally have been on the British AA vehicles.

    Like 2
    • Escofon Escofon

      Sir, your evaluation is meaningless. Without you looking at the auction photos you would realize that this is a full chassis restoration. the sheets of living aluminum that were put they are clean on new sheets, painted yellow. These aluminum sheets are a protector for the off road not to damage the car.
      If you refer to the chassis, it was sandblasting, and this is shown in the auction photos, so there is no rust.
      I hope I add to your knowledge that the Land Rover body is made of aluminum.


    Is it for sale or is the price a secret?

    Like 1
    • Escofon Escofon

      Is auction in Hemmings

      Like 1

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