View Full Version : finally gave in

08-05-2010, 08:24 PM
My father bought an 88 diesel in 1963. It was an immediate icon in my family. All the kids learned to drive on it, and it did it's fair share of farm chores in east Tennessee. My father died in 1976, I left and my mother sold the farm to friends, in 1978. The disposition of the rover was never finalized and the notion of reclaiming it from tennessee was insane and cost-prohibitive. It sat in the weeds having been driven last in 1980. My mother recently passed away and some of her belongings will travel north via truck. Suddenly the cost of towing it on a rented trailer became incidental.

Rover literally eyeballed from google earth ' streetview'. Current land owner's graciously said it's mine for the taking, they even seem to be planning a labor day barbecue to celebrate our arrival and the tentative resurrection of the rover. A friend visited the hulk and says frame and bulkhead seem sound. He sees 'surface rust' and that absence of a gas cap........apparently been gone for years. So for under $300 I can drag the lonely heap to VT. It is like a dream. Mindful of what I see on the forum I can see this becoming a nightmare. Where does one begin? especially if I want to do as much as possible with my son, as a learning project? Suggested sequence of assessment and repair?

Preparing to drink the cool-aid.

08-05-2010, 09:33 PM
Sounds exciting!

Must have pictures! Take lots before during and after the resurrection then post them. Once we see it I'm sure everyone will have some good advice.

Start thinking of a Budget: Think of a number in your head... then double it... then double that, your getting closer.:)


08-05-2010, 11:04 PM
Where in Vermont are you? I don't in any way claim to be a rover expert but I'd be happy to help. The nice thing about Vermont is that there are a lot of Rover Resources such as our host and one of their competitors. There are a lot of rover people in Vermont and surrounding area.

08-06-2010, 06:22 AM
Thanks for the offer. I'm in Washington, VT. About 20 minutes outside Barre. It does seem that VT is rich in rover resources. Bit of Britain just overt the hill in Corinth has parts, and a friend with a series 3 just reminded me that he has a 2A sitting in the woods for parts, some of which are of no use to him. TriedStone's recommendation of planning for an astronomical budget is ominous.

Tim Smith
08-06-2010, 09:46 AM
If the truck is indeed not completely rotted out, I say go for it. Pictures would be needed for an assessment by the forum however.

Les Parker
08-06-2010, 09:50 AM
Well, it never ceases to amaze me how many Land Rover products are lurcking in the woods of Vermont.
My parts collection of Classic Range Rover sits in Cabot and I cannot say I have seen many Series vehicles driving around Rt15 or Rt2 from Barre to Joe's Pond.


Any restoration of a Series vehicle is always good news for the product and for those of us who suffer from 90wt-itus.

08-06-2010, 11:44 AM
TriedStone's recommendation of planning for an astronomical budget is ominous.

Sorry, didn't mean to scare ya. It was past my bed time and I was trying to be funny and my wife was already asleep so she couldn't remind me that I am not funny. One nice thing about the series truck parts is most of them are still available for a reasonable price and furthermore most can be rebuilt or refurbished. If your frame and bulkhead are ok it shouldn't be to difficult to get it going. I've spent more on my wifes 95 D90 in the week and 1/2 that I've had it than I've spent on my 59 SII that I've had since February. If you can do most of the work yourself you'll save a ton, and it looks like you already have some volunteers to help out.

08-08-2010, 08:32 PM
Someone asked for photos of the 88 before I collect it and begin repairs. Having not yet made the trip to east Tennessee, I don't have them. Come labor day there should be photos and a whole lot more info as to its condition.

But in the meantime, while sorting through my mom's stuff (she passed away in late June) I came on this photo. It is me and my father in early 1963. I'm seven and he is the proud owner of a new and pristine rover. I apologize for the poor quality of the 47 yr old polaroid. It is a pretty preposterous photo, except for the rover. As you may guess, my interest in this rover is in some respects sentimental. My father appreciated the rover as much as forum readers.

As I recall it arrived in boston 'uncrated' but there were many components not yet assembled and installed. it took hours to find the keys and a weekend of work to assemble the thing- so I was told......

I'd love to find that the vehicle is in the same shape but after 15 years as a working farm vehicle and then 32 years of sitting, that's not in the cards. If the frame and bulkhead are solid I guess I have something to work with.

As I dig through photos we may actually come on some of the rover in action.
More soon.

Tim Smith
08-08-2010, 09:14 PM
That is a stupendous photo. Without the background you gave, this could easily have been mistaken for some sort of a hallmark card picture. But no, this was for real. Not only was dad in the right gear, son knew it and looked on longingly.

Fantastic! :thumb-up:

08-08-2010, 10:13 PM
Well, after seeing that photo, there's NO WAY you can leave that Rover in a field in Tennessee! It has to go to Vermont with you so you can (eventually) get her back to her former glory!

What a story--Probably aren't too many who have a story like this to tell.

Did your dad buy this rover used and have it shipped over? Seems a bit curious that it'd have UK registration plates and what appears to be an AA badge on the grille below the headlamp (though It's not really clear).

Just in case you're really bored and want some details on that UK registration plate in the photo:

The registration plate appears to date from before the registration system became universally organized between 1962 and 1965. Unfortunately, since the system wasn't universally organized, you can't determine the year of registration or which particular area office issued the plate, like you can on later plates. However, you can tell that the office that issued the plate must be located in a pretty populous area, since it ran out of plates in the normal format (3 letters then 3 numbers) and went to a "reversed" format with 3 numbers followed by 3 letters. The first offices started issuing these reversed plates in 1953.

08-09-2010, 12:50 AM
Thanks for your explanation as to the registration. For the longest time I thought all rovers came with the english registration. As to how it came to be on this rover I am not certain. But, my father was particularly fond of diesel engines and I know that in the case of a diesel mercedes he also bought in 63, that he connected with an exporter in Germany who bought the car, and shipped it to the states. We picked that car up in savannah and I think it came in as a used car with 50 miles on it. Your comment on the English registration suggests he did something similar with the rover.

He was convinced it was one of the first diesel rovers in the states, and told me that the East coast office of Rover North America said it was the first they knew of, but that their might be some west of Colorado...... (contact with Rover might contradict the notion that he brought it in as a used vehicle- but after so many years the stories become....... stories).

As for the badge on the grill, I am very confident it noted that the rover was a diesel. Unfortunately, it is long gone. It disappeared after some repair, even before I was old enough to drive.

08-09-2010, 05:54 AM
As for the badge on the grill, I am very confident it noted that the rover was a diesel. Unfortunately, it is long gone. It disappeared after some repair, even before I was old enough to drive.

Ahh--That was my other guess, but I dismissed it as less-likely. I've got the very same Rover Diesel badge (http://www.flickr.com/photos/homer----simpson/4124354847/)on my grille (thanks to Jim-ME). The photo in the link above isn't my rover, but it shows the badge you're talking about.

08-09-2010, 07:49 AM
But why would it be registered in the UK if it was a LHD?

Can't wait to see more pictures!

08-09-2010, 08:02 AM
But why would it be registered in the UK if it was a LHD?

So it could be driven from the supplier to the docks?

08-09-2010, 08:25 AM
Yes, I'm pretty certain it was just to get it to the boat......
What I don't know is whether this was done because of $ savings, or whether the network of US dealers was so limited that it was easier to purchase in England.....