View Full Version : Buying a new 110

08-07-2010, 06:54 AM
Just more a comment or rant than anything constructive......

I have been messing around with my new purchase, my colleague's 110. It's not worked out very well, and I think I am going to sell it on. It isn't a touch on my refurb'd 90.......but that's life, I suppose.

So, I am going to Europe next week. I am going to meet someone in Nīmes, pick up a 110 rental from a specialist firm and then have a drive through the French alps and then north all the way to Calais. Swapping vehicles in Calais before going to the UK.

I have planned to look at a few 110s to buy whilst over in Europe. A couple in France, a couple in Germany, a couple in Italy and one in Switzerland. Not sure how to do it...perhaps look at the one in Turin as a diversion from St Jean de Maurienne in the French Alps as a day trip; the two in France will be en route to Calais. I'm not sure if I should divert the journey to include Switzerland or not, and I expect to just fly over to Germany from London to look at the one in Cologne and then take a train to see the one in Munich. They are all factory built original left hand drive trucks.

What has surprised me though is what I realise form speaking to people in England. I am sure this is all known by everyone here, however, as an Englishman who settled over here with my family in my teens, I am quite shocked by the way my former fellow countrymen seemingly take advantage of customers from over here.

Firstly, as soon as I explained what I was looking for and where the truck would be coming to, prices escalated. Clearly, they thought I was too dumb to check out ebay UK or autotrader; perhaps they felt I was unable to understand the classified ads in the back of Land Rover monthly? I don't know.....however, I do know that £12k for a 1976 LWB Series III in unrestored condition is just laughable. Sadly, I experienced this from most of those who call themselves land rover specialist exporters. I was given prices of £12-15k for a cosmetically well finished 1985 rhd 110....but with original gearboxes, engines, chassis....nothing overhauled at all.

I am not a fan of the rhd to lhd conversion. I don't want a rhd either. I want a factory built lhd.......just my preference, and I expressed this, so, I was quoted a service from one of the more reputable land rover exporters. Again, I know everyone knows about this, but I will still explain.... This gentleman told me that this is the process: he will source a rhd 1984/85 110 for me. He will officially change the chassis on this (though, when I asked if he would actually do this, he said I should not be worried about the exact details and should not be worried about it at all) and the numbers will match; then, I will buy a new lhd 110 from him. He will put this on the new galvanised chassis from the former 1984/85 110.....and hey presto, I have a brand new 110 registered in 1984/5 for all intents and purposes and he said he has done this many times and that his agent in Maryland will clear it for me to come in to the USA. The cost? $60-70k!!!!!!!

So, I tell him that none of that sounds very legal to me; I am not really the type of person who wants to do anything illegal in the first place; moreover, the price tag is far too hefty to justify on what my wife would say is my weekend toy; furthermore, I do not wish to incur the wrath of any authority, from Customs to police; I do not want my insurance company to take issue with this vehicle in the event of an accident. There are far too many reasons why not.

Nevertheless, I asked for a price breakdown on the $60-70k cost: 1984/1985 110: £3k-4,500; New lhd Land Rover from his stock: £20k-ish; galvanised chassis £1.5k-ish, hence, so far, £26k (about $41.5k). So, I ask, why the extra $10-20k? I am told that the labour cost will be at least £10k!!!!! And I should allow for up to $15k for extras. I ask what extras? I am told air con.....but ask if that is not standard on the new lhd vehicles....he says it is. Ok, he moves on to leather upholstery - £3k...a bit higher than the prices from Trakkers! What else justifies the $70k price tag? Bringing the car to local spec I am hastily told. Ok....so, this is getting silly, so I call someone else who is close by to this first company.

So, the next company. I get the suggestion for a similar process, just a little cheaper. It goes like this: £18k for a New Old Stock lhd truck; up to £25k for a brand new 2010 lhd truck; they have both in stock; £4-6k for a 1984/5 rhd truck; £10k for labor and parts, including the galvanised chassis, so, approx. £40k. I can reduce this cost by £7k by going for a new old stock truck, and can reduce it by another £8k if I go for a decent condition, hardly used 2003 secondhand lhd truck as the transplant vehicle, so, potentially, about £25k in all if using the cheapest options. They also told me that they have someone in Maryland who can clear anything to come in to the US.

Lastly, I called a company on the other side of London, near Reading. They do the same sort of thing and the prices are quite similar.

I was wondering, does anyone actually buy these rebuilt trucks which are clearly hardly legal? Or, is my understanding somewhat incorrect on these vehicle? I am happy to be wrong. And, has anyone else found this culture to over inflate prices of trucks destined for the US? In my recent search for a lhd 110, I was offered a military 110 from 1987 which the owner suggested I buy from him and keep dry stored for 2 years before I import it here (he can arrange it for £80 per month plus £70 per month to maintain it).....and the price....a mere £10k for the privilege!

08-08-2010, 10:54 AM
I just returned to the home yesterday from our trip through France, Italy, Switzerland to England In our 110. Through our trips out there every 90 and 110 owner waves, beeps flashes their lights etc. The only ones who did not wave back were the Italian military in their Defender 90's.

I purchased my 110 csw quite a few years ago knowing I could not import it until 2010. I must say it was the best thing I ever did in terms of value for money. Long story short it will be a 100% legal import on a never welded chassis and bulkhead, all original body, original LHD, 200tdi defender engine with 60,000 miles dropped in, new td5 power steering, exhaust, radiator, clutch, clutch cylinders and various other bits. It will be worth the wait when it reaches my doorstep with a total investment of $9000. They are out there it just takes time and perseverance and dedicating your vacation to finding the right one. I was lucky in that the vehicle was 2 hours from my father in law and I had free storage of the vehicle.

There was articles back around Christmas time I believe in LRO about the price of these early models in the U.K. being driven up due to U.S. and Netherlands 25 year laws. I feel the market here has already been flooded with junk! It didn't take long. Many patch job welded chassis or just paint everything but the steering wheel paint jobs. Or the vin swap newer models you speak of for crazy money here and in England. It sounds as if you have a good chance at finding one. They are just not as easy to come by as they are in Britain. I wish you luck and post some photos if you can of the vehicles you see. Don't for get to wave to all the defenders you see along the way!!

08-12-2010, 11:59 AM
I've had a similar experience to you so far. We've done 1,300km this week in a 110 V8. An interesting drive so far!.....however, with us, it wasn't the Italian military who have shunned us......just any Italian in a Defender!

In France, the price of vehicles, especially Land Rovers, is very high. For the domestic market (the dealer refuses to sell any vehicle for export), I found a garage (not Land Rover approved, just a Land Rover specialist) in Aix-en-Provence.

I saw one vehicle he had, a recently refur'd 1985 90. It's in reasonable condition, not great at all, however, I met the gentleman who just bought it.....for €24k! It doesn't have a new engine, gearbox or chassis.

From private sellers, I saw a couple of other 1984-85 90s and 110s. Again, none have new gearboxes, engines or a new chassis, and they are all €10-12k. Yes, they are all factory LHD vehicles, but not in great condition, however, being in Provence, these vehicles have been in decent weather and only used by people to get to their homes on rough roads. Rot and rust free generally.

You are looking at quite a bit of money to bring them up to acceptable standards for us, however, I feel better about buying one of these than buying a RHD truck in England and having it converted to LHD.

I did see something very interesting though. I saw Henri Pescarolo's 1984 110. He used it in the 1985 Paris-Dakar rally and won stages 4, 10 and 12 in the actual vehicle for sale. For those of you who don't know of Pescarolo, he was a minor formula one driver who then went into sports car racing, and he was very successful with 3 wins at Le Mans in the 24 hour race. He and Graham Hill won the race together in 1972. He is a team owner now.

Anyhow, I enclose a pic of the 110 from the rally in 1985, and a pic of it now. I think it is being bought by someone who wants to convert it back to it's original configuration with side panels, roof, etc, though with a change of engine and gearbox. The wings are especially interesting - seem to have been roughly cut down at the front. It has FIA approved racing seats and a strange custom made dash.

08-14-2010, 12:01 AM
Skip that coilsprung junk, get a SIIA. Less expensive, better build quality, and best of all - legal :thumb-up: The best ones in the world are in the western US.

09-24-2010, 08:05 AM
So, I had an extended stay in Europe.

I contacted loads and loads of people, Had a wonderful drive with my pregnant wife around the Alps (pics included), and saw loads and loads of trucks.

I met loads of "Export Specialists" who tried to sell me their new trucks rebuilt on to galvanised chassis' and found some solid old trucks (especially in the South of France and Spain). The ones elsewhere were mostly ok, but needed a lot of work with regards to rust.

I satisfied my urges and bought a S3 109, and it's having power steering fitted at the moment. I also bought a S3 lightweight. Neither cost me very much, and both are bulletproof.

As far as a 110 goes, I just didn't want to go down the route of buying one of these new trucks rebuilt on to a galvanised chassis. I just didn't want to do it.

I went to a dealer in Berkshire who said he would sell me a new truck, take it apart into pieces, and then ship it to me and when I eventually reassemble it, I can register it here without problems....he says loads of his US clients have. I have never met anyone who has.....has anyone here? Again, I just didn't want to do this either.

I had virtually given up hope when I ran into the people who are fitting the power steering to my vacation acquired 109. They gave me the details of a company. I'm not going to mention who they are on the forum, but will show you pics of the truck when it arrives.

They are a company set up by an academic engineering group. They have acquired a modest factory, and there, they strip down early landrovers to parts. Repair every part they can. They galvanise weak points on any part which is possible to galvanise. They recondition everything, and only if it is not possible to recondition, they replace it.

They upgrade the engine and gearbox for as new recon units, and put it back together.

They have what they call an eco spray oven in which they use eco paints and can reproduce any factory colour in their eco paints.

And the engines and gearboxes......just sublime. You have to see the workshop in the factory. It is completely dustfree and you have to wear one of their clean suits to enter. I am a bit of a hygiene freak, but this place, you could eat your meal off the floor in there.

The chief engineer was at Solihull, heading the unit which investigated all warranty covered engine failures. He said at Solihull, they would recon a certain sample of the engines under his supervision and then put them into test vehicles, and hence, he feels he is second to none as his work on these engines is right at the top of his field. However, I wasn't sure about that......in my opinion, I would still prefer a Turner supplied engine as these are tried and tested with an excellent reputation. They also said they believed their turbo and manifold was second to none too, and offered a two year warranty on engine, turbo and manifold.

Really, their vehicles look new, and generally, are the original trucks, except for the engine and gearbox. They also add luxury equipment, mainly air con, power steering, electric windows, central locking, leather upholstery, new dash.

The price was working out to about £28k-ish, so about $43k, but that excludes shipping, but they have some cheaper trucks too. These are ones where more than a certain percentage of the original parts were not possible to salvage, and these, they just add new parts to, and sell them cheaper as they say the recon/rebuild/galvanise/respray method makes the vehicle more expensive (but, in my opinion, these rejected trucks are better).

At the moment, the company does Land Rover 90s & 110s, and Classic Minis. They are introducing a couple more lines and, their own designed and built consumer truck.

They say they are losing money on every truck at the moment, but are trying to get government and European Union subsidies. They also say that a number of factors will changes things for them; they have invested in a new purpose-built factory which will be carbon neutral and produce virtually all their own energy and supply all their water needs; also, once people hear about them and orders increase, they may start to make a profit and reduce prices, hence the reason they are doing the Classic Mini. They say their product looks quite good next to the BMW mini, is cheaper, and sells at a profit, as opposed to the land rovers.

The other thing that I liked is that they are developing their own engine management system so that they can use recon BMW 2.0 Diesel engines and gearboxes, which they say are more economical, more powerful, and produce less emissions than the land rover options. I look forward to having that choice.

I suppose I left out the most important thing about this company. They call themselves a vehicle remanufacturer. It's an eco car company. It's all about green motoring, less manufacturing, less use of natural resources, less energy costs, etc., and they have worked out how their environmental costs are less than those from producing and running a small electric car, or a small car with a small engine.

I will invite you all to have a look at mine when it arrives next month and will post pics. I bought a black 110, 300tdi, R380, leather, air con but asked for it without the electric windows and central locking.

Can't wait to get it!




09-24-2010, 08:26 PM
Can you send company name and Url to private email? cetesse@gmail.com

09-25-2010, 03:01 PM
I mailed you