series II

The successor to the successful Series I was the Series II, which saw a production run from 1958 to 1961. It came in 88 in (2,200 mm) and 109 in (2,800 mm) wheelbases (normally referred to as the ‘SWB’ and ‘LWB’). This was the first Land Rover to receive the attention of Rover’s styling department- Chief Stylist David Bache produed the familiar ‘barrel side’ waistline to cover the vehicle’s wider track and the improved design of the truck cab variant, introducing the curved side windows and rounded roof still used on current Land Rovers. The Series II was the first vehicle to use the well-known 2.25 litre petrol engine, although early short wheelbase (SWB) models retained the 2.0 litre petrol engine from the Series I for the first 1,500 or so vehicles. This larger petrol engine produced 72 hp (54 kW) and was closely related to the 2.0 litre diesel unit still in use. This engine became the standard Land Rover unit until the mid-1980s when diesel engines became more popular.

Series II

The 109-inch (2,800 mm) Series II Station Wagon introduced a 12-seater option on top of the standard 10-seater layout. This was primarily to take advantage of UK tax laws, by which a vehicle with 12 seats or more was classed as a bus, and was exempt from Purchase Tax and Special Vehicle Tax. This made the 12-seater not only cheaper to buy than the 10-seater version, but also cheaper than the 7-seater 88-inch (2,200 mm) Station Wagon. The 12-seater layout remained a highly popular body style for decades, being retained on the later Series and Defender variants until 2002, when it was dropped. The unusual status of the 12-seater remained until the end—such vehicles were classed as minibuses and thus could use bus lanes and (if registered correctly) could be exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

There was some degree of over-lap between Series I and Series II production. Early UK-market Series II 88-inch (2,200 mm) vehicles were fitted with the old 2 litre petrol engine to use up existing stock (all export models received the new 2.25 litre engine from the beginning), and production of the Series I 107-inch (2,700 mm) Station Wagon continued until late 1959 due to continued demand from export markets and to allow the production of Series II components to reach full level.

Series II
Production 1958-1961
Body style(s) 2-door
Off-road vehicle
4-door
Off-road vehicle
2-door pickup
Engine(s) 2.25 L petrol I4
2.0 L I4 diesel
Transmission(s) 4 speed manual
Wheelbase 88.0 in (2235 mm) (SWB)
109.0 in (2769 mm) (LWB)
Length 142.4 in (3617 mm) (SWB)
175.0 in (4445 mm) (LWB)
Width 66.0 in (1676 mm)
Height 77.5 in (1969 mm) (SWB)
81.0 in (2057 mm) (LWB)

Series IIA

The SII and the SIIA are very difficult to distinguish. There were some minor cosmetic changes, but the most significant change was under the bonnet in the guise of the new 2.25 litre Diesel engine. Body configurations available from the factory ranged from short wheelbase soft top to the top of the line five-door Station Wagon. Also the 2.6 litre straight six petrol engine was introduced for use in the long wheelbase models in 1967, the larger engine complemented by standard-fit servo-assisted brakes.

From February 1969 (home market) the headlamps moved into the wings on all models, and the sill panels were redesigned to be shallower a few months afterwards.

The Series IIA is considered by many the most hardy Series model constructed. It is also the type of classic Land Rover that features strongly in the general public’s perception of the Land Rover, from its many appearances in popular films and television documentaries set in Africa throughout the 1960s, such as Born Free. Certainly it was whilst the Series IIA was in production that sales of utility Land Rovers reached their peak, in 1969-70, when sales of over 60,000 Land Rovers a year were recorded (for comparison, the sales of the Defender in recent years have been around the 25,000 level since the 1990s). As well as record sales, the Land Rover dominated many world markets- in Australia in the 1960s Land Rover held 90% of the 4×4 market. This figure was repeated in many countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Series IIA

1971 Land Rover Series IIa.

Production 1961-1971
Body style(s) 2-door
Off-road vehicle
4-door
Off-road vehicle
2-door pickup
Engine(s) 2.25L I4
2.6L IOE engine I6
Transmission(s) 4 speed manual
Wheelbase 88.0 in (2235 mm) (SWB)
109.0 in (2769 mm) (LWB)
Length 142.4 in (3617 mm) (SWB)
175.0 in (4445 mm) (LWB)
Width 66.0 in (1676 mm)
Height 77.5 in (1969 mm) (SWB)
81.0 in (2057 mm) (LWB)

1963 Land Rover
Series IIA pickup-type

A series IIA without canvas.

1966 Land Rover Series IIa Station Wagon.

Series IIA Forward Control

The Series IIA FC launched in 1962 was based on the Series IIA 2.25 litre petrol engine and 109 in (2,769 mm) chassis, with the cab positioned over the engine to give more load space. Export vehicles were the first Land-Rovers to get the 2.6 litre petrol engine. Most examples had an ENV rear axle, a matching front axle came later. Tyres were large 900×16 types on deep-dish wheel rims to provide extra floatation for this heavy vehicle. These vehicles were somewhat underpowered for the increased load capacity (30 cwt – 1520 kg), and most had a hard working life. Less than 2,500 were made, and most had a utility body, but surviving examples often have custom bodywork. With an upgraded powertrain, they can be used as a small motorhome.

Series IIB Forward Control

The Series IIB FC produced from 1966 was similar to the Series IIA Forward Control but added the 2.25 litre diesel engine as an option. The 2.6 litre engine was the standard engine for this model, the 2.25 litre engine being only available for export.

Heavy duty wide-track axles (designed by ENV) was fitted to improve vehicle stability, as was a front anti-roll bar and revised rear springs which were mounted above the axle rather than below it. In the process the wheelbase was increased to 110 in (2,794 mm). Production ended in 1974 when Land-Rover rationalised its vehicle range. Many IIB components were also used on the “1 Ton” 109″ vehicle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: