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You can sometimes get what you want - Land Rover 90 Now Alvis TA14

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Having recently seen inside Vulgalour's head, I'll introduce you to my dilemma.


The A35 has just gone, soon the garage it was in will be going as well, assuming the people buying my old house go through with it. Selling that house is all part of my plan to retire at the end of this year or beginning of next year. I have the A35 cash burning a hole in my pocket and the temptation, as always, is to rush out and buy something else to cheer myself up.


I'm going to try to be sensible (where's the fun in that?) and think things through a bit first.


I have already worked out that in retirement I will have to be careful money-wise and will probably go down to one vehicle, I've narrowed it down to a choice of two.


What I would really like is a Land Rover Series 1 Station Wagon, but I think I may have left it a bit late as the nice ones are expensive. Second Choice is a Morris Minor Traveller, nice ones are cheaper than a nice Series 1.


In retirement I won't be doing anywhere near the mileage I do now so fuel economy is less important and most journeys will be short. Whatever I drive will need to accommodate between two and four dogs. I want old fashioned simplicity, in case I'm tempted to work on it myself and my car knowledge stops in the mid 1970s. Also I want easily available spares.


I'm beginning to rule the Minor out as I'm not sure it will be robust enough to live outside all the time (I know they did when they were new) and as long as I kept on top of it and started with a good one it shouldn't deteriorate too quickly.


A Land Rover is as easy, if not easier to work on, but the parts are bigger and heavier, something I have to bear in mind as I get more weak and feeble, but at least I could probably get under it to keep the chassis in good order without jacking it up.


I've never owned a Minor but driven a few, I have had quite a few Land Rovers so they are a bit more of a known quantity, although Series 1 parts are sometimes harder to get than ones for a Minor.


I'm starting to look at later Land Rovers, they all have pluses and minuses. A quick look at what's around does seem to rule out most Series 1s  on price (Although I have started noticing a few of the Minervas, but know sod all about them). Probably I should go for a Series 3, but most now seem to have been messed about with, (did I say no chequerplate?) and I'm starting to think that an early 90 might be more sense if I got one with power steering (see above for weak and feeble).


I don't want anything that has been cobbled about with, with non-standard parts, I've been there and it's always a nightmare.


As you can see I'm confusing myself already. Logically I should wait until I retire, but I'm already thinking that with the other house gone and no mortgage I will be able to afford any short-term increase in fuel bills and repairs, including if necessary hiring something if I want to, to do any long trips, although I suppose there is no reason why I shouldn't keep the Alto until I finish work. 


I'm starting to do pros and cons list for each, which is made difficult by all the possible Land Rover variations. Once I have made my mind up, I can start seriously looking out for what I want without distracting myself.


I don't need suggestions for alternatives as it will be one or the other, although help with the pros and cons will be useful.

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I was looking at Series 3 Land Rovers last year, just before the Renault came up. I think these tend to be less popular with the OLLI crowd than 90s and there were a few unmessed-with ones around for fair money.


Don't know much about Minors, but I suspect a well sorted Traveller will be quite costly already.


I haven't really said anything that ten minutes with eBay or C&C wouldn't have told you, have I? Oh well. Looking forward to the collection thread either way.

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MGF too small :), I could get two springers in a Morgan, I don't see me getting four working cockers in an MGF, plus it's too low and you've just reminded me I have a TR7 to decide what to do with as well.


The Amazon estate could have been a contender, I liked mine when I had it, but parts availibility would concern me a bit, some bits were starting to get awkward to get hold of for the 240.


I suppose I should have put a budget. Below £6k very happy, £10k absolute tops and it would have to be perfect. I'd prefer to be at the lower end and deal with, or pay to have issues dealt with, but I don't want a rebuild project as it will never get done.


Galvanised chassis, good choice, that's going on the list. This will be my see me out car.



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I prefer series 2 or 2A athough I have a series 3 as well. Have you driven one? If not, I would advise you do before committing yourself. They're different from driving a car and early 90s don't have power steering either so aren't much different. Old land rovers need regular fettling.

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You mentioned Minerva Land Rovers, so I'm guessing you'd consider travelling afar for something. I know I may regret this, as it would be taking one more S1 out the country before I got chance to own one but this one may well fit the bill:






NZD is about twice GBP, so start price is approx £5k, with £6k BIN. This is one of the most expensive S1s listed on Trademe, so has been for sale for a long time, so the start price should secure easily. Seems the seller dabbles with these so they could have been sourced from anywhere but that area of Otago is one of the most in land and arrid areas of NZ, so if it was local, it's a sporting chance of surviving and being in solid condition.


Fly in the ointment is the Nissan LD28 conversion which goes against your bitsa policy but there were custom bell housings offered back in the day, so it should retain full functionality in the gears department. As an owner of a much larger car with this straight six diesel in, I can think of no place better to put one. They even have a fruity exhaust note, as they have some linkage to the L28 motor, seen in the 280 ZX


I'm sure sourcing replacement 2.25 running gear wouldn't be too tricky in the end if everything went tits-up. My uncle has a S1 in Scotland running a 2.25 petrol, since parts for the original S1 motors (1.6?) are apparently pretty prohibitive.

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I set out to buy a small petrol powered 2 door car without a sunroof.  I bought a not-exactly-small 4 door petrol powered car with a sunroof.  It didn't matter, I'm happy with what I've got.


You're speaking like the car you're after is your Forever Car and I think that's a bit silly.  When you're retired you buy a car you like, run it for a few years until it's utterly broken or you're bored of it, whichever comes first, and buy another car to suit your needs.  Without the pressures of commuting and all that jazz you can really pick anything you want, see it as an opportunity to explore more than just a trusty old Landy or Moggy.

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On the basis of some of the suggestions I can see that I should really be buying a Bentley Turbo R, with velour trim; however, my criteria is for something practical for multiple dog carrying, robust and with very good, if not full spares availibility, capable of being repaired by a simpleton with spanners.


I have owned and driven many Land Rovers, I liked my Series 1 and the two Lightweights, my sister had a 90 Tdi which I drove a lot and liked and I also liked the 101FC which a friend owned, although realistically that is a bit too big and higher off the ground so less friendly as I and the dogs get older.


I am looking at it as a long term car, so it's got to be practical and repairable, which is why I'm thinking of Land Rover and Morris. The only other things I can think of with similar spares availibility are MGB and Midget which are too small and I can't get in and out of them easily, or another Morgan where the same applies.


Another reason I'm looking at something to keep long term is that I really hate buying and selling cars (particularly selling).

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What I'm after is practical advice/experience of the Minor Traveller and the Land Rover. I've had a few Land Rovers so I'm a bit more familar with those. The Minor has simple running gear that I understand, it's more how well a traveller would stand up to living outside, I've dealt with rotting ash frames on the Morgans, but it's a bit more exposed on the traveller, so would one winter kill it and how badly do they leak? (I know how bad Land Rovers can be, but there is less soft trim inside to hold water)


I'm ok with petrol Land Rovers, diesels are not really my thing; however there seem to be more diesels about, particularly the newer ones, so which to avoid and why (slow is not a problem to me). Tayne made the good point of looking for one with a galvanised chassis so that would definitely be on the list, as would a good bulkhead. I did help rechassis one about 40 years ago, but wouldn't want to do that now.


I do tend to repeat myself with cars, which is why another Land Rover is high on the list, but have always had a hankering for the Traveller as we had one when I was a child.

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I have a soft spot for Landies as well and miss my 110 petrol. Landies are ace, spares supply is good and fairly ok price-wise. 110 Landie tend to be a bit cheaper as people snub then as being less capable off-road. Bollocks! 110 gave me decent brakes, suspension, PAS and a gutsy petrol engine. Everything and anything went in the back and you can always add windows easily enough. I adored my Landie+++.


Series 2/2a/3 will see you get more Landie for your buck but they are attracting a premium now. Rust prevention will take up a lot of time and energy and I would be worried about theft, especially with something so expensive (look this is AS, a grand is bloody expensive). Yep, galvanised chassis and a sound bulkhead will save you future expense and hassle but that is about the worst of it IIRC.


Moggie Traveller is all very nice but that woodwork is rot prone, expensive and hassle orientated. They rot like bastards underneath and a lot of bodgery is possible. Tweeness/Scene is a thing with Moggies too but each to their own.


The big Triumph estates are a lovely thing and uber practical too.


You will obviously make up your own mind but I wouldn't discount the Trumps. We will look forward to hearing about and of course, seeing whatever you go for and we will lust accordingly :)


Good position to be in but heart/head balance is very important for that 'major' decision.


I like to think of myself as a car's custodian as we never really own anything car related forever. Just a thought.

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With the sort of budget you have, I would be tempted to approach one of the Minor specialists about sourcing a K-series modified Traveller. Modern running gear, modern servo-assited brakes, PAS, decent heater.


Start with a good one & the woodwork is fairly easy to look after; one winter living outside won't phase it.


Takes up less room than a LR too.

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  • anonymous user changed the title to You can sometimes get what you want - Land Rover 90 Now Alvis TA14

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