Famous Four Products Blog
Customer Stories Archives - Famous Four

Home » Blog » Customer Stories

From Africa, to the UK, to the USA

We recently had the pleasure of selling a 1970 Range Rover Classic at Famous Four, which has now found a new home with a customer in the United States.

The car getting ready for its long voyage across the Atlantic

This remarkable vehicle may very well hold the title of being the oldest Range Rover in all of North America, as this particular Range Rover was among the initial five right-hand drive (RHD) export models made by Land Rover in 1970. The export models were slightly altered versions of the standard ‘home market’ versions due to market requirements and local regulations, such as safety requirements.

The car in 2021 in Lincolnshire, UK

This specific car was built on 22nd December 1970 and was dispatched to Johannesburg less than one month later on the 8th January 1971. It was originally painted in the classic Masai Red but has since been repainted in an Olive Green colour. This was the early 2 door model, with box-section ladder-frame chassis and features a 3,582cc Rover V8 engine, giving the 1,780kg car a top speed of 95mph, going from 0 – 60 in 14 seconds.

The original engine still intact and working

The journey of this classic vehicle is a testament to its enduring spirit. Originally, it resided in South Africa’s Gauteng Province, and it covered an impressive distance of over 9,500 kilometres before arriving at Famous Four. Remarkably, despite its age, the Range Rover was in great condition, with a well-preserved chassis free from signs of corrosion and its bodywork still in fine shape. The original 3.5L V8 engine with carburettors was still in working order and running, an amazing feat for this car.

Guateng Province of South Africa, the original home of this vehicle

However, the vehicle is still in need of a full restoration inside and out to get it to a condition it truly deserves, and this is where Overland Projects in California, USA, entered the picture. They acquired the vehicle from us, however the pandemic put everything on hold for a while. But a few years later, and a lot of effort on both sides of the Atlantic, and the car finally embarked on its 8,500-kilometer journey being transported by truck and ship to make it all the way to the far side of the United States, arriving safe and sound earlier this month.

The car finally getting delivered in California, USA

This Range Rover Classic isn’t just a classic car; it’s a living piece of automotive history, representing the genesis of an iconic brand. Moreover, it’s a well-travelled machine that has ventured across three continents, covering an astonishing distance of over 17,000 kilometres just in between its various homes. To put this into perspective, that’s equivalent to traveling the length of over 153,000 football pitches. It has traversed the South African mountains, roamed the fields of the United Kingdom, and is now embarking on a new adventure in the Land of Opportunity, the United States.

To follow this vehicle on its journey, follow Overland Projects on Instagram (@overlandprojects).

Land Rover Model Car Haul

Land Rover Model Car Haul

Working in the niche market of Land Rovers, we get to hear lots of Land Rover stories and also see lots of unique Land Rover items. Recently, one of our ex-employees was having a bit of a clear out and sold to us some of his collectible Land Rover models. The collection is rather impressive, and we will share more, but these first three are rather special.

Firstly, the one on the left is a Corgi Originals ‘The New Avengers: Steed’s Range Rover’ (Model 57604) and not only contains the hand painted detailed scale model Range Rover, but also includes a figurine of the main character, Steed. This find was released in 2000 as a celebration of the cult 70’s spy television show, which is a sequel to the 60’s show ‘The Avengers’. ‘The New Avengers’ was well known for it’s use of cars. Steed, the main character, was originally known for driving a Bentley in the original series, but in the sequel would either be seen driving a wide-bodied Jaguar XJ Coupe or a 1971 Range Rover 2-Door Suffix A in green, which is the model Corgi decided to create.

The middle model is a limited-edition Corgi Classics, #3879 of only 5900 produced, Gold-Plated Land Rover Pickup (Model 07103) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Land Rover in 1998. On the back of the box there is a brief story of Land Rover’s humble beginnings, with the launch all the way back at the Amsterdam Motor show in 1948 and then there is a little description of what they have managed in the 50 years since, particularly in agriculture. Regarding the model itself, having done some research it still remains a mystery to me as to why they chose what appears to be a Series I pickup, instead of the model that was launched in Amsterdam, but what I can say is that the model is pretty cool.

The final, and my personal favourite, is the Corgi Fairground Attractions Land Rover and Trailer (Model CC07401). This too is a limited edition being #4024 out of 5000. The Fairground Attractions collection is a series of vehicles and rides that help to tell the stories of famous fairground companies. This particular one tells the story of Harris’s Gallopers, whose name brands the Land Rover siding, and how they became a popular fairground company. The Land Rover itself is a Series I truck with a custom red and creamy livery.

These three models are not only three interesting examples of Land Rover history, but also a testament to the diversity in which they can be used; espionage, farming, and entertainment just to name a few.

Range Rover Classic 2 Door Instrument Binnacle Cover – Customer Review

From another of our satisfied customers:

I had been looking on eBay and the internet for these parts for some time, but was not prepared to pay the excessive prices people are asking for them as used parts.

So when I saw these new products on the Famous Four web site, I pressed the button and purchased them, for what I thought was a reasonable price.

They were packed very well and arrived in good time. The binnacle front was a perfect  fit, and looks great.

The front  closing panel also fitted brilliantly. I had to drill two small holes, one at each corner, and all other holes lined up perfectly. It seems to be made out of slightly thicker material than the original, which can only be good and should last longer than the original.

If this is the standard of all Famous Four’s  re-manufactured parts, I won’t hesitate to purchase from them again.

A very satisfied customer.

Tim K,  Bedfordshire, UK.

If you are interested in purchasing our Instrument Binnacle Cover they are available to order online here:

FF009458 – Cover – Instrument Binnacle

Famous Four specialise in parts and restorations of Classic Range Rover vehicles, including supplying rare and re-manufactured parts, see our website for more details:

Parts for Classic Range Rover 1970-85 Models

Parts for Classic Range Rover 1985-95 Models

Land Rover Series 2A Restoration – Soft Top 4-cylinder Petrol – Customer Restoration

Restoration of a Land Rover Series 2A 1968 Soft Top 4-cylinder Petrol – My Project

My old lady arrived in Austria in October 2016. She was transported on a trailer from Yorkshire close to my home in Gmunden / Austria. I just had to drive her to my house. Somebody had connected the distributor leads the wrong way round, which created some misfire, but I made it home.

I bought her via the Internet; she was supposed to be in good shape. However I realised that there was no way for her to pass the Austrian MOT. The rear end of the chassis was totally rusted, the bulkhead consisted mainly of body filler…. But she was freshly painted in limestone!

It turned out that the engine, exhaust, gearbox, axle and brakes were in good condition, but the bodywork and the steering needed extensive attention.

I decided to perform a frame off restoration, so I bought a new galvanized chassis from Richard’s, found a restorable bulkhead from a Land Rover dealer over here and contacted Famous Four for the supply of the spare parts needed.

After disassembling the whole vehicle I had all body parts stripped of paint. The cappings, window frames etc have been painted in silver; I had them zinc plated.

When reassembling the Landy I changed every bolt and nut, all the seals, all joints, the complete wiring harness. I had to rebuild the seat box, change all the oil rings and seals on the engine and gearboxes. Special attention had to be given to the steering system, all joints and worn parts have been changed.

Once back from the paint removing shop I discovered quite a number of body parts were badly corroded, such as floor panels, inner wing panels, front grill panel, doors, rear end panels etc. I replaced them all with the help of Famous Four.

I decided to paint the Landy once again in limestone as this is a color which is not very often seen here in Austria, and attracts her.

I paid special attention to use the right types and sizes of the rivets and tried to make the vehicle as close to the original as possible. I did not use any filler on the body parts, so one can see the spots on the panels caused from the spot welding.

After 6 months of work my old Lady was back to the road, and successfully passed the Austrian MOT. She is good now for another 50 years of service and is behaving as a real Land Rover Series 2A should.

The first job she has done in her new life was to transport 7 children from the local rowing club to attend a rowing race.

I have to thank Famous Four (especially Dave Funnell) for their great support and patience, my local workshop “Auto Thalhammer” who performed all the mechanical work including painting, and Richard’s Chassis.

Gerald – Austria

Parts help revive Suffix A Range Rover in Switzerland

We were interested to receive this news from a long-term customer in Switzerland;

I send you pictures of my 1972 Range Rover Suffix A which has less than 80,000 km (about 53,000 miles). I purchased it from a garage which has owned this car since 1975, so I’m the third owner from new. It was not looking good before I bought it so I had to do my first part of a long renovation process.

First of all I stripped down all the parts until I could see that there was not much rust to repair. After rust repair the whole car had a repaint. So now I have rebuilt the car as good as possible so that I could use it.  In the springtime I will carry out some service work and rebuild the interior with new parts sourced from Famous Four and to replace the heater matrix and then I hope that I can enjoy my Suffix A Range Rover again.

We wish him many more happy years of Range Rover Classic ownership!

Customer Vehicle – Range Rover Classic 2-Door

One of our customers in Sweden has recently completed a thorough and, I’m sure you’ll agree, stunning looking restoration on their early 2-Door Range Rover Classic. Here’s what he had to say about the project:

“I bought this car December 2014 and and I guess I really didn’t know what I was up against, considering no real experience from renovating a vehicle. The interior was completely dismantled in a big pile inside the car. It had been sitting in the previous owners garage since early 90’s and was in a sorry state. I’ve had the ambition to rebuild the car with as many original parts as possible, and so I’ve had much help from Famous Four who’s been very supportive and willing to source parts for me. I can warmly recommend Famous Four and would also like to say thank you for answering to many questions.”
– Kent Hed, Sweden
We think the finished result is a great credit to Kent and his workmanship. May he have many happy years of enjoyment from his newly restored vehicle.
If you have a restoration project that has been built using parts from Famous Four, we’d love to hear from you, and would be happy to publish your pictures and comments here.
Famous Four are always happy to go the extra mile to find hard to source parts for tricky restoration projects. We also actively work to source old, obsolete stock or re-manufacture old obsolete items. We deal with Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles from the 1960s to the present day models daily, both supplying parts and accessories as well as carrying out service, repair and restoration work in our modern workshops.

Customer Vehicle – Series III

We were most pleased to hear from one of our many valued UK mail order customers via email recently , with some photographs of his rather beautiful Series III Land Rover. He has been buying parts from us during the past two years, with personal help from one of our experienced sales guys, Andy Baxter. The resulting restoration is to a very high standard, we are sure you will agree.
He writes:

‘I hope you agree she looks amazing and at least 95% of the parts were sourced from Famous Four. Thanks for your assistance over what turned out to be a long but worthwhile project.’

Customer’s Land Rover – Peter’s Defender 110 County Station Wagon – Part 2

Vehicle: White Defender 110 300Tdi County Station Wagon, 1994.
Work done by: Pete and Selina
Words by: Peter Johnson

Part 2

Now the chassis was sorted we could turn our attention to the rest of the vehicle. The drivers foot well was cleaned up and inspected by everyone, including our dog. The rusted section was cut away to allow a repair plate to be welded in after the base had been treated with a zinc spray. The small holes to the outside were covered from underneath after the welding and undersealed to prevent water getting in.

The front seat box had seen better days and so we drilled out all the pop rivets, welded patches where necessary, and cleaned and painted the separate sections before reassembling it. All the seams were sealed to make the tool box water tight, and the battery compartment vents were cleared and cleaned.

With the rear tub off, this seemed like a good time to repair the sills and clean and underseal the tub itself. An airline took care of much of the loose dirt (and paint) and what was left was wire brushed. New door hinge bolts were fitted at this point courtesy of a stainless steel door bolt kit.

With the underside surfaces taken care of, it was time to start to reassemble the parts into a whole Land Rover again. Slowly the vehicle started to come back together, although there were times when we felt that everything we looked at created another two jobs to do! But brackets were removed, cleaned and painted; panels treated for corrosion if evident and painted, and crucial parts replaced as necessary.

The old headlining had sagged and I was hoping to repair it (a cunning plan involving a hole cutter and spray adhesive) but sadly this was not to be – the failing material is foam backed and after 21 years the foam has decomposed and is crumbling so the headling falls away from the shaped liner that holds it up. New headlining material was therefore ordered and will be used to replace the old (keeping the same backing pieces).

We also ordered a new carpet set from a well known trim company. A trial fit showed how good this will look once we finish fitting it, although I was surprised how much adjustment we are having to make – I hadn’t considered a 1994 Defender as an old model but quite a few of the holes are clearly for newer fittings and accessories. However this is a Land Rover and anything is possible if you persevere.

The carpet kit came with a new leatherette gearstick gaiter, however when we tried it in place we both decided to stick with the old rubber Defender one – it just seemed a bit more, well, Land Rover-ish. Fortunately the old rubber gaiter cleaned up really well in a mix of washing machine fluid and washing up liquid (a friend recommended “Put it through the dishwasher, it’ll come up a treat!” but since we haven’t got a dishwasher we had to find an alternative method, or buy the required equipment).

We now have the vehicle back together (doors and roof on) and relatively weather tight, freeing up the garage for working on the headlining. It’s a good sight, and with the front carpets fitted (and other original accessories) the Defender is looking even better than the day we bought it.

There are still jobs to do. The rear section still needs the carpet fitting. The alpine light rubbers could do with replacing and I’d like to clean up the front grill and headlight surround. The engine is due for a minor service and I also plan to renew the front brake callipers (rusty but working) and discs (a bit scored) and rear brake callipers (also showing their age) so the brake system is as good as new. The steel wheels could do with a wire brushing and a new coat of paint too.

All of this (and a wash, wax and polish…) will take place over the next few weekends as our working holiday comes to an end. Finally, the front bulkhead will need some work in a couple of years too but that, I think, will be another story.

Customer’s Land Rover – Peter’s Defender 110 County Station Wagon – Part 1

Vehicle: White Defender 110 300Tdi County Station Wagon, 1994.
Work done by: Pete and Selina
Words by: Peter Johnson

Part 1

We bought our Defender 110 300Tdi County Station Wagon from Famous Four in Feb 05 to replace a petrol V8 Station Wagon. Having discovered Famous Four while we lived in Lincolnshire in 1994, and been impressed with their help and knowledge, I was happy to buy a vehicle from someone I felt I could trust. The price was right and despite having moved to Gloucestershire by this time, we went to view the Tdi. I was initially skeptical about things like wind up windows on one piece doors (very un-series) however after a chat and after my daughter negotiated the inclusion of an official Land Rover teddy bear in the sale, we bought it and the vehicle has served us well ever since.

Time moved on and the Land Rover aged with our family. We had a new rear cross member fitted by local company 5 years ago and this was now worryingly showing surface rust, so we decided that it was time for a refurbishment from bulkhead back. My daughter wanted to help with the work- not her first rebuild as she helped rebuild my original 110 V8 at the age of 3. Now somewhat less young she has good practical skills and was keen to work on the Land Rover as an investment for her future. Hopefully with two of us working on this it should be an easy if long task…

The Defender has to be stripped to fit in a domestic garage, and even then it’s a tight fit! With the doors and roof off the vehicle feels lighter and more airy… almost making me want a soft top version, but then I’d probably change my mind when winter arrives. One of the things I really enjoy about the Defender and Series vehicles is the simplicity – the ideal cross between Meccano kit and Tonka toy, it really is unlike any other car I’ve met.

After a brush down and pressure wash (only possible due to manual labour and the defenders handles now the body was off) we could see the overall state of the chassis. Not as bad as it first looked but still in need of TLC. Some surface rust to deal with but fortunately no plating needed. The drivers foot well was a different story and in need of a repair. We decided to change the rear shock absorbers too since the old ones were getting a little tired. A new rear exhaust section was also needed. With a long list of parts, some routine, some quite obscure, I called Famous Four to get them ordered – a long job that was made so much easier by the knowledge and help from the Famous Four staff – many thanks guys!

Once inspected we could start on the clean up. Old waxoyl and underseal came off relatively easily using   stainless steel pan scourers from the local super market. We got through many of these; I even thought about posting an online review but I’m not sure the company would appreciate the endorsement. The exposed chassis was then wire brushed and surface rust scraped and chipped off.

Once cleaned, the chassis was given a coat of Red Oxide primer and then black stonechip paint. A coat of waxoyl/underseal mix went on top of the stonechip for further protection. Although this stuff takes ages to touch dry I wanted the flexibility it would provide as the chassis flexes.

Customer’s Land Rover – Jan’s Landy

A joke was made a several years ago that I would like an old Land Rover (to join the family tradition – both my Husband and son have Land Rovers) made in 1963, the same year that I was born, to cherish and grow old gracefully together.

I came home one evening in February 2007 from work to a shout from my husband to come and look at something on the computer. There was my husband and son looking through eBay and they both said “We have found you a Land rover, what do you think?” It was perfect; it was a 1963 Series 2a SWB. I looked at it and said “Yes I would very much like that or one similar, shame it has ended”. Before I could say anything else my son said “Do you want it?” in which my reply was “Yes it would be nice, but…” and before I could finish my sentence he duly told me “ Good, glad you like it as I have just bought it for you, we need to go collect it”!

So there you have it, my first Land Rover was bought by my son as an early Mother’s Day Present. What I didn’t know was the fact that it was located on the west coast of Wales (and we live only few miles from Famous Four) and that it was a rolling shell and a large box of bits! On a very VERY early morning in February we made the trip over to Wales, the Land Rover was located down a track in the middle of the Welsh hills on a small farmstead (This property had had no road access until about 2 years previous) and there stood my Land Rover. At first glimpse I wondered what my son had bought me, a rolling shell with lots of bits in cardboard boxes, but I was assured by my Husband and son that this was a great little project and was very original. I spent some time looking around the Land Rover, and then noticed the number plate USU 215, and so there it was my Land Rover was named instantly as “SUZI”. A few hours later and the whole pile of “Suzi” and her associated parts was loaded onto our trailer and the 6 hour journey home was started, I couldn’t wait to get home and see what we had got!

Over the following months my husband and son made great progress rebuilding her and was desperate to get her ready for the first show of the season, EASTER WEEKEND! Many trips to Famous Four later and the basics were bought and she was up and running, a quick spray paint to get it through the first season was done, but a longer ongoing restoration was about to happen.

Many new parts was sourced by and bought from Famous Four over the next few years and gradually a build-up of correct and rare parts was collated. Many hours of time were spent researching and speaking to the historians and enthusiasts at Famous Four to make sure that “Suzi” was rebuilt to as near original as could be. Many more new parts including all the service items, carb rebuild kits Canvass Hood, tyres, paint, cooling system to name but a few were purchased, once again, from Famous four and in 2013 went under another rebuild including a full strip and repaint with new correct series 2 door bottoms and tops. I hope the pictures do the rebuild and the car justice.

On a final note I would like to thank Famous Four for all their help with this rebuild and restoration project (It has been a long time and many hours, blood, sweat and tears to complete), with the final encore being in November 2012 and 2014 at the Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show, “Suzi”, won best Land Rover in Show.

A true story of a Land Rover in a box to a prize winning show vehicle.