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.