An Ode to the Series IIA

While building this 1968 Series IIA (check it out) we found ourselves deep in a Series IIA internet rabbit hole trying to learn more about the history of this iconic vehicle. What we found were a series of entertaining articles and videos that we wanted to share here.

One Man's Love Letter to the Series IIA

In this video, well-known car journalist Basem Wasef put together an ode to his beautiful 1963 Series IIA that he loves because of the way Land Rover “stripped away all of pretense” and built a car that “came with an element of mechanical honesty.” The Series IIA, he says, is one of maybe just four or five car models ever built that can claim such a “true purity of design.”

Off-Road Driving Lessons in a IIA

This video—an off-road driving tutorial in a Series IIA— is charming, hilarious, and useful all at the same time.

Series IIA Fun Facts 

  • On the original Series II you could remove the front grill, lay it over a bed of hot coals, and use it to cook your food
  • Outside Magazine wrote about the 1961 Series IIA and found out it came with a unique circular hole in the rear bumper. Apparently that hole was an access point to the rear transfer case and with a series of aftermarket attachments, owners could hook up their Land Rovers to an irrigation pump or other farm and ranching implements. It could also be harnessed to power a rope tow at an impromptu ski hill. 
  • Back in 1969 “The Italian Job” movie made the Mini Cooper famous. But let’s not forget that a tricked-out 1965 Series IIA was instrumental in the team’s escape
  • To make the Series II even more capable, the James A Cuthbertson company started offering aftermarket conversions where they would swap out the wheels for the kinds of tracks you find on tanks and snowcats. Here’s a full gallery of a Cuthbertson conversion that’s still rolling around the UK.  

It was done in a Series I, but you should still know about the Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition—likely the world’s first truly global overland trip.