Every once in a while we come across a Land Rover that is simply too interesting for us to do anything other than make sure they’re mechanically sorted and cosmetically preserved.  We have a bit of a soft spot for these old Land Rovers – a lot like taking in a stray cat, or fostering a dog – we can’t help ourselves.  Project Toto is a great example of this.

We we chatting with a classic car restoration up in the Cotswold’s about a Land Rover 110 they had come in from one of their customers.  They were the original owners of the vehicle since 1987 and they were looking to re-home their vintage Landy.  When we heard the story and history behind the vehicle, we couldn’t help ourselves. 

A Surviving Classic Land Rover 110

This Land Rover 110 was originally built with a vast amount of extras including tropical cooling, tinted glass all round – with laminated windscreen. Factory fitted power steering, air conditioning, electrical pack, mud flaps, side and rear folding steps, heavy duty export pack, under ride bar, front and rear lamp guards, 9 gallon rear mounted tank and galvanized roof rack with ladder.  These were all factory selected options – not some after market bolt-on kit.

After manufacture in 1987 this Land Rover 110 was shipped to Nigeria where it served the previous owner and his family. In 1992 they drove it overland back to England with the family. He shared with us a huge history file which accompanied the Land Rover, including notes and details of their travels and the meticulous care and maintenance throughout its ownership.

Toto is a factory LHD Land Rover (Pre-Defender) fitted with a 2.5L Petrol. Originally, we though it might be a great candidate for an LS3 engine swap project we have planned as he haven’t driven many of the early 2.5L Petrol Land Rovers lately.  While driving it back to the Salsibury, England we found it to be a very pleasant drive – cruising down the motorways at 65-70 MPH without any issues.

Falling in Love With The Originality

Once back at the workshop, we started going through more of the history and taking a look at the vehicle with a more precise eye for detail.  We fell in love with the condition of the Landy –  including how truly original she was.   While there were a couple dings on the front wing, the body was incredibly straight and clean – pretty uncommon for the age and mileage.  Clearly, the owner took incredible care of this Land Rover.  We believe it to be the original paint job and the completely original factory fitted trim package.

The best part? The door bottoms were completely original and non-rusted.  For those of you who know, this is a very big deal.

So that leaves us with a really interesting situation:  what to do with this surviving Land Rover 110?