Land Rover Series 1,2 & 3

Land Rover Series II/IIA Development History


A brief history of the Land Rover Series II. From when the Land Rover Series I ceased production in 1958, to when the Land Rover Series III was released in 1971.

The following publications were used as resource materials:
Land Rover Simply the Best by Martin Hodder; The Land Rover Directory 1986 Edition; The Land Rover, Workhorse of the World by Graham Robson

These and other Land Rover publications can be ordered:

from Australia Land Rover Series Australia here
from the UK Land Rover Series UK here
from the USA Land Rover Series USA here


Time Line
Rolling chassis
April 1958

1.5in wider track than the Series I.
All 88in models had the 2litre engine ( changed to 2.25 litre before end of year)

Side skirts introduced to hide chassis and exhaust. Barrel sides instead of flat-sided. New "proud" door hinges.
New front indicator and tail lights.
Glass used for side windows instead of perspex.
First launched
Oct 1958
The 2.25litre engine is used in the 109in Station Wagon

109in Station Wagon launched at motor show.

Nov 1958
    Production of the Series II Santana under licence in Spain.
Nov 1959

  250,000th Land Rover produced
  Knurled knob to operate dash vents changed to lever operation.

Work started on design of a 129in normal control. Subsequently abandoned.

Cuthbertson conversion introduced.

Sept 1961
2.25-litre diesel engine introduced. 62bhp


Series IIA introduced

Series II production figures (1958-61):
88 petrol 50,917
88 diesel 9,539
109 petrol, basic 3,733
109 diesel, basic 8299
109 diesel Station Wagon 7,303
109 diesel Station Wagon 110,067


  Seating capacity of 109in Station Wagons increased from 10 to 12 for the home market.
Front outer eatbelts available as option.


Santana Series IIA's on sale

Sept 1962
2.25-litre petrol engine used in early 109in Forward Controls
109in Forward Controls available as fixed-side lorry; drop-side lorry and flat-bed lorry.
A tilt with perspex side windows was optional.

109in Forward Control introduced
Oct 1963

Flat headlamp lenses replaced the convex type

  Flat front apron panel replaced by curved panel.  
  Wire spokes in steering wheel changed for plastic.  
April 1966
    500,000th Land Rover produced
109 Station Wagon with high performance Weslake-head version of six-cylinder engine introduced to the North American Dollar Area.  

Last 109in Forward Controls produced.
Grand total of only 353 109in FC's with 2.25-litre petrol engine produced for the UK market. Total production of all models 3153.

Sept 1966
110FC Track 4in wider than 109FC's.Rear ENV axle mounted below the spring.Anti roll bar fitted.Transfer box used lower gearing;

Available as fixed-side lorry; drop-side lorry and flat-bed lorry. All painted mid-grey as standard.

110FC: single wiper motor used; negative earth system; headlamps lower down than 109FC and rear mudflaps used

110in Forward control launched at Commercial Motor Show. classified as Series IIB's and utilised high % of standard parts.
Oct 1966
    SIIA Lightweight (Half-Ton) prototype exhibited
April 1967

Changes to 88in and 109in IIA: Zenith carburettor replaces the Solex; negative earth system introduced; longer handbrake handle

Wider brake shoes and servo assistance used in 6cyl 109in; battery stored under front seat; new higher rated dynamo used.

Changes to 88in and 109in IIA: key starter replaces push button; single wiper motor replaces double system; minor controls and warning lights rearranged within the instrument panel.

Series IIB 110in Forward Control in production. UK market offered 6cyl petrol and 4cyl diesel models; 4cyl petrol for export only.

6cyl 2.6-litre petrol 109in introduced

109in Stationwagon withdrawn from US market due to emission control regulations.


SIIA Half-Ton Land Rovers in production

US import required dual brakingsystem with tandem master cylinder


US imported first 88in normal control vehicles with headlamps in wings, emissions-controlled 4 cylinder petrol engines and 15in wheels.
Black interior trim replaces grey trim.
Deep sill panels replaced by shallow panels.

Half-Tons not available for the civilian market. Non sold overseas. Approx 3000 produced in total.
Sept 1968
The transfer box from the 101FC; ENV axles; heavy duty suspension and 9.00 x16 tyres used on the One Ton. Also, brakes were servo assisted and a hydraulic steering damper used.  

The One Ton Land Rover launched at Commercial Motor Show.
Only about 300 ever built.


Salisbury axle used on 6 cylinder engine models.    
Feb 1969
  Headlamps in wings available on the UK market (available for overseas markets from the about April 1968).  
  SIIA with headlamps further apart now in production.  
summer 1971
    Last of the Series IIA, over 343,000 normal control vehicles produced since 1961.
(Santana Series IIA's produced until 1974)
      Series IIA normal control production figures 1961-71
88in models 151,813
109in models (except SW's) 138,758
109in Station Wagons 41,178
109in 6cyl 11,241
109in One Ton 308
    Last 110FC's produced.
Total production 2304 of which 529 for UK market (360 6cyl, 168 diesels, 1 petrol)

A History of Your Own Vehicle

The Archive of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust offer the proud classic car owner a Heritage Certificate which is a certified copy of the entry against your chassis number in the authentic factory ledgers. You will discover the original numbers and colour scheme, dates of build and despatch, even, where available, the details of factory fitted equipment.

Visit the Heritage Motor Centre website for more details.


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