Thursday, January 13, 2000

Long ago (circa 1977-1980) I undertook a first BIG project...

Already bitten by the "travel bug" while working in Morogoro Tanzania I was dreaming of oufitting a 4x4 vehicle to travel back to Switzerland at the end of my contract.

To this effect I bought a Land Rover Forward Control, Serie IIB with a 6 cylinder engine (2.6 litre).

The Series IIB FC produced from 1966 had heavy duty wide-track axles (designed by ENV) were fitted to improve vehicle stability, as was a front anti-roll bar and revised rear springs which were mounted above the axle rather than below it. In the process the wheelbase was increased to 110 in (2,794 mm). Production ended in 1974 when Land-Rover rationalised its vehicle range. Many IIB components were also used on the "1 Ton" 109 in vehicle.

Being young and foolish (yes, yes!), instead of building my camper truck on this VERY nice base, I undertook to modify it to become a standard 109 Station Wagon Land Rover...

=> It took me a long time and lots of work but I did it!

You may notice:
1/ The chassis is higher than a "normal" Serie II/III (like the 1 Ton/Military)
2/ Because the ENV axles were wider than the body, I had to extend the bumpers plus make wheel arches out of aluminium (partly made from the arches that were under the doors of the Forward Control (see first photo).

Then the first oil crisis happened and it would have been foolish to do such a long trip with a gas-guzzler.

=> So, when all done I sold it at and bought the diesel Short Wheel Base Serie III that I still possess to this day.

Did you notice that the telephone number had only 4 digits !!!

PS - For those of you too young to know about the first oil crisis, please read what Wiki tells us:
The 1973 oil crisis began when a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly halted oil shipments in retaliation for America’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur war. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the price of oil had risen from $3 per barrel to nearly $12 globally, US prices were significantly higher. The oil crisis, or "shock", the embargo caused had many short-term and long-term effects on global politics and the global economy. It was later called the "first oil shock", followed by the 1979 oil crisis, termed the "second oil shock."