Land Rover Lightweight Series III

Body StyleMilitary Vehicle

The History

This is one of the best restored examples of the famous Lightweight Series 3 Land Rover 1/2 ton around today. The current owner has meticulously restored the vehicle starting with a new galvanised chassis and working on every single panel, including replacing the bulkhead with one of the very last original Land Rover new old stock.

The vehicle has been restored to its Military standard finished in NATO Sand. All off the history is still present including its military vehicle history card, and military registration number.

The series 3 was introduced in 1972 and this is one of the first models off the production line. Everything around the car is in perfect working order and has been restored to the original specification with great care and attention. The 2.25 L engine starts on the button and runs smoothly with no smoke whatsoever.

This really is a must see vehicle and a great investment for any enthusiast, It has been scrutinised many a time at meets with experts struggling to pick fault with it.

In the early 1960s both the Royal Marines and the British Army required a vehicle that could be carried by air. They had taken delivery of the Westland Wessex helicopter, which could carry a 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) load slung beneath.

As a result Land Rover began work on a lightweight version of the IIA to fit the specifications in 1965. A new modification to the basic Series IIA was devised by making many body components easily detachable and removing many non-essential items. The result was the Land Rover Half-Ton, known widely as the Lightweight or Airportable. In practice, to reduce weight sufficiently for the helicopters of the day to lift them in combat conditions, the tilt (roof) and sticks, the upper parts of the body, the doors and windscreen were removed, to be refitted later. The most significant change, however, was a reduction in width by 4 inch (100 mm), by redesigning the standard Series IIA axles and fitting shorter half-shafts, which meant it would fit on a standard pallet.

The term Lightweight appears misleading as a standard 88 Land Rover weighed 1,318 kg (2,906 lb), but the higher total weight was due to the various frame reinforcement required for military usage. However, with the removable body panels taken-off it was below the limit. Since improvements to the helicopters meant more lift was available, the MoD accepted it for use.

The first production models were completed on 11 November 1968, and production continued until 1984.