Green 80:

1952 Series I 80" HardTop

The Green 80" & The Cotati Three  (Da's Perspective)

One day the phone rang in response to our add, “Land Rover wanted, any condition” and the caller said, “ I’ve got three rovers I want to sell.  Two 80’s and a 107 pick-up.”  Now if you are into Rovers, like Roo and I, you would gasp and then not believe the caller -- secretly dreaming that his words must be true nevertheless.  Like usual we couldn't restrain ourselves.  We drove up to find them in a field under a metal roof in an old chicken coop.  We were amazed.


The 80’s were complete and original.  He said that he had actually run one of them recently.  (The old familiar story appears again.)  He was going to restore them but ran out of energy.  Now he was forced to part with the lot and did not really know what they were worth.  The cars had been found one at a time from farmers in the mountains and had been used as ranch trucks.  He thought the green one with the rare top was ex- military??   The red one looked better to him and that was the one that started.

The 107 looked forlorn, someone had pulled its tranny and used some other parts.  It was missing the roof, doors, and side windows. But it was straight and original.

We bought them all.  (Roo didn't really understand at the time--he was more interested in Series II's but I just fell in love with the little cars.)


Now to get them home.  Towing three was a larger project than we expected.  The red 80 was fine.  Loyal cousin Ken in his International three quarter ton pulled it home with a tow bar the man had given us.  The green 80 was a different story.  It wandered everywhere due to a stiff steering box and Roo and Ken had to stop half way home and disconnect a tie-rod with a puller borrowed from a Chevron.  The 107, however, was the worst.  Ken gave up at that point and only Makoto would pull it home with his '78 Blazer.  The 107's steering was completely disconnected and it went where it wanted to.  It probably always had.  We could have rented a trailer, or more intelligently bought one, but in those early days we were trying to economize and we rented a crappy dolly instead.

(Makoto also turned out happy in the long run, helping rid the man's chicken coop of a '73 MotoGuzzi Police special.  Cousin Ken also ended up buying 75% of the corrugated sheet metal from the man's barns for his house.  Never let it be said that out recovery team goes unrewarded.)


At home the new Rovers doubled our small fleet in one shot.  The cars looked happy to be with other rovers, but confused about the moist air and fog of our coastal town.  They were not covered in the chicken coops anymore so we put them in our barn.  Roo started to take apart the orange 80 to restore it.  I told him not too, but he was young and did not listen.  It is still partially apart.  Such is life.

Next Rover:  107 Pick-Up

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