1964? Series IIA 88" Hardtop  (Originally 3 Door Safari Station Wagon)

Movie car was the second Rover that appeared in response to our original set of want ads.  Roo and I were still really looking for a better Rover than LittleCar.  Out of the blue, a man called us and said that his friend had a Rover that he started to restore but ran out of energy.  The friend now needed money to buy another car.  Where we interested?  Of course we were.  The Rover turned out to be parked in a storage lot at an old retired drive-in movie theater (hence the creative name of Movie Car).


In the storage lot the LandRover looked sad and abandoned, a tiny thing, shrinking away into oblivion between tremendous RVs and power boats.  The owner turned out to be deaf, explaining why I always talked to the "friend."  In many ways the car was nothing but a shell.  It had been readied for an engine swap--this unfortunately included the removal of many bits and pieces and a huge frame cut for the yet un-purchased bell housing adapter.  In the back sat a used GM four from a '83 Sunbird with a few manuals and a couple of old Aluminum Workhorse newsletters from years past.  No interior and a cut center bullhead, but the car did have an overdrive, two pairs of warn hubs, a couple of sheetrock buckets full of parts, and an almost perfect frame (besides the cut out).


By far the strangest thing that came with the car were the notes.  Scribbled in pencil, the back of the Rover is covered with little notes.  They were messages the deaf man had written to friends in order to communicate.  "Where is John have you seen him?  I need to go to the store to get things."  "No that part is broken, I need another."  "Yes-- that will work!"  It was a very sad, historical record of a failed dream that had been stopped in the middle.


Even so, we bought the Rover and towed it home.  We took its tranny for the one car we sold, the rear end too, and a few other parts.  It became a parts car, one of two that we were willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the whole (monkey car was bought to be a parts car as well).  So movie car sits, open, exposed, no engine or tranny, its frame cut and ready for a huge American transplant.  Each time I take a part off it, I think of the previous owner and his dream.  I read his little pencil-written notes about details of his restoration and I ponder life and Rovers.  There is a sadness to a dream unfulfilled, many Rovers you buy have it.  People buy rovers to go to Alaska, around the world, gold mining, and thenů  it turns into movie car...  and we end up with it.

Next Rover:  The Orange 80"

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