Buying a LandRover:

With the new modern age of everybody and their brother bringing in LandRovers because they now supposedly fetch $10K -- I'm not really sure what's going on.

What I do know is this--the vast majority of the Rovers that I see are really bad.  I mean there's a lot of junk out there folks (and I own more than a bit of it.)  For a good while Da and I saw every car that hit the paper in our area and we were almost always disappointed and lied to.  Perfect cars with orignal paint turned out to be dent buckets with houspaint.  Rover hunting is a lot like mining for gold, you can get lucky, and all you hear are stories of people getting lucky, but for most people its filled with disappointments.  In fact after awhile I became addicted to just the chase.  Remember, it should be fun, not a burden -- just be careful to control you expectations.

In the old days what you used to look for was the following, in this order:
1.  Frame
2.  Body Cosmetics
3.  Mechanicals

If you are a glutton for punishment and plan to restore the car (frame up) you might modify the order:
1.  Body Cosmetics
2.  Frame
3.  Mechanicals

The LandRover was gifted with a super strong full box construction welded frame.  Few cars have as stiff or strong a frame and this makes Rovers great for off-roading.  The drawback is that once water gets in, it doesn't get out that easy and then its rust, ruST, RUST.    Da and I dream of the perfect Rover with original "paint on the frame" and no rust.  (Also remember to look at the Firewall and door channels, both can be fixed but it is not desired.)

When checking out a Rover's frame:

Body Cosmetics:
If you want a Rover cheap, get one with a bad body.  You know--dents and stuff.  In the 70's and early 80's when the cars went unappreciated, hunters used them as forest buggies and bounced them off rocks and trees.  The problem is in the new world of Rovers, Rovers as collector objects, a good body is everything. You know what they say about antiques if you watch the Antiques Road Show: condition is everything.  Rovers are no different.  It is very hard to make aluminum flat again. It can be done, but just not that well.  At current prices people are no longer really breaking down cars so its both difficult and expensive to get true replacement body panels.  Remember collectors, you can buy lots of engine parts and even a new frame but not really a new body.

When checking out a Rover's Body:

Remember:  you can always buy a new engine and rebuild a box (But you really don't want too).  It only costs money but the "inside" parts are easy to get, with Fed-X it only takes a day!

When checking out a Rover's Mechanicals:
I am not going to go into copious detail here because you are either a good mechanic or not (I am at best a mediocre one).  If you are not too confident in this venue, it is good to hire a mechanic to check the car.  Rover's are not that different from other cars--compression can be checked etc.  I will just list a few common things to check for:

Well, that's all that comes to mind right now.  I'll add to the list as time goes on and suggestions are sent in.  Good luck and may the Rover of your dreams find you....

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