As kids growing up in the 60s, movies like Born Free and shows like Daktari first introduced us to the iconic Series Land Rovers. Years would go by and the desire to own such a vehicle was always there right below the surface of responsible vehicle purchases. When Isuzu introduced the Trooper it was clear where they got the idea. I recall a slightly frustrating but eye opening conversation with a dealer of a competing SUV manufacturer when we were considering the Trooper. He asked if we were looking at other vehicles and I told him the Trooper. He said well, you can't tell me you like the way it rides better than our truck. It's so rough, and our truck rides like a car. I said, I have a car. I actually like a truck that rides like a truck. He then said, well you can't tell me you like the boxy look of that thing, especially compared to our truck. I said, well actually, I do. It reminds me of the trucks on TV on the old Daktari show when I was little. He said, you sound pretty hung up on that, you probably should go buy that truck. We did and they were good trucks but did not completely satisfy. More years went by and finally we reached a point where owning a vehicle for the pure fun of it was possible.
Going back to that old love, we searched for a vintage Series Land Rover. Surprisingly, it was not that hard to find one. The internet yard sale has expanded all our reach for deals. After a couple of interstate educational looks at vehicles for sale we hit upon, the one. Right color, right options, right location, close to the right price. We made our deal and brought him home. Yes him. My dad kind of got around in his younger days, left us too early and was nicknamed Hoppy. Perfect name for our truck.
We have slowly improved the truck with some restoration work and the expert work by a very good local mechanic for all things British. The seller had told me to be prepared for a lot of attention in the truck. I had never considered that. We just wanted the truck, but I have to say in addition to making us smile every time we take him out for a drive, we do see lots of people doing thumbs up, waving and asking questions about the truck. My wife and her mother have entered the truck in a couple of shows and won the diamond in the rough category one year. The most fun though was at the show when she told me that a couple of young boys, and some not so young, exclaimed out loud that they never thought they'd be so lucky as to see one these old trucks up close. Just kind of makes you smile.
Note: The selections available did not exactly match our truck which is a 1959 Series II Station Wagon, Marine Blue with Limestone wheels and top.The truck was built in 1959, shipped CKD (completely knocked down in a crate to Hawaii and assembled in 1961). We are the likely the fourth owners.