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I'm looking at buying a 1970 ex-military Land Rover Series IIa 2.25 litre petrol Ambulance. It was used by the army from 1975-1995, covering only 32,500 miles, and has since been sitting on an inland concrete driveway undriven. It starts easily and runs despite the long period of disuse. Would it be fair to say that it was probably serviced regularly and well while it was in use? What sort of damage is it likely to have incurred whilst sitting still on a driveway for 15 years? My instinct tells me the chassis is probably thick enough to withstand the weather and the only thing that might have spontaneously rusted through might be the metal brake tubes. The asking price is only £595 as whoever buys it will have to get it MoT'd and registered with the DVLA (easy enough with an MoT, insurance certificate and a letter from the Land Rover Club - I'm told). I think this sounds like a good buy but my only experience of such old cars is rebuilding a 1972 MGB GT which needed all the rotten sills and inner wings replacing - not a job I really want to do again.

Asked on 17 July 2010 by ED, London W1

Answered by Honest John
Your biggest problems are the ball joints at the ends of the front axle. If they have rusted, the axle is probably scrap because the pitting will
prevent you achieving a seal. If they are covered in grease and shiny,
you're okay. Other obvious areas are brake pipes and mechanisms, rubber tubes and seals, wiring, rust at the rear of the chassis and mixed metal corrosion wherever aluminium and steel meet. In London W1 you will also have problems over the Low Emissions Zone, though I guess you won’t be keeping it there. But £595 is pocket money. The LandRover has got to be worth more than that in parts.
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