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Land Rover Series III (1971 - 1985)

Last updated 22 March 2013

Improved styling and safety equipment, more options, the late arrival of the V8 version in 1979
Not really any better to drive on the road, but its shortcomings were even more apparent thanks to the sheer number of rivals it was up against


The Land Rover Series III was a masterful facelift overseen by Range Rover designer David Bache of a product that continued to sell well across the world, despite increasingly tough opposition from a number of rivals, most notably Toyota.

Series III improvements are easy to spot thanks to the headlamps being moved to the front wings and updated stylised plastic radiator grille. The updated – more safety conscious – interior and all synchromesh gearbox acknowledged the opposition was catching up, and the arrival of overdrive catered for those who needed their Land Rovers for serious on-road work. Despite this, they were still noisy, cramped and not terribly good on asphalt.

It was during the Series III production in 1979 that the Rover V8 engine (in low compression form) was added to the range. It was export-only at first, but came to the UK to pick up a small but loyal fan base.

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