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1956 Series 1 SWB (86in) Landrover


This old landrover, affectionally known as DEC or Derick, was suffering the same ‘old age’ problems that many Landies of this vintage suffer such as badly corroded rear cross member and gear box member as well as considerable corrosion of the bulk head, front panel and damaged wings.

At first it was hoped that the chassis members could be saved and repaired in situ but as the cancerous steel was being removed it became obvious that complete removal would be needed and donor parts fitted, with new reproduction parts being sought. These parts are reproduced to the original Landrover specifications, however due to the age of DEC and considerable use and repair over the years the new parts don’t quite fit to the old, so a fair bit of ‘jiggery-pokery’ and fabrication skill was required to ‘graft’ the two together.

The extent of the bulkhead cancer was known from the start with new reproduction parts sought but again they required a little encouragement to see them grafted into place. The real skill with the restoration of an old bulkhead in situ is getting the ‘angles’ right, as this is critical if the rest of the body work is to go back the way it came off. Considerable time is spent with a tape measure, spirit level the scratching of heads and several cups of tea in order to get the doors to hang correctly and to see the wings able to join the bulkhead and front panel without having to ‘drill out’ any of the mounting holes.

The front panel was very badly corroded from the light bezels down. Some Landies of this era can have a front panel made of either steel or aluminium, with the aluminium variant generally standing the test of time better than its steel counterpart which unfortunately for Derick he was made with. However, while searching for replacements parts a second hand but very good aluminium front panel was found that only required a small amount of welding and fabrication to make good. The front drivers side wing had a tough life with a number of dings and cracks that required some TLC with a hammer prior to welding to make good.

The work was carried out at the customer premises with the customer providing labouring support, all together nearly a hundred welding and fabrication hours where completed.


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