Thursday, 25 February 2021

Land Rovers Series II 1962- 1970s Different castings

Following my recent articles on distinguishing some of the rare Land Rovers, I have had a number of further queries and so I decided to try and cover in one go the main differences that you will find in the Series II editions which ran from 1962 to the 1970s.

The rear window

There are two main types:

1: With frame, flush fitting with the rear of cab
2: Indented

The first type has a sort of frame in the perspex. The window unit has been shaped so that the area in the back of the cab is filled by the perspex and seems smooth with the flush fitting of the unit.

The second type has a much simpler window unit which does not have a section that extends into the space for the window. This makes the window to appear indented, with the metal inner frame evident.

The vent lever / hinge

There are three main types of the small protrusion on the window frame sides:

1: long upright, short horizontal
2: a large triangle pointing forward
3: a small triangle

The upright front edge is easy to spot. The door hinge is quite well defined.

An obvious triangle shape and there are just two dots for the door hinge.

A tiny triangle and much more detail in the hinge area.

Registration plate area

There are three distinct sizes of panel on the offside front wing:

1: small rectangle
2: large rectangle
3: square

The top of the radiator grille:

There are two main types:
1: No gap between the top of the grille and the bonnet
2: a clear gap between the top of the grille and the bonnet
3: a very small gap between the top of the grille and the bonnet

This may not always be obvious as the silver painting often does not cover the whole grille area which can give the impression of a gap but look for the position of the top edge of the grille area. The green 438 above has a clear space evident which the 406S above does not. Type 3 only appears on later models and always has the bumps as headlamps, as described in the next section so it is not necessary to spend too long staring at these.

Headlamp rims

There are two main types:

1: the headlamps have a defined rim around the lamp
2: the lamps are just bulges in the metal with no clear edge

Fairly easy to spot on the early Army and 406S models above.

Less obvious on the 438 in deep green above (but note the different grille top edge positions). All later models from the metallic turquoise editions on, have the Type 2 style with slightly different blobs and spacing but this is not easy to distinguish alone so I have left them as type 2.

The roof 'plate'

You will find models that have an obvious plate on the roof and others that display no evidence of a plate at all. In between there are many variations from feint to slightly more raised.

It should be possible, though, to distinguish between the two types:

0: no 'plate'
1: with 'plate'

Plates seem to be spread almost randomly amongst models from 1962 to 1965. Some models like the 406S never seemed to have one. They also don't seem to appear on models with the Type 2 vent and all models get a smoother roof from around 1966, maybe a little earlier, it's difficult to pinpoint a date.

The examples above all have a sort of 'plate' on the roof, obvious in the last image but, at first glance, you could easily miss it on the top one.

Only later models, where the roof bars also have a different shape, is it obvious that there is no 'plate'. On very early models, it is clear again that there is no 'plate' but these do have a casting line running across the top of the window frame. Sometimes it can be difficult to detect the 'plate' so be careful when checking this and look at the shape of the bars too.

I have often wondered why this 'plate' was needed. 

The table below shows how the various Types are distributed amongst models in my possession. As you will see, it appears that those models with Type 2 vents also have the large rectangle registration plate panel, no headlamp rims and a space above the grille (except for an odd GS7 model I have). Those with Type 3 vents all have a square panel, a higher top on the grille and no headlamp rims. So there is likely to be a way to simplify things. The brown GS2 model appears to be another odd one out too so I'll have to wait and see what others can contribute before going any further.

Update: I have added an RAC Land Rover with a plate. The two RAC models have a different shade of blue too - most surprising during such a short period of production.

GS22farm green111110
416SRAC blue111110
416SRAC blue111111
351SRAF blue111111
438dp green111111
438dp green121111
438dp green222220
GS7green shaped222320
438met turquoise323320
438me apple323320
GS7green cast / W323320
GS8white cast / W323320
GS19dk blue323320
438Quake-upmet green323320

This table is pretty much in order of the date models were produced which may help to indicate when changes appeared first. I am expecting some additions and will revise this as they are discovered. It is a start, however, and may be of assistance to the many Land Rover collectors out there.

I am aware that there may be further differences and one colleague has told me about different types of hatching and other features but these can only be seen inside when the model is opened. Clearly, we are not going to see those in models in our collections so they have to remain beyond the scope of this exercise!

Type 3 models will have a range of hook types and interiors. I will write about these separately.

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