1977 Land Rover LightWeight (Series II)
Transmission - 4-speed manual, 4 x 4
The Land Rover Light-Weight was produced as an air-portable four wheel drive for the British Army. The simple, angular bodywork can be quickly stripped down for air-lifting, particularly by helicopter. Most light-weights came as petrol soft-tops although many have had hard-tops fitted once in civilian hands. The light-weight was produced in both series 2A (SIIA) and in series 3 (SIII) versions. They have now been superseded by Land Rover's 90/110 range, later known as Defender.
Most light-weights were produced with the 2.25L 4-cylinder petrol engine; the British Army only taking to diesels in a big way with the 90/110 range. Fitted for radio (FFR) vehicles come with a 24-volt electrical system and a seriously large generator under the bonnet (hood). Getting electrical parts can be a serious problem for a private owner as spark-plugs, leads, light globes and a whole host of electrical equipment is special purpose and hard to get. Many get converted to 12-volt systems for convenience.
This is a military vehicle, a basic utility and weight was very much at a premium in its intended role so pounds were saved wherever possible and the already simple interior became more so. The one piece of series three "luxury" in this example, the light "stalks" and plastic surround on the steering column (above left) look decidedly out of place. Radio equipment is mounted in the rear and between the front seats.
Gone is the parcel shelf, the instruments being mounted directly on the fire-wall (below). The flat box under the instrument panel is a moderately effective heater, and is a popular addition to those civilian series one to series three Land Rovers that came without a heater and demister.
The light-weight has a cult following, probably because they stand out amongst ordinary Land Rovers. Ford V6 engine conversions are popular in the UK and give extra zing!
Some of them get into strange places....
This Land Rover lightweight is employed by Hummingbird Helicopters at Male International Airport, Maldives; nice work if you can get it. It must be a SIIA because the headlights moved to the wings late in the SIIA run.
Cooler climes - Alexander Polevoj and Andrej Polegaev of Moscow, Russia, are both owners of 88" Light-weight Series III's (hard-topped, left-hand steering) with petrol engines (see above).