1966 Land Rover series 2A 109 (not Defender) military army ambulance camper

Price: US $27,500.00 Item location: Greenleaf, Idaho, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Land Rover
  • Model: Defender
  • Type: Ambulance
  • Trim: Military Ambulance
  • Year: 1966
  • Mileage: 32,913
  • VIN: 25417226C
  • Color: NATO Light Stone
  • Engine size: 2286cc gasoline
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: 4WD
  • Interior color: Bronze green/Eau de nil
  • Options: 4-Wheel Drive
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1966 Land Rover Defender

1966 Land Rover 109 series 2A British military ambulance - 33,000 original miles

2.25 liter gas engine (Turner unleaded head), 4 speed transmission with Fairey overdrive



I have owned this Land Rover for a little over 11 years. I live in the UK with family in Idaho and have owned series trucks for 25 years ? currently seven in the UK and this one in the US.

I purchased this ambulance directly from military service as I wanted an original unmodified truck. It took some time to find a factory left hand drive truck, this was a must-have requirement for me. I purchased the truck with 21,000 documented original miles and a comprehensive history file from the British military. This is a numbers matching truck, engine and transmission are those it was built with.

So why sell it? The family situation has changed significantly in the last two or three years, the truck is not being used often, it is unlikely I will be visiting Idaho as regularly from now on as I have in the past ? the future is only likely to lead to it being parked in the garage rather than enjoyed as it should be.

I am listing this Land Rover with a starting price of $17,500 with no reserve and a BIN of $27,500. I think this is on the cheap side of fair, I've seen what is quite honestly junk advertised for $15,000 and I challenge anyone to find a better un-restored Land Rover ambulance than this one. I have only seen one that comes close to this advertised in the US by Rovers North a few years back and they were asking around $40,000 for it.


25417226C was built as a chassis in June 1966 and delivered to Marshalls of Cambridge for bodying as an ambulance. Registered 97ER69 in the British Army it was destined for BAOR (British Army of the Rhine ? West Germany) hence built as left hand drive, where it served from 1968 until 1975. It had a very short tour in Northern Ireland then spent the remainder of its time in the north of England until going into store at Hilton for 10 years, 1988-1998. In 1998 it was struck off as an operational vehicle and became a static training aid with 34 Field Hospital until disposal. Shortly afterwards I purchased it.

Differences between civilian and military series Land Rovers

The British military demanded a more durable and upgraded specification for their vehicles, this 109 differs from a civilian vehicle as follows:

Engine oil cooler (can be seen in the photos behind the front grille)

Twin fan belts, if one breaks you have a back up

8 bladed fan for additional cooling

Heavy duty 5 core radiator with reinforced top tank to resist damage from soldiers standing on it(!)

Twin fuel tanks, total 24 US gallons capacity

Door mounted mirrors

Extended spring hangers, this was to allow the flexibility to run `34 inch tyres (900x16), a standard 109 runs 31 inch tyres (750x16)

Reinforced front bumper with bumperettes

Before the trip to the US

I wanted to make sure the truck would be reliable before shipping, with the superior parts availability in the UK it made sense to do what needed doing there first. Mechanically everything worked, however I did make some sensible upgrades.

* Turner Engineering 8:1 CR stage one unleaded cylinder head (original was 7:1 CR leaded)

* Electronic distributor (no points and condenser to go wrong)

* Fairey overdrive to lower engine revs for freeway cruising

* 6.5J genuine ANR1534 one ton/130 steel wheel rims - if you know series trucks you?ll know these rims are sought after, 1? wider than standard yet look standard and allow the safe fitment of wider tires. Try and find a set of 5 now for less than $1000.

* 235/85R16 Cooper Discoverer STT tires, spare is a Michelin LTX the same size

* Brake flexible hoses replaced and steel brake pipes replaced with copper

* Brake master cylinder replaced

* Seat belt mounting brackets sourced from a later ambulance and seatbelts fitted

* New seat backs, bases and door cards from Exmoor Trim in denim twill vinyl

* Replace firewall Hardura covering with new

* Heater matrix re-cored as unique to the ambulance, purely precautionary

* Bare metal re-spray to NATO Light Stone (British military desert color). Any dents and defects deliberately not filled with bondo, I thought to do so detracted from the originality and history of the truck

After arrival in the US

As to be expected for a vehicle that has just turned 50 years old there are always jobs here and there to do, plus nice to have upgrades as well. Since arriving in the US I have done the following:

* Alternator fitted in place of dynamo (generator) and regulator set up

* Butler red cross lamp sourced and fitted, these were removed by the British military in the 1970s when UK law made it illegal to show a red lamp on the front of a vehicle

* All brake wheel cylinders and brake shoes replaced, Lockheed Delphi wheel cylinders and Mintex brake shoes ? precautionary move due to the age of components

* Cobra CB radio fitted, antenna is magnetic and uses existing hole for power feed to Butler red cross lamp ? no holes drilled

* Original dual gauge panel sourced and fitted with a voltmeter and oil pressure gauge

* Triple 12V accessory sockets and USB charger fitted, again ? no holes drilled

* Cork seal in dual fuel tank changeover tap replaced

* HUCO (marketed by Weber) electric fuel pump fitted in place of mechanical pump. This was to allow the fuel system to prime before cranking the engine

* Hi-torque starter motor from British Starters fitted to improve cranking speed

* Apply 3M sound deadening material under the hood and various other places to reduce some noise in the cab

Known issues

There are bound to be things to do on a 50 year old vehicle, and Land Rovers are well known to have their little foibles. An oil tight Land Rover is a bit like an honest politician, it does not exist! There are various minor oil leaks around the engine and transmission. Nothing major, possibly the worst source is the front crank oil seal but it has never bothered me enough to change it. Part of the fuel tank changeover switch contains electrical switches so the fuel gauge always shows the selected tank. One has a mind of its own and usually only works for one tank. Assuming I get time in the next couple of days I'll try and install a dash switch to get around this.The rear springs could do with being re-arched as they are a little flat.

Additional Items Included in the Sale

Documentation: I have sourced the correct original military parts catalogue and owner?s manual for the vehicle plus the original two volume repair operation manuals. These are worth their weight in gold, especially the parts catalogue as it shows the different components specific to military specification. Extensive military history is included along with a dating certificate from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. The vehicle has a clear Idaho title.

Parts: The roof mounted stretcher carriers and internal stretcher carriers are not currently fitted however are included in the sale. I chose to leave them off as they get in the way and are prone to damage. Various spare hoses, belts, jack, wheel brace, oil filters etc are included also.

Viewing the Land Rover

I am more than happy for serious people to come and look before they bid, the vehicle is located approximately 35 miles west of Boise, Idaho near I-84 exit 27. I am returning to the UK on Saturday 2nd July so my uncle will be dealing with the viewings and sale.

Payment and collection

I would appreciate contact within 24 hours of auction end and a deposit of $1000 via Paypal, I will be in the UK - 7 hours ahead of Mountain Daylight Time so the time difference may mean it takes me a few hours to respond. Cleared payment will need to be received prior to collection of the vehicle as soon as possible, within 7 days preferred. Electronic funds transfer or check sent with sufficient time to clear will be fine. Please remember, you bid to buy - please only bid if you intend to go through with the purchase and have the funds to pay for the item. US bidders with Paypal accounts only please.