The original and still undefeated champion of go-anywhere, do-anything utility has to be the evergreen Land Rover. This remarkable 1978 Series III wagon is a seldom-seen treat here in the US, but around the world, on the most forbidding terrain, in the loneliest places on earth, these sturdy trucks have been grinding their way into history. If you''re a fan of function over form and the beauty that comes from deep within, this is a fantastic find. The Series III models were a slight evolution over the Series IIA, and the Land Rover DNA is apparent in every corner and flat piece of bodywork. Constructed of aluminum and designed to be easy to repair and service in the field, the 4-door wagon body is what today''s SUVs want to be when they grow up. The recessed grille, split windshield, abbreviated rear doors, and tall roof with built-in skylights are some of the most distinctive styling cues in the 4x4 community, many of which continue today. Finished in bright red, it''s hardly subtle, but it seems appropriate here in the US where it won''t have to battle wild animals and tortuous weather to survive. It''s in good condition overall, certainly better than its siblings in Africa, but you don''t want a truck like this to be too perfect, so call it patina and just go have some fun. This Land Rover is functionality personified, with a heavy-duty winch, protective screens over the marker lamps, and heavy-duty roof rack, which is adorned with six spotlights, a set of jerry cans, and an O''Brien surfboard. Whatever you''re doing, this Land Rover will get you there. The interior has obviously been freshened and offers a few civilized comforts to go with its industrial-strength persona. The front bucket seats are all-day comfortable and all of the chairs in the truck were covered with durable tweed fabric that is right for the Rover''s mission. The dash is brutally simple, with a giant steering wheel and big, round, legible gauges that translate to any language. A center console is a later addition that includes cup holders and some secure storage, and the radio is a digital AM/FM stereo that is probably more than the guys on safari ever needed. The rear seats are three individual buckets that fold for added storage capacity, and there are two additional benches in back, troop-transport-style. Zebra-skin floor mats add a touch of whimsy to the truck, but all the other materials are made to be durable and easy to maintain. Admittedly, the Land Rover isn''t built for speed, but the stout 2.25-litre inline-four got a compression boost in the Series III and if you''ve got the time, this truck will get you anywhere on the planet. The under-hood area is obviously built with severe conditions in mind, and includes a heavy-duty air filter for the side-draft carburetor, twin 12-bolt batteries for all those spotlights, and wiring that''s ostensibly designed to resist the elements and ward off Lucas, Prince of Darkness. The 4-speed manual gearbox is synchronized in all four gears and the 2-speed transfer case allows you to crawl over obstacles that would disable a Hummer. The chassis on this one is clean enough that it probably hasn''t seen much off-road action and certainly nothing abusive, and thanks to massive parts availability and simple service. And no Land Rover is complete without the white-painted steel wheels, with these wearing 235/85/16 BFGoodrich All-Terrain radials.This series III had a frame up restoration by Huddersfield of England in 2006, the engine was upgraded to a 5 main bearing turner engine during restoration, it also has a new marshland galvanized frame. For American highways, a "roverdrive" overdrive was added ( increases highway speed to 65mph plus) parabolic springs with ome shocks for an excellent ride. Yes, it''s even cooler in person than you think, and if you''re a true lover of the outdoors, this is the ultimate tool to get to your favorite places. Call today! This vehicle is located in our Charlotte showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.