Sunday, May 23, 2010
San Francisco Street Sighting - 1973 Land Rover Series III
And now for something a little different. One of the earliest pioneers in what we now know as the sport-utility market was Land Rover, a company which began by reverse-engineering a Willys Jeep after World War II. This proto-SUV is the third evolution of the breed, the Land Rover Series III. The Series III was produced from 1971 through 1985. It is by far the most common of the "Series" Land Rovers, with over 440,000 built and sold.
Judging by the license plate number, assuming it's original, this truck is a fairly early Series III, probably built around 1973. It's developed an amazing patina on its battered slate-blue body, and collected an array of cowgirl-themed bumper stickers. There is even a horseshoe attached to the front grille. I think the owner loves her horses. Given that these are pretty rough and uncivilized trucks, with only manual transmission available, one would think this is purely a man's truck. Apparently not. The weathered British license plates are a great touch, or at least they would be if they were a matching pair. It's a cool truck with all the off-road gear: spare tires, accessory trail lighting, stone guards and a hefty winch. The fact that this purpose-built trail rig lives in the middle of a neighborhood in San Francisco is just awesome. It probably makes everyone's rent cheaper by lowering the property values. If it were bigger it could be used to threaten Prii. But I guess that's a task best left to the bright yellow biodiesel-fueled Hummer H1 across town.