RDE 585S – 1978 Land Rover Series 3 – 7 seat station wagon – TIME WARP
“Time Warp” is an over-used expression in the classic car movement – However, we believe that on this occasion it is the only way to describe this stunning original 1978 Land Rover series 3
Just 1,540 miles from new – yes – One thousand five hundred miles !
This Land Rover comes with a fully documented history from new to corroborate the incredible mileage.
If you were around in July 1978, you would have been listening to John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – You’re The One That I Want, Boney M – Rivers Of Babylon, Elvis Presley – Don’t Be Cruel and many others.
Mr Stephen Llewellin however, was awaiting a phone call from Greens Motors Ltd, The British Leyland (and Land Rover) dealer in Haverfordwest – to advise him of the arrival of his new Land Rover.
The story begins (according to the original build card) on 23rd December 1977 – when “RDE” began its life. Ordered with the following “options”
- 88″ RHD petrol station wagon – 4 cyl
- Bronze Green
- Black trim
- Fuel filler lock
- Fresh air heater
- Steering column lock
- Engine speed governor
- De luxe trim
- Rear reflectors
- Cover auxiliary instruments
- Laminated Windscreen
- Dual braking system
- Front wing heater aperture
- MPH speedo – with trip
- Private locks
- Interior snap stem mirror
- “E” mark flash, tail and side lamps
- Auxiliary panels (station wagon
- Brake engine vacuum system (servo)
- Separate number plate and plinth
- Seat belt attachment
- Safety harness (seat belts)
- “E” mark label
- Oil cooler system
- Electric windscreen washer
- “E” mark label – 4 cyl detox
- Inertia reel harness
- Avon tyres
Included in the documentation is a copy of the original purchase invoice – showing a total on the road price of £5192.26
This invoice is dated 05.07.78 – which corresponds to the date of first registration of the Land Rover.
Also included on the invoice were:
- Fire extinguisher
- Pedal rubbers
- Number plates
- Hour meter
- Chrome “B” mirrors (wing mirrors)
- 12m Road fund licence (£50)
- Fuel £6.58
There is also a separate invoice from Greens, for under sealing at a cost of £132.40
Mr Llewellin’s intention was to fit a centre mounted Power Take Off (PTO) and a small generator, but in fact he never did purchase one as there seemed no need for it when the time came.
This was his reason for ordering the Land Rover with an hour meter, an oil cooler and an engine speed governor – all are still fitted today.
These items, as well as the laminated windscreens, and a mileage trip facility are confirmed in a letter written by Mr Llewellin in 2003 when the Land Rover passed to the second owner – Mr O’Conner. The letter also confirms the mileage at the time of 700 being “totally accurate”
Shortly after passing into the ownership of Mr Conner, Land Rover Monthly magazine (LRM) featured the Land Rover on the cover of the July 2003 edition – along with a 3 page spread under the heading “Time Traveller Exclusive – The lowest mileage Series III on the planet”.
A copy of the article is included in the documentation for the next custodian, but the bullet points were:
- This is a tight, responsive, eager series III with all the characteristics of a brand new 1978 Land Rover
- The mudflaps have never seen any mud and the engine bay is immaculate . . . there is no wear and tear on the interior.
To this day, the Land Rover retains it’s unmistakable “new car” smell
Mr O’Conner owned the Land Rover for approximately 12 months, before it was sold via H & H Classic auctions in April 2004 (Copy of auction listing included with documents). Mileage at this time was 733
It ended up in the hands of Mr Clive Button from Chester.
Various letters and correspondence are contained within the history file
Mr Button used the Land Rover very occasionally and sparinglyuntil 2006 – at which time the mileage was now 1,500
In 2006 the Land Rover changed hands once more – and was purchased by Mr Vincent from Derbyshire – A letter on file confirms the mileage as approx 1,500 at that time.
Mr Vincent had intended to use the Land Rover, but his modern 110 County Station Wagon was still giving sterling service, and so “RDE” was parked in his barn – and remained there for the next 17 years !!
In April 2023, Richard (Vincent) made a telephone call to us here at Land Rover Centre and explained that he had a 1978 Land Rover short wheel base station wagon – with just 1,500 miles from new !!
We were a little taken aback, but from experience we know that even today, vehicles with incredibly low mileage are still out there and from time to time, they come to the surface.
An appointment was made, and one of our buyers travelled to view the Land Rover.
The 88″ station wagon model is in itself quite rare to find in nice original condition these days, but to find one with such low mileage, and with such a complete history – is almost unbelievable.
However – here it was in front of us – covered in 17 years of dust.
A brief inspection of the Land Rover determined that it was 100% genuine, so we adjourned to the kitchen for a cup of tea and biscuits – to inspect the history folder.
Again – everything was in order – a complete ownership history from new, various receipts, letters between owners, copies of old registration documents – etc etc
A deal was agreed – and we were now the proud owners of what we believe to be the lowest mileage Series 3 Land Rover on the planet – Unless you know otherwise ??
Over the years, we have owned some of the rarest Land Rovers on the planet – and are often asked how and where we find some these rare Land Rovers – our answer is simple – “the best ones find us” – and when we find a Land Rover like this – we have to “pay the price” and buy them – because you never know when the opportunity to buy something similar will come along.
Arrangements were made to collect the Land Rover the following week.
Below is a video of the Land Rover “as found” – before seeing the outside world for the first time in 17 years !
The Land Rover was brought back to Land Rover Centre, and the following day a new battery was fitted, fresh fuel was added and the engine was soon purring:
We are so impressed with the Land Rover – even the original tool roll is present with all tools in unused condition – original jack and jack handle, original starting handle – and even the original hand pump for tyre inflation.
The Land Rover will undergo a program of recommissioning as required for the next custodian – OR it can be purchased “as is” if your intention would be to put it away for the next 17 years !
Your choice !
We believe this is a unique chance to own such a Land Rover
Interested ? Please contact us for further details and to discuss your interest
Price includes shipping to your nearest RoRo port
+ 44 7801 745805