The Series III's (1971-1974) were the last U.S. Land-Rovers until 1993. Due to stricter government regulations British Leyland pulled out in 1974. The Series III's were much more "car like" than all the Land-Rovers that came before them. The gauge cluster was moved in front of the driver, and a padded dash was installed. Some say the interior became more "plastic". They are easily identified on the exterior by the plastic grills with the word "Land-Rover" cast in it. All the previous series had metal grills. The Series III also offered a fully synchronized gearbox. The previous SII and SIIA gearboxes were only synchronized in 3rd and 4th. Land-Rover had continued to drop options for the U.S. market with the advent of the SIII's. Long gone was the option of having a Safari Station Wagon, gone was the pick up version, the tail gate/ lift gate, and the diesel engine. Land-Rover had figured out what the US market "supposedly" wanted, and only offered the Series III 88 in a very limited range of configurations.... and only about 4 colors. (and red cost extra!) Quite a few Series III's came to the U.S. with a sun shield on the roof. This differed from the tropical top, as it did not have the roof vents, or the alpine windows. Rumors exits that a large order of SIII 88's were headed for export to the middle east, but when the order did not go through, the remainder of these Rovers were shipped to the U.S. instead. This may or may not be the case.
Series III 88 with the sun shield roof
The Series III is a nice cross between car and Rover. It is still plenty tough, but it could be considered more "comfortable".
Series III Interior
The North American spec. Series III interior had a few items that UK Series III's did not. The addition of a switch for 4 way flashers (hazard lights) and a small light above the heater controls to name a few. SIII's are very much left hand drive versions of a right hand drive designed vehicle. The ignition key and choke are on the left of the steering wheel, while the turn signal and high-beam switch are on the right. This didn't matter in the SIIA's, as nearly all the controls were in the center.
Series III 88 Land-Rover
Series III 1971-1974 Model 88" Short wheelbase Engines 2.25 gas 8:1 compression: 81hp @4250 rpms
Transmissions 4 speed (synchro) Transfer case Part time 4WD
The replacement in the UK (and the rest of the globe) for the Series III's had been the Defender in the mid 80's. It was available as a short wheelbase 90 in 1984 (actually 92.9") and a long wheelbase 110 in 1983. It had a choice of V8 gas, 4 cylinder gas, diesel, or turbo diesel, and a wide range of body styles, but none of them were sold by dealers in North America, and they cannot legally be imported to the U.S. today.
Defender 110 1984 German Spec. Land-Rover
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