Impulse buy

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21 May 2024
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An eBay purchase that proved better than the ‘spares and repairs’ it was advertised as : credit: © Andy Colston
Andy Coston landed on his feet when he bagged his dream V8

Bidding first and worrying about the consequences later can occasionally pay off, as Andy Coston explains.

“I’ve always had Land Rovers, and owned lots of different models over the years including a Lightweight, Defender 110, Discovery 1s and 2s, but I’ve always wanted a V8 Ninety.

“I was scrolling on eBay while on holiday one day, and saw this Trident Green example that was almost at the end of its auction. It was still pretty cheap for what it was going by the pictures, and although it was advertised as spares or repairs, I put in a last-minute bid and ended up winning it.

The buyer’s remorse kicked in until I went down to Cornwall to pick it up, and it turned out to be quite a lot better than the seller had let on. Despite being sold as a full restoration project, I found it still had six months MoT left and was quite solid, only needing some welding repairs to the chassis rails which I have done. I’ve been using it locally, and taken it to a couple of shows, and I’m treating it more like a rolling project than a full restoration.

V8 sounds lovely thanks to performance air filters on the Stromberg carbs

​​​​​The factory-fitted 3.5-litre V8 engine starts and runs lovely, and it sounds fantastic thanks to performance air filters on the Stromberg carbs and a Cherry Bomb in the exhaust. I’ve got to sort some of the electrics out as they’re a bit temperamental, and I plan to fit a new set of tyres soon as the mud-terrains that are on it are showing their age.

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I’ve managed to track down the Ninety’s second owner who had it for about eight years, and sent me a photo of it with some very period-correct Wolfrace alloy wheels on. Over the years it has lost those aftermarket wheels, the worn seats have been changed for some retrimmed vinyl ones, and it’s gained a big drag racing-style rev counter at some point.

I will carry on driving and enjoying the smooth power of the V8, and improving the Land Rover gradually along the way. It sits next to my other V8 Land Rover, a 5.0-litre Discovery 4 which is a Japanese import, which will transport my son and I to Morocco this year. I better start saving for the petrol!”

 

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