Stanley lives again!


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15 May 2024
The REVS Restore team suited and booted at the RAC’s famous rotunda : credit: © Eimear Hyland
The REVS Restore Series III nears completion and goes on a very special trip…

Regular Land Rover Monthly readers will remember that last spring, REVS Restore, a community group based out of Bicester Heritage, started restoration of a 1975 Series III 109in which was kindly donated by Tim Compson. The Land Rover spent a number of years on the Falkland Islands, hence being nicknamed Stanley after Port Stanley.

After its life in the Falklands, every element of Stanley needed attention

​​​​​​REVS is a mental health, wellbeing and community group for people who love all things with four wheels. Reverend Adam Gompertz, or the Rev, is the chaplain for Bicester Heritage, and heads up the group. Adam is a former car designer and a proper petrolhead, so he loves Land Rovers as much as the rest of us.

The Rev (Adam Gompertz) getting very hands-on

​​​​​​Those of you who attended LRM Live at Malvern last year would have seen Stanley midway through its ‘reverse’ restoration. When I say reverse, I mean we worked from the back forwards, so we could keep the vehicle as a rolling chassis. By the time Stanley was at LRM Live last year, the rear of the rolling chassis had been restored, including a rebuilt rear axle, suspension and brakes. The rear tub’s bodywork had also been refurbished and was sporting its fresh coat of Marine Blue paint for the show.

Restored bulkhead is settled into position ready for refitting

Following LRM Live, the bulkhead was sent away for sandblasting and repair. The bulkhead surprised us all by being in remarkably sound condition with only minor repairs needed around the pillars and footwells. One of the team has a 2000 Defender Td5, and it would seem that somehow, this 49-year old Land Rover had less rot on it than its much younger cousin.

Britpart kindly supplied the REVS project with parts

Drum brakes needed an overhaul

The volunteers had fun reassembling the bulkhead, with the parts manual and photos helping in the puzzle of assembling throttle linkages and the new main harness from Autosparks. Meanwhile, the other members of the group stripped the front axle for rebuild, including fitting new swivels, brake, steering and suspension components. As ever, these were kindly donated by Britpart. Whilst this was going on, Mark Cove did the most fantastic job sanding and preparing the wings, front end panel, floor panels and seat base panels for paint.

The Rev picturing what the finished vehicle will look like

Repainted front wings are gently moved into place

Around this time, we were notified that Stanley was to be displayed in the prestigious Royal Automobile Club Rotunda in Pall Mall, to help promote the project. The group was very lucky to get this opportunity, as I can only think of a couple of other occasions that a Land Rover has been on display at the RAC. The most significant being the first production Land Rover, which was restored by Julian Shoolheifer, and Tim Dines’ pre-production 80in which Tim has owned since 1974.

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Even the door locks received attention from the hardworking restoration team

​​​​​​Once Stanley was back from London, the work continued over at Bicester, finishing the front end of the chassis and refitting the engine ancillaries, including a rebuilt injection pump from AGNG Diesel. In October, for the first time in at least 30 years, Stanley was started, then driven around the Bicester Heritage site. It was a monumental day for everyone involved in the project, and quite emotional.

Off the back of the RAC Club display, the group discovered that the project had been nominated for the 2023 RAC Historic Awards, in the Innovation category. It was great to see the project recognised, and although we didn’t win, the team was delighted to see The Dunsfold Collection, which most of you will know well through Land Rover Monthly’s pages, winning the award for the best vehicle collection.

Stanley almost complete – well, as much as any old Land Rover project ever is...

November and December were filled full of detail finishing, with the Project Shop in Bicester helping us out as a few tasks did manage to beat us. Getting the twin-leading shoe brakes fully bled was a real challenge, so it was great to get the 109 back with a good solid brake pedal. The build continued until the last weekend before Christmas, when the door tops and a full-length tilt, donated by Undercover Covers, was fitted.

All the volunteers strove to ensure the quality was spot-on

At the time of writing, the 109in has just gone back into storage after the Bicester Scramble event. There are still plenty of little odds and ends that need doing. As one of the team put it to me: “Is an old Land Rover ever truly finished?”

The volunteers have had a fantastic fun-filled 12 months tinkering with the old Land Rover, eating lots of cake and drinking plenty of tea. We are looking forward to enjoying Stanley and using him during events over 2024 and beyond. Thoughts have already turned to what the next project vehicle might be. Perhaps a classic Range Rover? Now that would be a challenge…

Stanley’s bonnet proudly lists all his helpers and sponsors

There are so many people to thank on this community project. Special thanks must go to the following companies for their kind donations and support during 2023 and 2024: Britpart, Autosparks, Luzzo Bespoke, Cherished Vehicle Insurance, Undercover Covers, Premier Galvanizing, Flexiteek, AGNG Diesel, Wriggly Monkey Brewery, Harry Fraser Upholstery, Howden Insurance, RH45 Insurance, Michelin UK (for the BF Goodrich tyres), Project Shop, Royal Automobile Club and finally The Heritage Skills Academy for the use of its workshop over the last year.

Can you tell what it is yet? The project involved hard work, but was fun, too

We’d like you to get involved – regardless of your mechanical or DIY ability. You can find out more about the project – just search for REVS-Limiter on Facebook or REVS Restore on Instagram.

Finally, any help in funding this non-profit community project, and the further work of REVS, would be greatly welcomed. Donations can be made through JustGiving. Go to


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