12 February 2024
Well, three-quarter tilt. Martin treats his 109 to an Exmoor Trim canvas
I love to take my Series III on as many adventures as possible, and thankfully I’ve had the opportunity to do just that this year. It’s been to most of the Land Rover, 4x4 and Vintage Spares Days that we’ve held throughout 2023 (full rundown of them all on p78), our inaugural two-day LRM Live event back in May, to Wales to do the infamous Strata Florida greenlane, up to York for a great charity show, to name but a few. The Series III always proves to be a talking point, and it’s been great putting decent miles on it.
Heading for the bin: the old plastic tarp
Aside from my previous improvements to the cab, one thing that has needed addressing for quite some time is a cover for the load area. If you’ve ever seen me arriving or leaving an event, you probably will have witnessed the hideous green plastic tarpaulin I have to fold over all my stuff to keep it dry when on the road. It’s inconvenient, ugly, dirty and makes everything stink of plastic. Plus, no matter how many ratchet straps I use to keep it in place, I can never seem to stop it flapping about and coming loose. It had to go.
Back when I bought the 109, it had a set of three-quarter hood sticks fitted, and the truck cab already had the guttering riveted in place to take a ‘cab fit’ canvas. I actually asked the seller if it had a canvas to come with it, and he told me it didn’t. He said that he’d taken it off, because it was so old and rotten that when a cat jumped out of the tree under which the Land Rover was parked onto the top, it fell straight through and couldn’t get out! Luckily the stricken moggy was rescued promptly afterwards, but to avoid a repeat, he took it off and binned it.
Don’t fit it upside down (ask Martin how he knows…)
I toyed with the idea of a tonneau-type cover as I liked how the 109 looked as a truck cab with nothing on the back but, as the rest of the fittings were there and ready to be used, I’d order a new three-quarter tilt from Exmoor Trim (exmoortrim.co.uk). I opted for a windowless tilt in Sand colour, and set about fitting it as soon as it arrived. After retrieving the sticks from down beside the shed and evicting all the spiders and snails, I bolted them down and got the canvas in place. It was really simple to fit, and I was sure to keep all the ropes and straps tight to avoid shrinkage when it rains – an easy trap to fall into if you haven’t dealt with canvas tops before.
I’m absolutely made up with the finished result, and the Sand colour works well against the drab green – though the newness of the tilt has spurred me on to tidy up the 109’s bodywork in places. Most importantly, I’ve been able to launch that smelly old green tarp into the skip.
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