Hello and welcome to the GLF Classics webpage and our first blog post.
I suppose the first thing I should do in true ice breaker fashion is to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me, my background and what you should expect from us and the site in the future.
So the big reveal first: My name is Gavin and I am a self-confessed Land Rover geek. It does not stop there though. I would love a classic commercial with a timber-framed cab but my carpentry skills are not that hot. If it is steam powered, I want to see it working, but as I cannot fit one in the garage they are safely beyond my limits. If it is older than me, I need to be told about it, if it is from the British Leyland camp and has not dissolved to oxide I want to know more about it. But ultimately, if it is an old Land Rover, I want to know its story.
The obsession stems from my old Scout troop being carted across the country to camps in either a Stage 1 V8 station wagon, a Series 3 Lightweight or an ex-Royal Navy Series 2 109. All the other troops borrowed posh minibuses from the local schools. Minibuses were not our troops "thing" and I am sure our experience was far better because of it. Around this time I started buying the Land Rover magazines, long before I could drive.
A Land Rover was not my first car sadly. I passed my test and bought a cheap Ford Fiesta because, back then living in the centre of Leeds, you never knew if your car would still be where you left it come day break. My Fiesta was broken into on its third night on the mean streets and I am not sure if something canvas topped would have even lasted that long! On leaving Leeds in 2005 I started my hunt for my first Rover.
I looked at a fair few and eventually found a Series 3 109. It had a very good chassis, started, drove, had an MOT and just happened to be ex-army. I did not go out looking for anything specifically ex-forces; it just had to be a long wheel base Land Rover so I could get my push-bike in the back and be in good order so that my limited funds could keep it running. Back then the MOD had just dumped thousands of Series stock on the market and there were plenty of good ones to choose from. I am not quite sure where they have all gone but my 109 is still with me now. It quickly gained the name Alfred and is my daily driver.
From then on things began to spiral out of control. Why have one Land Rover when you can have two? Then two becomes three and before you know it you have a Sankey trailer as well. Then you need a fourth vehicle to provide the spares for the others and suddenly you find yourself with a well over-stocked shed, shares in Swarfega, a hobby that is taking up a high percentage of your non-sleep core hours and an inability to hold a conversation without quoting part numbers or referring to an exploded parts diagram from a workshop manual. I had it bad and I am not sure if I have yet recovered.
I also began to get frustrated. Why does this new part not fit right? Why does my second "good working order" overdrive howl as bad as the first? Why does my gearbox only pop out of second at the scary point of an off-road descent? What do you mean that part is now obsolete?! Metric bolts on a rebuilt Series 2a?! You must be kidding!!
Things had to change, so GLF Classics was born.
Whilst we do not intend to stock everything you need to build a Land Rover (other much bigger firms can already provided that service), we do intend to have and to make available, items we struggle to find ourselves during restorations. This may be because we find a source, an alternative comparable product, or manufacture a small production run.
We will also try to put together kits of parts that we do not think are available elsewhere. For example, our first product will be a complete overhaul kit for the Fairey Overdrive that will contain everything needed to rebuild your own unit. No more dismantling a unit, working out what everything is, exploded parts diagrams, hunting for the best price across eighteen different sources etc. We have done all that for you. One purchase to make, one parcel in the post to your door.
So thats a little bit about me and where we are aiming. We are busy, so do not expect daily updates, but do please check back regularly.
One final note: if the shop says we have it in stock, it is in stock. We physically have the item on our shelves ready to go. Another frustration of mine being wiped out from the get go!
All the best