It was only a matter of time...

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Offline SalisburyPlainThreshingCo

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It was only a matter of time...
- Aug 03, 2021 - 12:01
...before we turned up! We're the brave idiots people who bought the Ex-Humphrey Edwards 109 at the Pugh sale recently. Plenty of Land Rovers here but a Series 1 is new territory for us.

We spoke to a very kindly and knowledgable Father and Son (715GC on here from the auction thread, at a guess??) who outlined various interesting points, PTO, hand throttle, double water pump pulley for governor, oil cooler etc. I believe it was mentioned the engine is a 2l petrol but of crossover period into SII era?

As far as I can see, there isn't a great deal missing, other than carb, air cleaner, battery tray, fuel filler and seat bases. I can carry the remains of the chassis and bulkhead, and the rear propshaft has dissolved, as has one wheel rim. The front axle casing has thinned out beyond repair sadly, but the internals appear to be sound. A small amount of water has found its way into the sump, so the engine will be dismantled for inspection very soon in the hope there has not been too much damage. The sump has rotted from the outside in, and finally gave way during unloading, thankfully it lasted the trip home.

Under the pale blue paint and yellow cab roof is what appears to be lovely dark RAF blue grey, and we are hopeful we can reveal and conserve this original colour, the panels apart form one front wing are remarkably straight. It is not ex-RAF though, it came to Humphrey from the local farm it was delivered to from new. We felt a bit guilty taking it out of Wales for the first time since it was sold new!

The documentation and backlash in the diffs suggest the 19,000 or so on the clock may well be correct but no doubt it has done a fair bit of stationary work. I wonder if the governor and even the rear PTO/pulley unit at the sale came off this Land Rover, sad if so, not that we could have afforded either.

No more photos at the moment sadly as the computer is refusing to read the camera, I will start a restoration thread, with photos, soon! But it is not at the top of the list of priorities at the moment so it will be 'as and when'.


Due to some near misses with forklifts loading other lots, and the scrapman due to arrive the next morning to remove the large heap of (largely still useful) material next to the Land Rover, we dismantled it that evening, managing to remove and load all body panels ourselves without damage (never go anywhere without 6 point Whitworth sockets!), only needing the forklift for the sturdier components. Getting the load home took another 32 hours however, and although a good story, I shan't repeat it here!

We also bought several stationary engines at the sale, sadly dismantled and scattered between lots, we bought various lots to unite as much as possible but are still missing various components- if anyone here bought or knows of someone who unwittingly bought such parts amongst lots of Land Rover goodies, please let me know! It was a very hot and mayhemic day for us, trying to round up all the parts of various century-old machines before they got split up forever, and guarding lots we had already purchased from the inevitable pilfering.

We have an organic smallholding and are ultimately looking to run a very small scale farm using old machinery- we have a complete set of mid-late Victorian to WWII era farming kit gradually being readied to be used in anger. The good lady broke our pre-WWII habit and bought a late 50s Massey bagger combine a few weeks back, so the 109 will be a perfect era matched partner to load the grain sacks into.

Due to a careless choice of hobbies, we simply can't afford to buy a new chassis and bulkhead, but are looking to make our own (full fabrication and machining set up here), hopefully we can borrow or temporarily buy a reasonably complete 109 chassis to use as a template to make a jig from, or if one does not come our way in time, does anybody know if drawings are available? I stupidly sold my series 1 factory workshop manual a couple of years ago, thinking I had missed the boat regards S1s, and can't remember if it had dimensioned drawings.

Anyway, so it begins! It will be a slow process, as we will be doing as much 'in house' as possible, and saving as much original material as possible. We are so very glad we got it though, for many of the Land Rovers at the sale it was not a happy ending, with several going straight in the scrap bin, and undoubtedly many more broken for spares. We shall do justice to this one however, despite the complete lack of steel remaining, it is incredibly complete and original.
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Offline jonhutchings

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  • Location: Gloucestershire, UK
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Re: It was only a matter of time...
Reply #1 - Aug 03, 2021 - 15:30
Brilliant write up sounds like it's gone to a loving home! All the best with the rebuild.

Offline Old Hywel

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  • Location: Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
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Re: It was only a matter of time...
Reply #2 - Aug 04, 2021 - 08:09
Best of luck with the work.  Ready by Christmas?

Offline 233AC

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  • Location: South Wales, UK
  • Posts: 261
Re: It was only a matter of time...
Reply #3 - Aug 04, 2021 - 14:21
Humphrey was in nursing care for several years before he passed away last year. This is the 109 in August 2020.

Offline Landie Les Moderator

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  • Location: Sussex, UK
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Re: It was only a matter of time...
Reply #4 - Aug 04, 2021 - 19:55
Good luck on your new venture and on your careless choice of hobbies, keep us posted, on all of it.

Offline SalisburyPlainThreshingCo

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  • Location: Wiltshire, and East Anglia...
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Re: It was only a matter of time...
Reply #5 - Aug 04, 2021 - 22:38
Thank you all for the welcome, and to 233AC for that photo, one to tuck away in the history file. We were told that the 109 was the only one which was not moved, the Land Rovers lotted up on the field were all around it where the scrap pile ended up. Perhaps a move was attempted but the chassis finally gave way, as it doesn't look fully broken in the photo?  We also saved the 110 in the background of the photo but this is not the place for that kind of chat! Nice to know they sat side by side though. The 109 was last taxed in 1983, it was certainly owned by Humphrey by 1996 at the latest (by which point it we believe it may already have been fairly derelict), but not registered by him until 2005, so unlikely it ever did any road mileage in his ownership.

I'm well aware of what I have written in the previous post sounding over optimistic, looking through the forum it seems plenty have bought a nice complete 107etc just needing a bulkhead and chassis, then they post a wanted ad for a bulkhead and chassis, then nothing more is heard and no doubt the project becomes spares or sits back in a hedge again. Compared to what I was working on last winter however (12mm steel) working with 2.5mm will be a welcome change and roll on the day it begins!

I have spent today removing the springs and axles, and comparing the drawings in the parts manual to the remains of the chassis. We're confident that with the drawings, and what is left of the original chassis in front of us, we can build our own, as we need to make a large steel girder jig anyway for another project. Always bizarre how varied corrosion can be- a 1/2"WW nut on the chassis has swelled in rusted layers to 1 1/4" across, yet three out of four damper top mounts are entirely unscathed and will be cut out and grafted into the new chassis!

Great joy, some suspension bolts will be reusable! Sadly three out of four wheel rims are too far gone, and both front and fully-floating rear axle casings are too thinned and holed to be repairable. Both diffs are in excellent order though with very minimal backlash, and although water has found it way into the rear, through a corroded casing, the damage seems only slight.

Photos and restoration thread coming soon!

Offline shropshire lad

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  • Location: South Shropshire, UK
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Re: It was only a matter of time...
Reply #6 - Aug 04, 2021 - 23:40
Welcome to the “Not Green and Not Short” collective . A highly exclusive club with discerning members .

  You certainly appear to have jumped in with both feet and bought yourself a heap of work but you sound as if you are up to the task of getting her back on the road . What I do suggest you consider doing is document everything you do , a take lots of photos, for a possible article in either The Legend or one of the Land Rover magazines , as I am sure there are many who would like to see how the restoration progresses .

   Good luck .
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