This is my first Land Rover. Through over 45 years of restoring/wrenching/restoring old German and Italian car I have finally got my steam up to own a P38- my favorite Range Rover. I had been able to resist the P38 call all these years because I had enough pain with the cars I was passionate about- but many friends experiences and a good number of Land Rover reviews--- warned me off. But then I saw my first Holland and Holland. Yes- a P38 with just a lot more makeup- but it tipped me toward owning. But years of resistance helped me pass on the two H&H's which came up for sale this year. After passing on the last one I could not stop kicking myself- so I googled H&H and another one like magic popped up. And like with many of my past machines- I paid the same for an H&H which needs all kind of attention--- as I could have paid for a really nice one. I bought it from a gentleman who had it for less than a month and owns a number of Land Rovers. I know-big clue. But the story was he had one car too many and wife says she wants a new car before he owns another project. Good story. My assumption is that he bought it from photos, got it, discovered that it was much worse conditioned then led to believe--and passed it on to me with vague assurances that it was in great shape. I am often the "last Tag" guy. But-while I get a bit pissed each time this happens- I figure it is a project and I like projects.
I just cannot let this orphan H&H be parted out or screwed up anymore then it already is- so I am taking it on and hoping for the best.
I have gotten into it- the O ring leak was obvious--passenger side so wet that the wire tray alongside the side of the passenger's seat (LHD) was filled with coolant. So I did the O ring job the last two days-- and even though someone had gotten into this before judging from all of the access holes cut all over the place - it was still hard without cutting/removing the ducting. Had to try every combination of swivels and 1/4" drives I had in my toolbox to install the screw into the hole. Removing was easy-just could not line up the screw to the hole. I will remember not to remove it next time.
When I got it off the flatbed and started it up I noticed a lot of condensation. I was a cold 35F so condensation is not abnormal at startup- especially from cars which have not been started for a few weeks. Took it for a 10-mile jaunt before I put it in the garage-- and the condensation cleared off in a mile according to my friend who followed me. But it returned while idling. Headgaskets? Hoses are not rock hard when running, the plugs do not look steam cleaned, temp stayed at 12-- so I am thinking 50/50 if I need head gaskets.
And--- I have pulled out all of the wood trim to refinish. This special wood (thinking Claro Walnut Burl from the looks) is so sun cracked it is just short of having to be pulled off and new veneer applied. Called an expert who would finish -but just like any other P38 since they are not sure what the wood used. Maybe never seen an H&H before. Anyway--they are talking $3500 if re-veneer. Not gonna happen. So I am sanding away and taking a crack at it.
OK - spoke enough-- but you get the idea-- orphan restoration. We will see if gets the best of me.