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Land Rover Conversion


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A friend (French resident) is in a quandary! He has a 1957 Land Rover LWB station wagon (only 267 were produced apparently for the UK market) with a completely shot engine. He would like to bring this to France and restore it, but with either a 2.25ltr LR engine or a Ford 3ltr V6 in place of the original 2ltr F-head lump.. What are his chances of registering this in France? Are collection plates a possibility?

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For what it is worth : I did not reply to your original query because :

We we on holiday in Northen Spain with little or no internet access

The French forum on which I also post has a lot more specialist knowledge of Land Rovers including somebody with a soubrouquet or 'Land Rover Bob' who clearly knows a lot more about them than I do. Google Total France.

I owned a Datsun 1600SSS in Africa and autocrossed a mini in the UK and found that most but not all people who owned 4X4s in GB could not be trusted in Tesco's car park. There are a couple of good French magazines about 4X4s but do not read them sorry

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It will be far easier to get it into France with a cheap replacement engine and then get it CT'd and registered in France before you do the conversion

Otherwise he may never be able to get it registered.

Depending on the vehicle make/model, you might need a manufacturers list of dimensions, power etc for the vehicle.

I had similar trouble with my SAAB... although I had seen several in France, my car was not listed on the French records so I needed the manufacturers details...from the manufacturer, not a haines or Bobs backyard bunker bargain boot sale type listing.

there are several threads here that go deeper into vehivle registration. check them out as I'm scratching the surface.

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I love to talk landies, although I think they are over-rated rust heaps with crap engines !

So how do you plan to move this one ?  If it is a rare beast as you describe then surely its better to keep it original - or has the rust taken over and originality is now something of the past ?

If the motor is toast then to get it to France it will have to be trailered.  Forget fitting another motor to drive it here, stupid idea as you might as well do the proper conversion in Angle land now.  Trailering it will - I guess - exceed it value so think long and hard, just how much do you want this Landy ?

Conversions to another LR family motor would be the best way to go.  But even the 2.25 petrol or diesel version motors are nothing to write home about.  How about a Rover V8 (the only descent LR motor IMO and even thats a Buick!) or a Jap in-line 6 diesel - now you're talking [:D]

Registration in France is not easy.  If it was a car with a Cof C then OK no problems, but I guess you dont have that.  It will have to undergo an inspection and that involves money and of course the Inspector will be looking for a LR engine.   If you fit the Ford, I think the F O R D on the rocker cover might just rise a few alarm bells !  Search on this Forum as this as registration as been covered in detail.

IMO, I'd sell it and pick up a runner that will get you to France, a Series 1 2 or 3 if your spine is good enough (and your wallet thick enough for the fuel bill !) or a Defender.   Register it and then convert / mod at your leisure.  Better still buy a early '90s Jap Patrol / Landcruser / Shogun [:D]

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Thanks, guys for the input. This is genuinely an enquiry for a friend - do I sound that stupid????

He already owns and is extremely attached to the beast, and wants to restore it here in France, and I'm pleased that the consensus of your advice is broadly what I told him; i.e., fit replacement Rover engine in UK, update the registration document, then trailer it to France for the rest of the work.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Do a search for registering classic cars on this forum.

The place you apply to should be able to give you a definitive answer before doing the engine conversion.

My guess is that sticking in an equivalent Landy motor would be okay, a 6cyl Japanese beast probably not, but that's strictly a guess.

There's a knowledgeable contact that speaks English too - can't recall whether he's with the classic car registration office or a private insurance dude, but SD recommends him from time to time.

I think new rules have just come in, or are about to, where classic registered vehicles in France can now travel outside their own dept but have to be over 30 years old. Again, don't take my word for it, check it out (for your friend) yourself and good luck.

PS. If you're in the south I'd tell your friend to keep an eye on his prophaft UJ's cause the heat rips through the grease, or so I was told.

In fact one of mine went on a long trip up north, friday night in Le Mans with a mangled rear prop and no mobile phone; not recommended.


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Carte Grise de Collection is for genuine older vehicles for which a CoC will never be possible and each application to the FFVE is individually vetted and accepted or rejected on it's merits.

I don't think we need go into what the FFVE might think of the LR conversion in question [blink]

EDIT: THESE are the documents you need to apply for a CG de C.


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There was a post on here recently where a bloke imported a very modified vintage US car, lacking major safety features.

He said he had lots of experience with this kind of thing and was certain there wouldn't be a problem registering it.

You see Mustangs that used to be 6 cylinder cars with V8's fitted, and I'm sure there are plenty of other classics with replacement engines (Citroens etc) in France.

I can't see there being a problem fitting a replacement engine as long as it's age and marque related.

But always better to ask before your friend dives in at the deep end.

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