Himalaya transforms Land Rover Series 88 models into all-new beasts
We recently had the opportunity to run around the Himalaya Land Rover restoration workshop like spider monkeys. We couldn’t believe the amazing work on the 88 series Land Rover models and the way the perfect Land Rover Defender models are built.
Himalaya Land Rover Restoration makes dreams come true
If you are a classic Land Rover fan, you have to travel to Charleston, South Carolina to experience what the Himalaya Land Rover Restoration Shop has to offer. We didn’t skip a beat when we had the chance to take a restored Series 88 Land Rover for a spin.
For the Himalayas, it is not a question of destination. It is about adventure and travel. Each version respects the traditional roots of the vehicle while incorporating modern enhancements to improve handling, comfort, reliability and performance.
Each build has immense attention to detail and precision to create a unique vehicle that is part of the work of art and part of the story. Each model has a story and is even shipped from Europe like a rusty treasure.
We’ve seen where the vehicles are painted, the Cummins diesel engines are placed in classic frames, the custom upholstery is hand-stitched, the modern audio and equipment is wired in, and even where the shop dogs can relax. !
Because what’s an adventure without your dog? Even MotorBiscuit dog Bruce rode in an original 1963 Land Rover Series 2a 88 model.
Driving the restored Series 88 Land Rover was amazing
One of the big things for Himalaya is the improved handling. We were able to experience the difference between an original Land Rover Series 2 88 model from 1963 and a bespoke restored model that is about to go home with a new owner.
The original model, similar to the originally restored Series 88, features a 2.25-liter inline-four engine and a three-speed manual transmission. It was intimidating to start as the engine roared and the transmission made loud grinding noises. At 5’1″, it was hard to reach the pedals and see over the dash.
The ride was bumpy, but the tractor of an SUV moved forward. We’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve blocked it about three or four times. With more practice it could be a good daily driver. But most of our attention was focused on shifting gears and avoiding hitting something expensive.
It doesn’t have power steering, the gauges were a little hard to read, and if there was a seat belt, we missed it. Also, we don’t know if the radio was still working, but it was impressive to find out about its history and enduring quality.
But we were happy to ditch it for the totally Land Rover Series 88 model. It has a General Motors V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission (6L80E0). The engine was much quieter but still had a delightful roar when you hit the gas.
We could focus on the road and enjoy a smoother ride and better handling thanks to the suspension upgrades as the salty beach air blew through our hair. Because if you hadn’t noticed, this truck has been transformed into a convertible!
The upgraded Brembo brakes were more responsive, the gauges were nice and clear, we could see the seat belts, and we felt a lot more confident. It’s the perfect family vehicle for the beach and other adventures. Plus, the eye-catching shade of Nantucket Blue paint and brown upholstery really made it stand out.
We would be lying if we said we weren’t jealous of the new owner of the truck in Hawaii. His family will love their unique new vehicle.
Why does the Land Rover Series 88 have updated features?
Each Himayala build stays true to its heritage with modern advancements that align with the demands of future owners. Some models retain their patina and most of their original parts.
Others are updated with modern touches, so you don’t miss out on Bluetooth connectivity, built-in navigation units and even speed cameras to avoid speeding cops in a ride that stands out.
But an incredibly important factor that comes with upgrading internals is the ability to work on the vehicle. A 1963 2.25 gasoline engine is much more difficult to maintain than a modern GM engine.
The redesigned Land Rover Series 88 has a clean dashboard, and you wouldn’t expect it to have modern amenities. However, a tiny remote sits next to the steering wheel that controls the music. Wires and speakers are hidden in the center console.
Additionally, this 88-series model travels to Hawaii, where fishing and the beach are common activities. The backrest has been redesigned to feature two bench seats with a durable wood floor to handle moisture, sand and gear.
Greg Shondel, President of Himalaya, and his team worked to create a modern and unique vehicle that could be even better than the new owner had hoped. This is just one of Charleston, SC’s amazing projects and we can’t wait to see more.
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