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Hi, I'm Hugo, a British expat in Prague, Czech Rep. I've got a 1970 Series 2a and 1975 Series 3 Lightweight (54GF42) Land Rover. I'm currently also contemplating the financial, spacial and marital issues surrounding the idea of rescuing a Praga V3S mobile tank repair metalwork shop which is currently languishing in a disposals yard just outside Prague.

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I got the Lightweight a year ago. One or more previous owners had done a fair amount of, sometimes less than beautiful work, converting it into a trialer. Most significant of which is a Rover 3.9 V8 conversion. I'm now in the process of undoing as much of it as I can, though I must admit I'm in no rush to change out the engine. It is slow going but it is getting there.

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The S2 manages to be both more dull and more interesting at the same time. ON the dull side it is nothing much more than an almost completely standard civvy spec late series 2a. Where it gets more interesting is that it spent its first 10 years belonging to the Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, which I hope counts as sufficiently military to be of interest here. The bonus is that it has been in our family ownership ever since it was de-mobbed so I know every single change that's been made to it since 1980. It has had a few 'sympathetic' modifications, for example Range Rover Diffs, a Weber carb and a hand throttle, but it also retains (almost) all of the military-esque modifications that were, I guess, done by the local MT shop. These include a NATO trailer socket, a military 'upside down' fire extinguisher and Queen's crown emblems on the doors. It had a new coat of paint a few years ago but the colour scheme is original with the yellow upper surfaces so that it could be seen from the air. Google maps proves that it is still very effective: https://www.google.cz/maps/@50.144557,14.5657088,163m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en&authuser=0

Sadly it is not a show queen, it still has to work for a living. Currently it pulls the gang mowers around Prague's first ever cricket ground.

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Hello Hugo, welcome to the forum. That 2a looks lovely. I don't think anyone here would be sniffy about it, and it's always great to see things like that preserved. Your family acquired it in 1980, I assume?

 

For some reason you don't see many Praga V3S around, I'm not sure why (or I don't, anyway). Must be quite a big body on it, or is it the standard Soviet bloc style box?

 

I might have to pick your brains at some point, as we keep contemplating a trip to Prague!

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This is the object of my desires. As you can see it is a bit of a doer-upper, though my grandfather-in-law, who used to work on them in the MT section of the Czechoslovak Army, tells me they are very easy to work on and the engine goes forever.

 

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I guess it is a standard box body of the period. The chassis is dated 1956 whereas the box is dated 1973.

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Most of the innards are still there although the chap who showed me round said that it used to have even the tools in the draws, an anvil and a forge, which have seemingly been recently liberated.

 

If you like seeing Pragas come to Prague. Here, they are still running round by the bucket load, used a lot in civvy spec with things like cranes on the back of them and even the Prague Municipal Transport uses them as mobile repair shops for the tram lines. This chap has got 7 Pragas in his compound all in a line. He also does a nice line in T72, T80 and BRDM2 amongst many other interesting bits.

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Hi , it looks like the RAE purchased their own LR's rather than had one seconded from the RAF.

 

The RAF did have some S2A 88" Rover 10 , LATE type 10 (very, very rare) - having headlamps in wings , razor bonnet, shallow sills , X type grille mesh. However they did not have a side fuel filler as yours has , because of twin underseat fill tanks (although easy to convert). At first glance , military chassis , bonnet secured with spring clips and hinge mounted mirrors would be a good clue , as would be a military tub that has quite a few differences.

 

----

 

btw - I have L'wt 43GF07 , that is quite close build to yours.

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Hi Hugo,

 

I had no idea what they were at the time, but I admired quite a few Pragas when I was in Prague a few years ago. There was quite a bit of work going on with the tramlines, and they were in abundance.

 

That mobile workshop is very tempting!

 

Dan

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