Spanish Built Land Rover Treks All The Way To The US
As opposed to most Series III Land Rovers, the Santana 88 has a decisively less British heritage and is a lot less common.
The Land Rover Santana 88 is an exceptional vehicle. However, most people can’t tell it apart from its British cousin just by looking at it. The Santana 88 is a Series III Land Rover built under license by Santana Motor S.A. in Spain. They were delivered to the Spanish company in kit form. Production spanned from 1958 until 1983, when the company’s licensing agreement with Land Rover expired. There are very few differences between a Santana 88 and a British built Series III, but their history makes them quite interesting indeed.
This particular Santana 88 Especial recently sold on Bring A Trailer for $14,000. While its origin story is intriguing, its trek to the US is just as entertaining. The original owner kept the car from new until 2016. It remained in its homeland until this year, when the BaT seller imported it to the US. It is finished in brown with a white roof, giving it a genuinely appropriate outdoorsy and very recognizable Land Rover look. Sitting on beige wheels, it also has a set of Hella fog lights mounted to the bumper, leaving you with no question as to what its intended use is.
You’ll find the mechanics to be identical to the Series III as well. The 2.25-liter diesel engine outputs only 67 horsepower. Make your decision between 2wd and 4wd with the manual gear lever inside. While you’re at it, you’re going to need to select which of 4 gears you need manually. The Santana 88 was intended to be a utilitarian workhorse. However, in its 37 years, this example has accumulated less than 40,000 miles. You read that right. It barely sees over 1,000 miles a year! A fact reflected in the overall condition of the vehicle. Inside and out, it seems as if the wear and tear show a simple life of going A to B on limited occasions.
Unfortunately, the chance to purchase this example has come and gone. If you do fancy a Santana 88, keep your eyes peeled. They do come up for sale every once in a while. You’ll be hard pressed to find another one in this original condition, however. Regardless of who owns it, we can all take a moment to appreciate the uniqueness of the Spanish built Land Rover.
Photos: Bring A Trailer