Vehicle Restoration and Rebuilds

Sentimental Restoration or Investment Opportunity

Everyone has heard apocryphal tales of the bloke who found a low mileage Tickford Station Wagon and sold it for a mint after just changing the oil and recharging the battery. That isn’t you, it isn’t anyone. There are very few 60 year old Series 1 Land Rovers around that have been totally untouched and worth ‘a mint’. But there are a lot of vehicles that could be easily refurbished, restored, and put back on the road for you to get many more years of enjoyment out of it.

It doesn’t have to be a vintage or classic either, any vehicle can be brought back to showroom-fresh condition, really the only decision to be made is whether it is financially viable to do so.

At Nene Overland we have undertaken numerous such refurbs and rebuilds over the years. Every one is different, everyone presented its own challenges and almost every one ended up costing more than the owner thought they wanted to spend. That is the real challenge for us. Assessing a vehicle, coming up with a schedule of works and wishlist of parts that is as near to complete as it can be.

Better than anyone we can use our years of experience to advise you on the best course of action. We know that each make and model of vehicle has its own quirks and weaknesses. We know – often without even looking at the car – that some models will need certain things replacing, updating or remodeling.

That is not supposed to sound negative, it isn’t , but we need to be realistic just like you do. Have a look at the classifieds in any magazine and online adverts you’ll see a whole heap of ‘unfinished projects’. These are more often than not put up for sale because it was a bigger, and more expensive, job that the owner thought it would be.

The Bodyshop and Refurb team at Nene Overland will be totally honest with you. If we think a full body-off restoration is going to cost you £25k, we will tell you so. We don’t want to tell you it’ll be half that then just add more stuff later. Just contact us and ask for our totally impartial advice.

Ancient and modern?

As we already mentioned it isn’t always the old classics that come in for a bit of TLC. We update and upgrade a sizeable number of Defenders and Land Cruisers too. For many people it makes perfect sense. If you have a 20 year old pre-ECU Land Rover Defender or 70 Series Cruiser with its lovely 3 litre turbo diesel that you’re happy with and you want to avoid engines that run on electrickery we can probably pass your vehicle through the workshop and give you an as-new truck for less than it would cost to buy a new one anyway. And with a few well chose modifications and enhancements to bring it fully up to ‘modern’ standards.

Or you might just love the classic style of the Series III Land Rover but want it with disc brakes a TDi lump with automatic gearbox, comfortable seats and a radio that you can actually hear! Anything is possible, the only restrictions are your imagination and budget.

So, while it may not look like it makes financial sense, on paper, to spend money on a 20 year old truck when you could buy a new one just think about what it’ll be like in another 20 years. The restored one will probably be serving you well and the once-new one will have long since passed through the classified ads and now be used as nothing more than an off-road hack.

Don’t think of it as paying to restore an old car, think of it as investing in its future and the years of enjoyment you’re going to get from it.


As with anything modified, restored or refurbished vehicles can be a bit of a nightmare to insure. They might also have a ‘book value’ that is just a fraction of its value to you. At Nene Overland we work with a select number of Insurance Specialists who will be able to fully cover your vehicle after we get it back on the road. They won’t balk at the list of modifications that runs into several pages and often they’ll give you a guaranteed value for your pride and joy. Ask us for our advice on insurance.

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