Neal has owned his Series 3, 12 Volt, GS, Lightweight since April 2006. The vehicle is finished in sand and green camouflage as applied to vehicles used by the British Army in Cyprus. Neal uses his Lightweight regularly. He took the vehicle to France in 2009 and travelled almost 1,000 miles during the Journey.
Taken by their angular look, which was the decider for Neal, he had been looking at Land Rovers since the mid 1980s. In the early 1990s, Neal looked at a selection of Lightweights (LWTs) at Keith Gott’s, in Hampshire, but it wasn’t until almost 15 years later that he bought this vehicle. The LWT was advertised in one of the magazines, but was local to Neal which was important as it could be viewed easily. In the past, the LWT had undergone a refurbishment at XWD, now Drop Zone, and was given its distinctive colour scheme.This LWT entered service in September 1980. Between 1981 and 1985, it served with the Royal Signals and Royal Artillery. In 1986, it went to TMP Thetford and was transferred to Aston Down in 1998. The vehicle was first registered for the road in 2002, following the work at XWDThe vehicle is pretty much as it would have been in-service, with just a few ‘usability’ modifications made by Neal since its purchase. These modifications include a Dixon-Bate tow ball instead of the NATO hitch, a 12 volt power socket and an in-line FuelCat to assist with running on unleaded. Neal always retains the original parts, to return the vehicle to ‘as was’ if needed. The original 6.50 x 16 Hi-miler tyres on 5J rims are stored away and for everyday use, have been replaced with 205/80 x 16 Marshall radials which are approximately the same diameter as the 6.50s.
Neal likes to use his LWT for having fun, though in recent times it has served as his only vehicle. This isn’t always ideal, especially if you are going to job interview or on a long motorway journey and worse still, if you are going anywhere in a hurry. Like many other LWTs, Neal’s is often used to subsidise the local refuse collection service regularly.
Overall, Neal’s LWT is in very good condition and outwardly very original. However, as with any older vehicle, there are a few areas that would benefit from a little attention to keep it in show condition. A replacement drivers door top needs painting in the camo colours and the upper bulkhead vent panel could do with a strip down and refurb to ensure longevity. Yet to be fitted are a wheel arch toolbox and an overdrive to help make things a little more comfortable on longer journeys. Neal’s vehicle can often be seen on the Lightweight Land Rover Club stand throughout the show season.