History of Series II Land Rover and Smiths Gauges

History of Series II Land Rover and Smiths Gauges

In 1958, The Rover Car Company launched the Series II Land Rover, the successor to the highly successful and popular Series I.  A key feature of the Series II model was a focus on styling.  Chief Stylist, David Bache, introduced the familiar 'barrel side' waistline to cover the vehicle's wider track.  There were also significant improvements to the styling of the cab with the introduction of curved side windows and a rounded roof.

The Series II model was manufactured between 1958 and 1961.  There was a 4-speed manual transmission driving one of 3 engine variants:

  • 2.0 L Petrol I4;
  • 2.25 L Petrol I4;
  • 2.0 L I4 Diesel;

The 2.25-litre Petrol engine became the standard in Land Rovers until the mid-1980s when there was an increase in the popularity of Diesel.  3 different types of body design were produced with a 2 and 4 door off-road version and a 2-door pickup.

We still have some of the original hand written specifications for the instrumentation and gauges.  The original Speedometer was designed to be weatherproof with a black dial and white pointers.  The 60mm dia gauge had a maximum 75mph speed and was geared for 1504 revolutions.  There was little change from the successful Speedometers installed on the Series I Land Rover.

Gauges for the Series II Land Rover are still available today.  The gauges are manufactured in the UK using much of the same tooling as the originals supplied between 1958 and 1961.


This is the second in a series of blogs looking at the history of the Land Rover and Smiths Instruments.  The first blog focused on the origins and is entitled Series I Land Rover Starts Life with Smiths Gauges.

For more information on gauges for the Land Rover, please contact us on:

Phone:  01639732200

Email:  [email protected]

Via the Website






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Tags: Gauges, Land Rover, Series II, SMITHS

Categories: Case Histories

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