We recently got the opportunity to run around the Himalaya Land Rover restoration shop like spider monkies. We couldn’t believe the incredible work on Series 88 Land Rover models and how the perfect Land Rover Defender models are being built.
Himalaya Land Rover Restoration makes dreams come true
If you’re a classic Land Rover fan, you need to take a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, to check out what the Himalaya Land Rover restoration shop offers. We didn’t skip a beat when we got the chance to take a restored Series 88 Land Rover for a spin.
For Himalaya, it’s not about the destination. It’s about the adventure and the journey. Each build remains respectful of the vehicle’s traditional roots while integrating modern enhancements to improve drivability, comfort, reliability, and performance.
Each build has immense attention to detail and precision to craft a unique vehicle that’s a part of artwork and history. Every model has a story and even gets shipped over from Europe as rusty treasure.
We saw where the vehicles are painted, Cummins diesel engines are placed into classic frames, custom upholstery is hand stitched, modern audio and equipment are wired in, and even where the shop dogs get to chill!
Because what’s an adventure without your dog? Even the MotorBiscuit dog, Bruce, rode in an original 1963 Land Rover Series 2a 88 model.
Driving the restored Land Rover Series 88 was incredible
One of the big things for Himalaya is improving drivability. We got to experience the difference between an original 1963 Land Rover Series 2 88 model and a custom restored model that’s about to go home to a new owner.
The original model, similar to the restored Series 88 in the beginning, features a 2.25-liter inline-four engine and a three-speed manual transmission. It was intimidating to fire up as the engine roared and the transmission made loud grinding noises. At 5’1″, it was difficult to reach the pedals and see over the dash.
The ride was bumpy, but the tractor of an SUV chugged along. We aren’t ashamed to admit that we stalled it about three or four times. With more practice, it could be a fine daily driver. But most of our attention was focused on shifting gears and avoiding hitting something expensive.
It doesn’t have power steering, the gauges were a little hard to read, and if there was a seatbelt, we missed it. Also, we aren’t sure if the radio still worked, but it was impressive to experience its history and long-lasting quality.
But we welcomed ditching it for the totally Land Rover Series 88 model. It has a General Motors V6 engine that’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission (6L80E0). The engine was much quieter but still had a delightful roar as you hit the gas.
We could focus on the road and enjoy the smoother ride and improved handling thanks to suspension upgrades as the salty beach air blew through our hair. Because if you didn’t notice, this truck was turned into a convertible!
The upgraded Brembo breaks were more responsive, the gauges were nice and clear, we could see the seatbelts, and we felt way more confident. It’s the perfect family vehicle for the beach and other adventures. Plus, the attractive shade of Nantucket Blue paint and brown upholstery really made it pop.
We would be lying if we said we weren’t jealous of the truck’s new owner in Hawaii. His family will love their new, unique ride.
Why does the Land Rover Series 88 have updated features?
Each build from Himayala remains true to its heritage with modern advances that align with what the future owners request. Some models keep their patina and most of their original parts.
Others are updated with modern touches, so you don’t miss out on Bluetooth connectivity, built-in navigation units, and even radars to help avoid speeding by cops in a ride that stands out.
But one incredibly important factor that comes with upgrading internal components is the ability to work on the vehicle. It’s much more difficult to service a 2.25 petrol engine from 1963 than a modern GM engine.
The remodeled Land Rover Series 88 has a clean dash, and you wouldn’t expect it to have modern amenities. However, a tiny remote control sits next to the steering wheel that controls the music. The wires and speakers are hidden in the center console.
Also, this Series 88 model is going to Hawaii, where fishing and going to the beach are common activities. The back was redesigned to feature two bench seats with durable wooden flooring to accommodate moisture, sand, and gear.
Greg Shondel, the President of Himalaya, and his team worked to create a modern and unique vehicle that could be even better than the new owner ever hoped for. It’s only one of the amazing projects out of Charleston, South Carolina, and we can’t wait to see more.