Harry Shuster was the CEO of Lion County Safari, an African-themed wilderness park that operated in the Laguna Hills/Irvine area of Southern California from 1970 through 1984. What type of vehicle would you expect such a man to drive around? Why a 1970 Land Rover 109 Series 2A should fit the bill nicely. The Land Rover Series vehicles were the precursor to the more modern(ish) Defender series of vehicles that are more well known. The Series, which encompasses the very beginning of Land Rover in 1948 up through 1985, are denoted by models of either I, II, IIA, or III.
The vehicle shown above is a Series IIA vehicle, which differs from a Series II by way of what lies under its hood. The Series IIA switched to an upgraded 2.25-liter diesel motor instead of the outgoing 2.0-liter. Shuster’s car is a bit different though, as it utilizes a gas-drinking mill that takes the form of a 2.6-liter inline-six.
Besides the ownership history of this particular Landy, what makes it special? Well, it was reportedly featured in tons of movies since it was probably one of very few (if any) floating around the Hollywood area. Shuster’s park could be used to replicate African scenes for tons of projects, and his vehicle would prominently feature into any necessary scenes.
The exterior looks to be in excellent shape, with just the right amount of sun-baked patina. Inside, the cabin looks remarkably clean, and the engine reportedly runs like a top. This is a rare chance to own such a foreign fruit that is both capable and cool as hell. The Buy-It-Now sits well below standard Defender-in-good-shape territory at $18,000. At the time of this writing, there are just two bids with four days of bidding left and the Rover sits at a few ticks over $4,000 with an unmet reserve.
Check it out for yourself here.