June 22, 2018

Former Army Ambulance in Line for Restoration

A former army ambulance that served in Belfast is set to undergo an ambitious restoration project, thanks to one young Cumbrian enthusiast. 

Yves Leather, from Crosthwaite near Kendal, is aiming to restore the 1971 Land Rover Series 2a Ambulance to its former glory.

Mr Leather, 21, is hoping to help pay for some of the project by using a crowdsourcing website to drum up funds.

The aim of the restoration is to restore the Land Rover to factory standards, so it can be exhibited at heritage vehicle shows across the UK. 

One-Year Tour

Mr Leather is using the project as his unique way of keeping alive his family’s history in the military. 

He said: "Members of my family were involved in the armed forces and they all had their own unique story.

"I'm not involved in the forces so I thought I would try to add to that family history by restoring a military vehicle.”

Mr Leather found the former armed forces vehicle in Hull and bought it for £1,600 with the hope of returning it to its former glory.

The classic Land Rover undertook a one-year tour in Northern Ireland, where it sustained significant damage, before being shipped back to England. 

After its return, the vehicle was used by the army for training purposes before being decommissioned and sold off in 1998. 

Interesting Project

On describing the vehicle, Mr Leather said: "It was pretty much rotten when I bought it. It didn't have the wheels, the engine wasn't working and it was missing doors. 

"I don't have an engineering background but I thought it would be an interesting project.

"It has been difficult but there's a wealth of knowledge in South Lakeland and around Kendal. A lot of people with classic cars or Land Rovers have offered help and this wouldn't be possible without them."

"I'm restoring a part of history. This ambulance is quite rare because there aren't many of them left."

Once the restorations are finished, Mr Leather intents to sell the vehicle, and donate half of the proceeds to the RAF Benevolent Fund and other armed forces charities.