design - Land Rover section


Land Rovers, expedition

 Herbert Zipkin's Expedition Land Rover

Herbert Zipkin's 1959 Series II Land Rover 109 station wagon was modified as a long distance cinematography expedition vehicle and was used on two half year long photo expeditions.  The first took place in 1959 and 1960. The route was from The UK through France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Eritera, Abyssania, Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Ruanda, Belgian Congo, Basutoland, Zululand, Union of South Africa to cape Town.   the second six month expedition took place in 1961 and 1962.  The route started in Holland and proceeded through Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand, Malaya, Hong Kong and finished in Japan.  During his trips, Herbert shot over 15,000 feet of movie film.

I met Herbert in 1998  at a Land Rover gathering in New York where we gave each other a tour of our Land Rovers. We each picked up a few ideas from the other's Land Rover that we said we would like to add to ours.  This page is a tribute to Herbert Zipkin and his well built 1959 109 Land Rover station wagon.  The black and white pictures are copyright by Herbert Zipkin used with his permision.  The colour pictures are mine. Field and Stream magazine did an article on Herbert Zipkin's Land Rover in 1964.  Herbert gave me a reprint which is attached as an Adobe Acrobat file.

Herbert Zipkin posing with his Land Rover. The man and his machine.


Herbert Zipkin with his camera set up for roof top cinematography.


The front jerry can mounts holds a little over 20 gallons of petrol.  The wing top pods  for the turn signals were a Land Rover item that was sold with their front jerry can mount kits.   Under the jerry cans on each side is a fog lamp protected in a cage.


Here's a picture of the front from a low angle showing the fog lamp cage and winch. Notice that the external sun visor has been modified to be out of the way from someone filming from the passenger seat. 


Here is a side view. The front wing has a list of countries visited and the map on the front door shows the routes.


Herbert posing beside his Land Rover.


According to Herbert the big horns on the roof were there to get animals off the roads and out of the way.  Those two roof lights are actually spotlights that can be aimed from inside the vehicle.


The air deflector at the back of the roof rack sent air downwards along the back door area to keep the dust off the rear window and more importantly from forcing itself through the rear door seals and creating a layer of dust inside.   According to Herbert it made all the difference about how dusty the inside got.  Note that Herb carried 2 spare tyres (one on the rear door and one on the bonnet) and stored tyre chains on the spares.


The top two red containers are for drinking water. Note that the left rear toolbox has an outside door for access.


Herb has ladders mounted on each side. They can be assembled together for a longer ladder or  according to Herb, used as sand ladders. He frequently traveled with the front side door tops removed so he built storage brackets to fit them to the body just outside the rear side windows.

This is a close up of the upper ladder brackets.


Here's a close up of one of the door top mounting brackets.


These rubber bumpers appear to be from the seat back rest and are used to keep the door tops stable and from hitting against the body.


A tripod and large first aid kit were fitted to the inside of the rear door for quick access.


Here is the inside from the rear door. The seating is for 3 people, two up front and one at the right second row.  The sink is in the low cabinet opposite the rear side sat by the left rear side door.   The bunks hang from the ceiling.  The gray tubes at the top corners are the bunks in their stowed position.


Here's a view from the driver's seat looking back. The side seat converts to a short bed. That map storage cabinet across the top back over the rear door is where I got the idea for my tea cabinet in the same location.


Herbert Zipkin and his Land Rover

Herbert and his Land Rover at the 1998 Greek Peak New York Land Rover meet.
photo by Michael Glass


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