Overland camping in 4x4s with rooftop tents is all the rage, but the idea actually can be traced back decades. In the 1960s and ’70s, Dormobile pop-tops transformed Land Rovers (and other vehicles, mostly vans) into camping rigs. This 1971 Land Rover Dormobile is a prime example, and it’s for sale right now at Hemmings.com.
This Land Rover is said to be one of 830 built by Martin Walter of Folkstone, England between 1961 and 1975. The heart of the build is the Dormobile fiberglass pop-top. Hinged at the side, it opens to provide increased headroom and upper-level sleeping space for two cots. It also has opening skylights. When closed, it has a relatively low profile for travel. Ahead of the pop-top on this Land Rover is a large luggage rack for extra utility.
Inside, they are two rows of seats, with the front bench seat divided 1/3-2/3. The 2/3 passenger section can be reversed to face the rear seats, and a table — which stores in the tailgate — can be installed between them. The seats can also all fold flat for additional sleeping space. The Land Rover’s rear compartment houses a small closet, a sink basin, and a stove.
This Land Rover was first sold in the UK and is right-hand drive. The original engine has been replaced with a gasoline-powered 4.3-liter GM V6, good for a claimed 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which the seller notes is more than double the output of the original 2.25-liter four. It’s paired with a four-speed manual gearbox with a Fairey overdrive and, of course, four-wheel drive.
Other updates include new shocks and springs, new tires, a new grille, and a front-bumper-mounted Warn winch. Finally, this Dormobile has been resprayed in the new-for-1971 Land Rover color of Bahama Gold.
Located in Mesa, Arizona, this Land Rover is for sale at an asking price of $72,500. You might pay that much for a modern SUV with a rooftop tent, but that would be just following the crowd. This vintage rig stands apart from the herd.