As Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year kicks off, the company has revealed a special project. The company has found and acquired one of the three original Series One pre-production models that was shown on the Rover display at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show. Land Rover Classic Works, the company’s in-house restoration division, plans to fully restore the model to its original glory.
This particular example is part of a run of 48 pre-production models that included several unique features that distinguish them from regular production versions, such as a galvanized chassis, removable rear tub, and thicker aluminum body panels. Land Rover plans to restore the truck mechanically while retaining its patina, including retaining the original Light Green paint, sprayed in 1948, wherever possible.
As Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, stated, “This Land Rover is an irreplaceable piece of world automotive history and is as historically important as ‘Huey’, the first pre-production Land Rover. Beginning its sympathetic restoration here at Classic Works, where we can ensure it’s put back together precisely as it’s meant to be, is a fitting way to start Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year.”
After its duties as a motor show model, the Series One was used internally for several years. It wasn’t until 1955 that it was first registered for the road, after being converted from left-hand to right-hand drive. It was sold on several times throughout the 1960s before it went to Wales to be used as a power generator in stationary form. In 1988, with a seized engine, it was sold to a resident of Birmingham, not far from Solihull where it was originally built.
Land Rover discovered the vehicle in 2016 and acquired it with plans to complete the restoration in-house, holding back the details of this project for the 70th anniversary year. The restoration process will be documented on Land Rover’s Instagram feed.