Land Rover celebrates 70th anniversary with restoration of original launch vehicle
2018 marks the 70th anniversary of Land Rover. The company plans to celebrate it with a series of events and celebrations over the year. In the first of these events, it plans to start the restoration of one of the three pre-production Land Rovers shown at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show launch.
The pre-production Land Rover led to the production of the Series I. This particular vehicle was last on the road in the 1960s, after which it spent 20 years in a Welsh field. It was then purchased as a restoration project. But, the restoration work never began and it lay languishing in a garden.
The Land Rover, whose whereabouts were unknown, was discovered just a few miles outside Solihull, UK - where it was originally built. Jaguar Land Rover Classic, which restores limited edition classic cars made by the company, researched archives to unravel the carís ownership history.
The restoration work, which will be undertaken by the team behind the Land Rover Series I Reborn programme, will take a year. This team restores original Series Is, selected from all over the world. Each of the restored cars comes with a 12-month warranty.
Jaguar Land Rover claims that the vehicle has a lot of features that are unique to the 48 pre-production Land Rovers, such as thicker aluminium alloy body panels, a galvanised chassis and a removable rear tub. The car will retain the original light green paint applied in 1948 and other components.
Jaguar Land Rover plans to invite the previous owners of the vehicle to share their experiences and to witness its restoration.
Timeline of the original 1948 Land Rover:
1948 - Built with LHD and listed as experimental on the logbook and record of sale
1948 - Upgraded with new production parts by Engine Department, converted to current RHD setup
1955 - First registered on 25 June 1955 with registration SNX 910
1961 - Sold to a new owner in Handsworth
1965 - Moved to Sutton Coldfield
1967 - Moved to Stratford-Upon-Avon
1968 - Moved to Alvechurch, Worcestershire
1968 - Used in Wales as a static power source
1988 - Engine seized Ė was sold to a new owner in Birmingham, UK
2016 - Spotted in a garden, destined for a restoration which never began
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