To celebrate its 70th Anniversary, Land Rover will be holding a series of events throughout 2018/ Starting off the party will be the beginning of the restoration of the Land Rover that began their story of 4×4 production – one of the three pre-production Land Rover vehicles put on show at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948. This was the World’s first preview of the shape that would become known as a Land Rover.
The whereabouts of this lost Land Rover has been a mystery for a long time. It was last seen in the 1960s on the road; the demonstration vehicle then spent 20 years in a field in Wales before being purchased as a project for restoration; although it then unfortunately lay unfinished in a garden for several more years. Found just a few miles where the car was first built outside of Solihull, the experts from Jaguar Land Rover Classic spent months checking out the company archives to ensure its ownership history and confirm its provenance.
Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, Tim Hannig, said: “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.
“There is something charming about the fact that exactly 70 years ago this vehicle would have been undergoing its final adjustments before being prepared for the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show launch – where the world first saw the shape that’s now immediately recognised as a Land Rover.”
A detailed process to bring the launch vehicle back to its former glory will be carried out by the Jaguar Land Rover Classic team. Restoration will include a lot of special features that are unique to the 48 pre-production Land Rovers that were produced prior to the mass production vehicles, such as thicker aluminium alloy body panels, a galvanised chassis and a removable rear tub. The original finish of its components will be preserved, including the original Light Green paint applied in 1948.
The team responsible for the successful Land Rover Series I Reborn programme will start this challenging project to preserve this historically significant prototype vehicle to ensure it to be driven once again. They estimate the restoration of this vehicle may take up to a year!