Land Rover kicks off 70th with 1948 prototype restoration

With 2018 being the 70th anniversary of Land Rover, the folks at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works have managed to get their mitts on an original 1948 prototype.

The prototype is one of three originally built in 1948, which were first shown at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show. Being pre-production, and of that age, you can only imagine at the condition of the ‘old darling’. It was originally built with thicker aluminium panel work, a removable rear tub and fully galvanised chassis. 

Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, 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.”

This particular Land Rover was last driven in the 60’s and had been quietly falling to pieces in a field in wales before being bought to be restored. After that original failed restoration project, it was then rescued from a garden in Solihull in the UK, not far from where it was originally built.

It is not in the hands of the Series 1 Reborn Program, (a division of Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works) who will be in charge of the year-long rebuild from the ground up of this piece of Land Rover history. From what we know thus far, the plan is to preserve the some-what ‘weathered appearance’, however have everything working as it did when it was new.

Previous owners of this historic and unique Land Rover are being invited to Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works facility to share their experiences with the vehicle, and also to watch its painstaking ground up restoration over the next 12 months. 

You can keep up to date with the restoration of the 1948 prototype on Land Rover’s Instagram page here.


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