Inspired by the US Army’s wartime ‘Jeep’, developed in haste and intended for short-term, small-scale production, the Land Rover would defy its creators’ initial scepticism. Rover bosses the Wilks brothers saw the need for a tough, four-wheel-drive, utility vehicle to serve the needs of the agricultural community in the immediate post-war years, but even so the Land Rover’s runaway success took the company by surprise.
Ruggedly built and simple in construction, the Land Rover proved capable of surviving in countries where conditions were primitive (to say the least), a virtue that helped contribute to its worldwide acceptance. Indeed, it is estimated that two-thirds of all Land Rovers ever produced are still in existence today.
First delivered new in December of 1954, this wonderful early Series 1 Land Rover resided for many years in the Hampshire estate of Burlyns Ball Hill, in the custodianship of a Major Eustace Bonnet. Exhumed after many years stored in barns on the estate, the Series 1 has enjoyed a careful and sympathetic restoration by the current owner, a Land Rover enthusiast. The engine was rebuilt and converted to run on unleaded fuel, and during the rebuild many either new or old stock/OEM parts used wherever possible. Careful not to over restore the Series 1, our vendor had it painted in a satin finish shade of green, and trimmed it with canvas seating.
Supplied with history file and UK V5, this is a well presented example of the early Land Rover, and one which nicely strikes the balance between restoration and preservation.