Original Land Rover will be brought back to life by JLR’s restoration department

One of the three original launch cars of the 1948 Land Rover has been discovered, and will be restored this year in celebration of the brand’s 70th anniversary.

The car went missing for a large portion of its history, sitting forgotten in a field in Wales for two decades. A subsequent owner bought it to restore, only for the Land Rover to end up in much the same situation again, just a few miles from where it was first built in Solihull. The car’s previous owners are being invited to the Classic Works facility in Solihull to watch its restoration.

Jaguar Land Rover Classic, JLR’s division in charge of restoring heritage cars, has been responsible for numerous high-profile jobs during its short history and will complete the restoration of this car to a driveable standard. 

The restoration is being carried out in time for Land Rover’s 70th birthday, celebrations of which culminate in the reveal of the next Defender towards the end of the year, ahead of a 2019 sales launch. It will be two years since the previous Defender, which had a production run of 67 years, last rolled off the line

As one of the division’s first projects, the JLR Classic team carried out restorations on Series 1 Land Rovers, with a run of 25 each fetching between £60,000 and £80,000. 

It’s likely that the restoration will pump up the value of the recently discovered car far beyond this. However, as a near-priceless example – with one-of-three status as a 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show car – it won't be sold. 

JLR 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.”

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10 January 2018

I’m sure jlr know what they are doing far better than me. But I hope they are making a lot of money from this, rather than spending their money on developing an xe estate. Although I think I may be the only person left who doesn’t want a cross over of some sort rather than an estate,so I should maybe shut up. 

10 January 2018

Gerry McGovern must be deeply offended by this restoration project. I presume he has banned any images from being shown in his design studio.

10 January 2018

The Centre Steer.

10 January 2018

Engine power perhaps close to 50bhp. - max speed may have been less than 60mph. Making it impractical road vehicle today - but perhaps still slightly usable off the road. 

10 January 2018

JLR have found a classic original Land Rover from 1948 and are going to restore. British jobs will be created and an interesting bit of history will be saved. End of! 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

10 January 2018
Prat.Do us all a favour and just shut up.

10 January 2018

Just get it in tip top mechanical condition and leave the body as is. It's taken decades to gain that amazing patina and I'd rather see every scuff and battle scar preserved rather than the vehicle become a shiny trailer queen.

10 January 2018
Beastie_Boy wrote:

Just get it in tip top mechanical condition and leave the body as is. It's taken decades to gain that amazing patina and I'd rather see every scuff and battle scar preserved rather than the vehicle become a shiny trailer queen.

Totally agree. It looks fabulous. Look at image 4....it is going to be a clone of that one in the background....it is unique also due to its patina....what a shame.

10 January 2018

If it had sat in a field for two decades (or longer) I doubt it would be sat looking as it does for these photos, it would be a pile of aluminium body panels, running gear and dust.

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