The May Sale 2017

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1949 Land Rover Series I

Lot No.: 323

Registration: JAO 327
Chassis Number: R8665230
Engine Number: 151102885
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 2.25
Year of Manufacture: 1949
Sold for (£): 12,375

In the early 1940s, Maurice Wilks, Rover’s Chief Designer and brother of the company’s Managing Director, Spencer owned a beaten-up Willys Jeep which he used on his farm in Anglesey. When faced with having to replace it, he embarked on designing his own off-road utility vehicle. The “Rover for the Land” was born. Launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948, who could have predicted that production would have carried on well into the next century. An instant success, within months, order books were overflowing. This iconic off-roader must be one of the most recognised vehicles on the planet, having been adopted by Police Forces, construction companies, farmers and Armed Services around the World. By the early 1950s, Land Rovers were outselling Rovers other vehicles by a factor of 2 to 1. This 1949 Series I 80 inch, 'lights behind the grille' model is fitted with Land Rover’s 2.25-litre petrol engine, making it more usable than the original 1.6-litre unit, which also had a habit of overheating. JAO 327 also benefits from the later, less recalcitrant gearbox. The chassis and bulkhead appear to be in good order and the interior is fitted with the correct seats, dash panel and door tops. This old “Landy” has had only two previous keepers in 68 years. Although the car runs, drives and stops, this ever-popular off-roader is unquestionably ripe for restoration.