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Land Rover 70th Anniversary Restoration of ‘Missing’ Original 4x4

Posted in News on January 10, 2018
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2018 is Land Rover’s 70th year in business, and they’re celebrating by revealing a one-of-a-kind restoration project. Recently one of three original Land Rover pre-production vehicles, showcased at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show, was discovered after being missing for the last 63 years. An expert team of specialists at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, England, will restore the world’s most historically significant unrestored Land Rover this year.

The whereabouts of this particular pre-production Land Rover have been a mystery for over half a century. Records indicate that it saw its last days on the road in the 1960s before spending 20 years sitting in a Welsh field. It was then bought as a restoration project, but soon ended up sitting idle in someone’s yard yet again. It was recently discovered a few miles outside of the town where it was originally built, Solihull, UK. The Jaguar Land Rover Classic team spent a good part of a year digging through company archives to confirm the origin of the rare pre-production Rover.

Land Rover released a statement saying, “The team behind the successful Land Rover Series I Reborn programme, which allows customers to own a slice of Land Rover history with meticulously restored Series Is, will now embark on their most challenging project yet: a year-long mission to preserve this historically significant prototype and enable it to be driven again.”

Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director Tim Hannig also noted, “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 dedicated restoration process will be used to restore the launch vehicle, paying close attention to its special features unique to the 48 pre-production Land Rovers. These unique features include thicker aluminium alloy body panels, a galvanised chassis, and a removable rear tub. The 1948 Light Green original paint will be preserved as well, so the vehicle retains a truly complete original look. This project is the first in a series of stories and events Land Rover is producing in 2018 to celebrate their past, present, and future.

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