GRR

Land Rover to kick off 70th celebrations by restoring a motorshow legend

10th January 2018
Bob Murray

Land Rover kicks off its 70th anniversary year today (January 10th) by welcoming back to Solihull one of its first-born – an actual launch car from the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show. The company says the recently discovered pre-production model is the world’s most historically significant unrestored Land Rover. 

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And it certainly looks it. Seventy years have not been kind to this former motor show hero, one of three models that introduced the world to Land Rover in Amsterdam in 1948. It was last on the roads in the 1960s, but then languished unloved for decades. Land Rover’s Reborn experts pieced together its past and tracked it down – ironically to a garden just a few miles outside Solihull.

Now as part of the 70th-anniversary celebrations it’s going to get the full Reborn treatment – a year-long restoration to get it back in full working order so it can take its place next to ‘Huey’, pre-production Land Rover number one, in Land Rover’s heritage fleet.

“Ensuring it’s put back together precisely as it’s meant to be is a fitting way to start Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year,” said Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director. “This Land Rover is an irreplaceable piece of world automotive history.”

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After it was brought back from Amsterdam, this Series 1 was converted to right-drive and registered in the UK in 1955 as SNX 910. It appears it spent all its life in Wales and the Midlands.

As one of the 48 pre-production “experimental” Land Rovers made prior to mass production starting, it was fitted with thicker aluminium body panels, a galvanised chassis and a removable rear tub. Land Rover says its patina, and original light green paint will be preserved.

That seems the right fate for one so central to the Land Rover story. Britain’s first rugged, go-anywhere 4x4 didn’t just lead to production versions that lasted for 67 years, and the last Defender, but also to all the other models for which Land Rover is now known. 

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