The term “Series One” was never used before 1958, when Rover introduced their redesigned Land rover and called it a Series II. All these models that had been built in the previous ten years thereby automatically become Series One types, a name that was fostered and actively used by Rover themselves.
One result of this was that there were several different Series One models, as the term now embraced the multiple evolutions of the original design. All of them are known today by their wheelbase sizes; 80-inch, 86-nch, 88-inch, 107-inch and the 109-inch.
Volume production of the 80-inch Land Rover began in June 1948, but before that there had been a batch of 48 pilot-production types that were mostly used to develop the design. Two pilot-production examples (Land Rover has suggested there were three) introduced the new model at the Amsterdam Show at the end of April: the one on the stand was equipped as a welder and the other was in standard trim and was used as a demonstrator.
Rover had initially imagined that the Land Rover would keep their factories busy until trading conditions returned to something like normality, and were taken by surprise by the demand for their new product. By the end of 1948, it was clear that this was not going to be a “stop-gap” product, and demand continued to outstrip production, soon relegating Rover cars to a position of secondary importance in the company’s portfolio although it would be many years before the Rover management would come to terms with this fundamental change.
Pre-Production 80-Inch (1948)
The Land Rover kicked off in earnest some time in autumn 1947, as Solihull’s engineers started the basic design work. Their aim was to get the vehicle ready for production in the shortest possible time. The plan was to telescope the development period by building a large number of prototypes – far more then the half-dozen or so that was then the Rover norm – so that different aspects of the vehicle could be developed in parallel rather then in sequence.
Actual construction of those prototypes, which are now always known as the pre-production models, probably began right at the start of 1948 and a total of 48 were completed between January to August that year.
There were inevitably several differences among the pre-production models. Some had Right Hand Drive and some had Left Hand Drive, and some were converted from one to the other.
The design evolved and some elements changed during the first months of 1948, but Rover pressed ahead with all the possible speed and started assembly of production models in June. Pre-production models had meanwhile been used to introduce the new Land Rover at various d=shows, beginning with the Amsterdam Motor Show at the end of April....
This outstanding totally nut and bolt restored 1953 (last year of production) original 80 inch wheelbase Land Rover Series One is in outstanding condition throughout. Restored three years ago and only covered 315 miles since.
Originally UK supplied example is an unusual aluminium bulkhead vehicle. From the Land Rover history books it mentioned that the press tool broke at Fisher and Ludlow in Castle Bromwich where the steel bulkheads was made, to keep production going at Solihull a new fabricated version was manufactured in a short turnaround , making them an unusual and collectable model.
Sold new through Crabtree and Nicholl of Sheffield, the car still carries its original registration number.
The car was discovered in the 1980’s in the Doncaster region by enthusiast of the early 80 inch wheelbase. The previous owner has owned the car since November 1978.
The recent restoration was carried out by the world renown John Taylor for his collection, but owning to changing the collection around has decided to part with the car.
The 2 litre Land Rover series one late cars are very desirable and this would make an ideal collectors item