1949 LAND-ROVER FOUR WHEEL DRIVE UTILITY
Registration No. PV 9208
Chassis No. 862216
Engine No. 861696
Sage green with green seats, and canvas hood
Engine: four cylinder, overhead inlet, side exhaust valve, 1,595cc, 55bhp; Gearbox: four speed with two speed transfer box; Brakes: four-wheel hydraulic; Suspension; semi-elliptic leaf spring. Right hand drive.
'The World's most versatile vehicle' first saw the light of day in 1948 and was envisaged by the Wilks family, which controlled traditional car maker Rover, as an agricultural vehicle. However, it soon found hundreds of other roles and in 1949/50 when eight thousand were made, it actually outsold Rover's cars. Using the robust Rover 60 engine on an immensely strong chassis designed by Olaf Poppe, the feature that really set it apart from the wartime jeep on which it was based was the use of all alloy bodywork. This has ensured remarkable longetivity, even if its original use was dictated more by Rover's insufficient allocation of steel in the early postwar era of materials shortages.
First registered on 15th February 1949 with the Ipswich registration PV 9208, this very early production 80 inch wheelbase Land Rover has remained in the county of Suffolk all of its life. In covered storage from 1962, it was discovered by an enthusiast in 1996 and although old in appearance, it remarkably had only minor surface corrosion to the chassis and bulkhead (the usual areas of weakness), and as such was an excellent basis for restoration.
With the aim of preparing the car for the Fiftieth anniversary events for Land Rovers last year, a complete and thorough rebuild was undertaken. With bills for work totalling over 7,000 the result is a superb example that is perhaps better than when the car originally left the factory new. More importantly it is correct in virtually every specific detail, by which these early cars are distinguishable, and its total mileage is thought to be under 30,000.
The car was finished in mid-1998 and proving its durability joined a number of other early Series 1's on a Tour to Switzerland and back, as part of the marque's 50th anniversary celebrations. Offered for sale in its own fiftieth year, the Land Rover is sold with a detailed history file including its original log book and all invoices for the work carried out, it also has current MoT and road tax.
In the first few months of production, the '80' evolved in many ways, it was also practical to update and improve a working vehicle during its ownership, there are therefore very few cars remaining that are in their original configuration. This car with its known history and exacting restoration represents a benchmark vehicle that would make a very suitable museum exhibit or club concours contender.