Ex-West Sussex Fire Brigade
1958 LAND ROVER 88-INCH UTILITY
Registration No. TUF 999
Chassis No. R111800039
Engine No. 1118000647
Red with black seats, and canvas hood
Engine: four cylinder, overhead inlet, side exhaust valve, 1,997cc; 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 1 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 ensured remarkable longevity, even if its original use was dictated more by Rover's insufficient allocation of steel in the early Post-war era of materials shortages.
This 88-inch Land Rover was first registered on 18th February 1958 with the particularly appropriate Brighton number 'TUF 999', and from new was used by West-Sussex Fire Brigade. It remained in service until 1976, when it passed through a dealer in Petersfield and into private ownership. The car was purchased from this second owner, a friend, in 1984 and has been used for the last two decades as a reliable tow vehicle.
In the owner's custody the fire equipment was removed from the vehicle for practicality of use, the remains of this - some hoses and a frame will be included in the sale. Over the years, it has been carefully maintained, the vendor sensibly removing the bodywork every five years to clean and paint the chassis, with the result that it is in excellent structural condition. It has also had the common replacement of free-wheeling hubs fitted, though the originals remain with the car and could be returned to it if necessary. The external paintwork is very presentable, and has been chosen to be kept in 'Fire Engine Red' livery, so as not to hide its origins. It also retains the desirable feature of a front 'Capstan' winch which is fully operational, as well as the transfer controls for a rear power-take-off, which again could be returned to use.
The Land Rover presents very well for its age and the combination of specification and identifiable robust registration make an attractive package ideal for towing or paddock use.