1949 Land Rover Series One 80" Military Registration no. 954 HBM Chassis no. 06103074 Engine no. 867146
Built on 16th September 1949, this very rare early military Land Rover formed part of the first batch supplied to the War Office under contract '6/VEH/3659' and was registered '09 BC 17' on 9th November 1949. The standard military 80" model was almost identical to the civilian version, but with a few notable differences: the chassis did not carry the multi-holed agricultural towing plate or 'farm plate' on the rear cross member, and most examples featured seating for seven together with special rear grab handles and a military towing hook. Divided-rim wheels were usual, as was a fire extinguisher mounted in the passenger compartment. This example is remarkable in that it is in largely unmolested condition, appearing pretty much as it would have done in 1962 when released from the MoD. Most of its genuine and original military features as detailed above are retained as well as many military markings. The Land Rover also retains its 1,595cc engine and correct 'ring-pull' gearbox, while the chassis is the correct early 'fish-plate' type. Its original starting handle and some original tools are present, while a full compliment of wet weather gear, including full hood and side screens, comes with the vehicle. The original yellow 'Bridge Plate' remains on the front wing, as does the Army registration plate, over which the civilian one has been fixed. Surviving insignia on the tailgate shows a partial 'Pegasus', which suggests 16th Airborne Division (TA) until 1956 or 44th Independent Airborne Brigade (TA) from 1956 onwards. The exact unit is not known, as no unit markings have yet been uncovered. Released in April 1962 at the Ruddington dispersal sales, the Land Rover was registered '954 HBM' and sold to farmer, Betty Louise Robinson of Luton. '954 HBM' remained in her ownership for 20 years before being sold to another lady owner, Janet Louise Martin, also of Luton, at which time a recorded mileage of just 27,293 is noted. Three owners later, in 1995, the engine was rebuilt by specialists, Russ Taylor Engineering with machining work undertaken by Clifford Cox Engineering. Garaged and used daily in its current ownership, the Land Rover is said to run and drive beautifully, with an excellent engine and gearbox, notably good brakes and a sound chassis. Accompanying paperwork includes a Heritage Certificate; original civilian buff logbook; a large quantity of invoices including those for the engine rebuild; Ministry of Supply handbook; Swansea V5C registration document and assorted correspondence from military historian John Mastrangelo. '954 HBM' is MoT'd to March 2010 and taxed as an Historic vehicle.