1954 Land Rover Series I Registration no. 613 XUH Chassis no. 47102443 Engine no. KO337/30/20
Inspired by the US Army's wartime 'Jeep', developed in haste and intended for short-term, small-scale production, the Land Rover would defy its creators' initial scepticism. Rover bosses the Wilks brothers saw the need for a tough, four-wheel-drive, utility vehicle to serve the needs of the agricultural community in the immediate post-war years, but the Land Rover's runaway success took the company by surprise. The necessity of using corrosion resistant aluminium panels at a time of severe steel shortage turned into a positive virtue in the Land Rover's sphere of operations, and the use of existing components - including the P3 saloon's 1,595cc, four-cylinder, sidevalve engine - kept production costs down and cut development time. Built between 1949 and 1958, the Series I Land Rover was available in no fewer than five different wheelbase lengths ranging from 80" to 109". The original 1.6-litre petrol engine was soon superseded by a 2.0-litre unit (in 1952) and the company set about developing its own diesel, which was first offered in 1956. In the course of more than 60 years in production the supremely versatile Land Rover has proved itself adaptable to innumerable civilian and military roles. Finished in green, this Series I Land Rover has the 2,286cc petrol engine first introduced in 1958. The vehicle was bought at auction in July 2008, and whilst in the collection benefited from new front seats and canvas soft top. Recently serviced and running well this Series I comes with the purchase invoice, ten expired MoT certificates, old-style Swansea V5 registration document, Swansea V5C (part), current road fund licence and MoT to March 2012.