1957 Land Rover Series 1 88" Four Wheel Drive Utility
Chassis no. 114703579
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 skepticism. 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 aluminum 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, side-valve engine - kept production costs down and cut development time. Ruggedly built and simple in construction, the Land Rover proved capable of surviving in countries where conditions were primitive to say the least, a virtue that helped contribute to its worldwide acceptance. Indeed, it is estimated that two-thirds of all Land Rovers ever produced are still in existence today.
From its debut in 1948, the theme was progressively developed, all manner of body styles followed, from power take-offs for running farm machinery to 'caterpillar' track conversions, whatever the task at hand it was almost certainly something that a Land Rover could be used for or adapted to be used for. As more demand was placed on the vehicles, engine sizes grew from 1.6 to 2 liters and the initial short wheelbase of 80 inches was stretched first by 6" and then in 1956 by a 2" more to preempt the introduction of their diesel engine. It is the wheelbase by which the cognoscenti refer to these highly collectible utility vehicles, this therefore being an 'Eighty-eight'.
With any icon, there is nothing more pleasing than to find one that is in the same condition, or perhaps better than when it would have left the factory, it adds to the whole nostalgia of owning such a machine. This is one of those automobiles and decodes as an original left hand drive export model on the transitional 88 inch wheelbase.
Its restoration was commissioned by the late former owner, and undertaken by British Auto Repair over the course of the last two years. Presented in light Bronze Green hue, with fawn seats, the car is equipped with firewall vents (arguably the British version of air-conditioning), and has a complete top/top bows.