1957 Land Rover Series I V8 Registration no. 101 XUT Chassis no. 116800188
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.
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. Progressively developed since its launch in 1948 and modified to serve countless specialist requirements, the ubiquitous Land Rover looks set to continue well into the 21st Century.
The private vendor advises us that this Series I on the 88" wheelbase was purchased by him as an unfinished project in 2003. The vehicle was subsequently rebuilt around a new Radford bulkhead to accommodate a Rover 3.5-litre V8 engine, Series IIA gearbox and Series III axles. Other works carried out include shot-blasting and repairing the chassis, re-coring the radiator, re-spraying the body, and fitting a new fuel tank, wiring loom, alternator, brakes and clutch. Completed in 2007 and described as in generally good condition, this comprehensively up-rated Land Rover Series I is offered with current road fund licence, MoT to July 2013 and Swansea V5 registration document.