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.
Originally an RAF vehicle, this Series I Land Rover was sold into private ownership in 1959 and subsequently restored by apprentices at a Rolls-Royce dealership. The present owners purchased 'NGV 616' from Rolls-Royce/Bentley specialist Harvey Wash of Kelvedon, Essex in 2006. Restored by marque specialist Paul Vince soon after acquisition, the vehicle is described as in generally good condition and offered with old-style logbook, current road fund licence, recently expired MoT (22nd September 2012) and Swansea V5C document.