1954 Land Rover Series I Fire Tender Registration no. OYV 268 Chassis no. 47102371
This 86"-wheelbase Series 1 Land Rover is one of only 47 built as a fire tender for the Ministry of Supply; this was prior to the outsourcing of such conversions, and 'OYV 268' is one of the last built in-house at the Solihull factory. The vehicle is fitted with the 2.0-litre petrol engine, PTO overdrive gearbox and standard road transmission. It is believed to have been at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston from 1954 to around 1970, taking part in regular practice convoys and acting as site fire tender. The vehicle was sold into private ownership in 1971 and used as a gate guardian for White Horse Motors, then purchased by magazine correspondent David Bowyer, founder of the Series 1 Club and a leading light of the UK 'off road' movement. 'OYV 268' was in dire need of restoration when purchased in 1989 by the previous owner, who is the founder of the Series 2 Club and a regular columnist for Land Rover World, Land Rover Owner and now Land Rover Monthly. Accordingly, it was stripped to the bare chassis, fully rebuilt and fitted with a Land Rover factory-reconditioned engine and a gearbox that was in good order. Following its 18-month rebuild, the vehicle was used infrequently for shows and a wedding, spending most of the time in storage. Since 1993 it has been on loan to the BMIHT Museum at Gaydon and displayed next to the Queen's saluting vehicle for many years. 'OYV 268' has featured extensively in the magazine press and in Club publications, and is depicted on a set of classic car cards. It is sold complete with a beautiful brass/copper standpipe, set of pressure hoses and jets, original first aid hose (stamped '6/54'), original brass registration number identifier for the key fob, and the original basket suction strainer. Sensible modifications include the fitting of flashing indicators and the discrete provision of seat belt mounts. The original log book, BMIHT chassis certificate, Gaydon correspondence, restoration invoices, Swansea V5 document, current MoT and copies of various magazine features come with the vehicle, while the cab is not fitted but available for later collection by arrangement. 'OYV 268' is sold only with extreme reluctance and represents a rare opportunity to acquire a charming, characterful variant of the perennially popular Land Rover.