1951 Land Rover Series 1 - 3
Year of manufacture1951
1951 Land Rover Series 1 4x4 'Reborn'
Chassis no. 16133267
An original left-hand drive export model, the quite exceptional Series 1 Land Rover offered here has been rebuilt to the highest standards possible by Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works, the factory's own special department dedicated to preserving the two companies' glorious past. The 'Land Rover Reborn' programme had been announced in 2017 and would involve the meticulous restoration of 25 hand-picked examples of the iconic original Series 1 models from around the world.
Number '20' of the 25 made in the 'Reborn' programme, this example is the only one built to North American specification and one of only 10 with left-hand drive. Notable features include headlights behind the grille and indicators in the front wings. This Land Rover was especially ordered as a display model for the JLR Classic showroom in North America, which failed to materialise due to cost cutting. The showroom eventually opened in Düsseldorf.
The project commenced in February 2018 when this Land Rover - a short-chassis (80") model - arrived at Classic Works' Coventry facility where it underwent a detailed authenticity assessment and close examination of its condition. The vehicle was photographed, and any unique details documented so they could be replicated upon re-assembly. It was then totally stripped down until only the bulkhead and chassis were left.
The chassis and bulkhead were then blast-cleaned and any corroded metal cut out and replaced with uniquely manufactured sections. A primer coat was then applied to protect the chassis and bulkhead against corrosion. The body panels underwent refurbishment using specialist techniques, drawings, patterns and processes that would have been used in their original manufacture.
All service wearing parts such as bearings, bushes and seals were replaced as a matter of course together with parts such as rubber body seals, bulbs, tyres, exhaust system, and electrical harness. Every effort was made to reuse as many original parts as possible so as to achieve the maximum authentic content. Where an original part was not good enough to reuse, every effort was made to source an original used part in excellent condition. If nothing suitable could be found, Classic Works remanufactured the part or sourced an after-market replacement.
Following cleaning and etch priming, the body panels were treated to multiple coats of paint, with over-spray applied to the underside of the bonnet and the rear body panels to ensure authenticity. The painted body panels were then low-bake cured before being polished once dry.
The engine was stripped and cleaned before being thoroughly measured and inspected to assess its condition, and to decide whether or not the major components were serviceable. The cylinder block was acid-dipped and repainted prior to re-assembly. As a matter of course many components were renewed including the pistons; valves, seats, guides and springs; all bearings; oil pump, timing chains and tensioners; plus gaskets, studs and core plugs. Critical components were dynamically balanced prior to re-assembly. The blueprinted engine was refinished with all components repainted in their original colours. It was then run on a test-bed for several hours prior to installation.
The vehicle was re-inspected following the engine installation and shakedown mileage, after which the engine oil and filter was changed as a matter of course. Final assembly involved installing the repainted body panels. This was the longest part of the process and extra care was taken to ensure the highest standard of build. Protective covers were then fitted over the various body panels and trim parts as necessary. To maintain the uniqueness of the vehicle, the details documented during its strip-down were referenced during the assembly process. Safety-critical fixings were replaced and torque values controlled, with close attention paid to accurate parts fit and alignment.
A pre-shakedown audit was carried out to ensure the owner's personal requirements had been addressed and the individuality of the vehicle maintained. Paint protection was then applied before testing the vehicle on a variety of road surfaces at Jaguar Land Rover's Experience Centre at Solihull, West Midlands. Following this shakedown, the Land Rover was re-inspected and a final audit completed. The engine oil and filters were changed in preparation for hand-over to the customer, which was made in September 2019.
In short: what we have here is a highly collectible Series 1 Land Rover, expertly rebuilt to the highest standard possible by its original manufacturer and presented in immaculate condition throughout having seen little use since completion.