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.
This Series I on the 86" wheelbase chassis has the 1,997cc petrol engine introduced in 1952 and was first registered in Southampton. The vehicle was in the preceding owner's possession for some 18 years, from circa 1993 to 2011/12, and has been well maintained throughout its life, including a re-spray, without being subjected to a formal restoration. It still has the brackets at the top of the windscreen, which clamp onto the bonnet catches when the windscreen is folded down flat for those warm summer days.
Previous-owner documentation on file details a comprehensive engine rebuild that included fitting an aluminium cylinder head and SU carburettor from a Rover 60 saloon. The carburettor had a full service kit fitted at this point. (The original carburettor and cast iron cylinder head and will be available to the purchaser). Other noteworthy features include a Fairey overdrive; MAP freewheeling hubs; new Auto Sparks wiring loom; period indicator switch; period towing pin; genuine 'pork pie' rear lights; Smiths heater with de-mister; and a new fuel tank. Described by the current vendor as in generally excellent mechanical condition, with good chassis, bodywork and paint, the vehicle is offered with a V5C registration document.