1956 Land Rover Series I 4x4 Military Vehicle Registration no. HVS 447 Chassis no. 111605459
Built as part of a military contract placed in July 1956, this Land Rover's military registration was '84 BR 09'. It began service with the 1st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, 19th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division in operation 'Musketeer' (Suez) on 10th November 1956. The operational name for Suez was changed at the last minute from Hamilcar to Musketeer, hence the 'H' painted on the doors (there was not enough time to change the vehicles' markings before the operation began). The 1st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment was the last unit to leave Suez on 22nd December 1956 after handing over control to the United Nations.
The 1st Battalion, along with their vehicles, arrived back at Southampton docks on 2nd January 1957 and returned to their barracks in Colchester. The regiment amalgamated with the 1st Battalion, Prince of Wales' Own Yorkshire Regiment and was based in Dover from 25th April 1958. The 19th Infantry, along with their vehicles, were sent to Cyprus in July 1958 and then to Kenya from July to September 1961.
'84 BR 09' was disposed of through a military surplus sale in 1968. Issued with the civilian registration 'HVS 447', it was bought by a farmer from Knapton, Yorkshire who ran it as a farm vehicle for six years before retiring it to a barn. There it sat for 14 years until it was discovered in 1988 by John Banham, who negotiated its purchase and undertook light restoration.
The current vendor purchased the Land Rover from John Banham in 2004 but sold it on in 2005 to an ex-Suez veteran, Edwin Robinson, on condition that he would receive 'first refusal' should Mr Robinson ever chose to sell it. The vendor was able to repurchase 'HVS 447' in 2015.
This particular vehicle is very well known within Series Land Rover circles having participated in countless shows and road rallies and been featured in numerous magazine articles. It has also been the subject of a military Land Rover feature in James Taylor's book 'Original Land Rover Series I' and been made into a model by Oxford Diecast.