Car News

Restoration of pre-production 1948 Land Rover begins

The restoration of one of the three pre-production Land Rovers shown at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show has begun…

LAND ROVER IS kicking off its 70th anniversary with the restoration of one of the pre-production Land Rovers that was shown at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show. Lost for years, the vehicle had been parked in a Welsh field for more than 20 years.

Land Rover said, “Following its surprise discovery just a few miles outside of Solihull, UK – where the car was first built – the experts at Jaguar Land Rover Classic spent months researching in company archives to unravel its ownership history and confirm its provenance”.

The team behind Land Rover Series I Reborn will begin the year-long restoration of the pre-production vehicle, enabling it to be driven again.

Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said: “This Land Rover is an irreplaceable piece of world automotive history and is as historically important as ‘Huey’, the first pre-production Land Rover. Beginning its sympathetic restoration here at Classic Works, where we can ensure it’s put back together precisely as it’s meant to be, is a fitting way to start Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year.

“There is something charming about the fact that exactly 70 years ago this vehicle would have been undergoing its final adjustments before being prepared for the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show launch – where the world first saw the shape that’s now immediately recognised as a Land Rover.”

The pre-production Land Rover, there were three, were different to the vehicles that followed via mass production. They had thicker aluminium alloy body panels, a galvanised chassis and a removable rear tub – these elements will be restored. The patina of its components will be preserved, including the original Light Green paint applied in 1948.


Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.