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Land Rover to mark anniversary with restoration of launch vehicle

Date: 10 January 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Land Rover is beginning its 70th anniversary year with a project to restore a car that dates right back to the start of the company's history.

The car is one of three pre-production Land Rovers shown at the car's launch at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.

It had been missing for the past 63 years, before being discovered just a few miles outside Solihull, where it was built.

Having last been on the road in the 1960s, it spent 20 years in a field in Wales before being bought as a restoration project, and was found languishing unfinished in a garden.

Following the car's discovery, Jaguar Land Rover Classic experts spent months digging through company archives to unravel its ownership history and confirm its provenance.

The team behind the Land Rover Series I Reborn programme will now embark on a year-long project to restore the vehicle and get it back on the road.

The car has special features unique to pre-production Land Rovers, such as thicker aluminium alloy body panels, a galvanised chassis and a removable rear tub.

The patina of its components will be preserved, including the original Light Green paint applied in 1948.

Jaguar Land Rover Classic director Tim Hannig 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."