The British automaker is preparing for a major milestone this year – seven decades of existence – and is naturally preparing diligently with a raft of events and celebrations, all of them topped by the eagerly-awaited introduction of the brand-new 2019 Defender.
For classic aficionados the most important feat of the year from the company might come from the restoration department – as one of the most historically significant unrestored Land Rovers will be revisited and given a new lease of life. We’re dealing with one of three pre-production Series I models, believed lost, and first seen during the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show introduction – but believed until recently to have been lost in the mist of history. The prototypes were the epitome of the Land Rover iconic shape, and naturally act as legends among the enthusiast community.
Interestingly, for decades this example had been lost – last seen on the road in the 1960s, it decayed for two decades in a Welsh field, before the engine died and it was purchased by a new owner as a restoration project. It was then left for years in close proximity to the Land Rover factory in Solihull – and after discovery it has been extensively verified, now believed to be the most historically significant unrestored Land Rover ever. It’s going to be nurtured back to life by the successful Land Rover Series I Reborn program: “This Land Rover is an irreplaceable piece of world automotive history, and is as historically important as ‘Huey’, the first pre-production Land Rover,” explains Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic director.