It lives, it dies, it lives again: Land Rover Series 1 ‘Reborn’ revealed

Published: 06 April 2016

► Land Rover Series 1 ‘Reborn’ unveiled
► Completely rebuilt from the ground up
► Only 25 to be restored; £60k-£80k each

Looking for an immaculately restored and beautifully presented Land Rover Series 1? Then it’s time to pick up the phone to Land Rover itself, which is going to town on 25 hand-picked Series 1s and restoring them to absolute perfection.

The cars picked for revival have been chosen for their authenticity, and each will be totally stripped and rebuilt. The work will be carried out by the newly formed ‘Land Rover Classic’ division, based in a dedicated workshop at Land Rover’s Solihull plant.

Customers can pick from a range of original colours, including RAF blue and Poppy red, and each will be able to follow the restoration of their Land Rover from start to finish. Each Series 1 will also come with a full warranty and service support from Land Rover Classic, which also offers parts and services to owners of older Land Rovers – as well as complete cars.

This doesn’t sound like a cheap way into classic Series ownership

You’re not wrong, but then high-end restorations are never inexpensive affairs. Each of the OEM-restored Series 1s is expected to cost at least £60,000, while those based on the most notable donors – likely the earliest ones – will cost up to £80,000.

Recently, finely restored examples of early Series 1s have been selling for upwards of £30,000, with some even reaching the heady heights of £40,000. They are unquestionably appreciating assets, however, and an officially restored one certainly has additional cachet.

Would this really be worth the premium?

You’ve only got to look at Aston Martin’s own Work’s restorations to see that, in many cases, the additional financial outlay is soon paid back – if not immediately met – by the increase in the car’s value. So long as the classic car market holds fast, that is.

If you’re quick, then, you could save yourself from testing your luck in the auction halls, or from trawling around the country looking at misdescribed example after endless misdescribed example.

‘The launch of the Reborn initiative represents a fantastic opportunity for customers to own a valuable and collectable automotive icon,’ said Tim Hannig, director of Land Rover Classic.

‘Reborn showcases Land Rover Classic’s expertise in restoring and maintaining our loyal customers’ prized Land Rovers. It also demonstrates the business’ commitment to supporting customers with original and genuine parts for Land Rover models that have been out for production for longer than 10 years.’

Will other classics be restored? 

Currently, Land Rover says it has no further plans for any other restoration projects. Customers can’t bring their own cars in for official restoration yet either, but all of that may well change in the future. Where there’s demand, there’s a business case.

While Land Rover Classic gets to work restoring Series 1s, the Jaguar Classic division is hard at work too, creating nine brand-new versions of the 1957 XKSS sports car.

Production of Land Rover’s last heritage model, the Defender, ended earlier this year.

Read CAR magazine’s Land Rover reviews here

Land Rover Series 1 Reborn

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car