Land Rover's 70th anniversary restoration: Series 1 prototype raised from the dead

Published: 10 January 2018

► Latest Land Rover restoration
► Missing prototype to be preserved
► Part of LR’s 70th anniversary year

Land Rover is 70 years old in 2018, so it’s kicking off celebrations by restoring one of the first cars it ever built.

One of three pre-production Series 1 cars originally shown at the 1948 Amsterdam motor show will now be refurbished at JLR’s Classic Works centre – a car that was missing for 63 years and was recently found not far from where it was built in Solihull.

The team behind the Series 1 Reborn programme will meticulously restore the iconic 4×4 over the course of a year back to its prototype heyday. It’s one of 48 pre-production cars that had thicker aluminium alloy body panels, removable rear tub and galvanised chassis. The light green paintwork, which you can just about see in the pics, will also be brought to its former glory.

Series 1 restoration rear quarter

JLR Classic’s director, Tim Hannig, calls the original Land Rover ‘an irreplaceable piece of world automotive history.’

Inside JLR Classic: we visit Coventry’s time travel agents

‘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 demo car was last thought to be on the road in the 60’s, then spent the next 20 years in Wales and then left to rot in a garden not far from Solihull.

It’s not the first project Land Rover Classic has brought to life – along with individual restorations, the team have brought the original Rangie back to life, too.

Check out our Land Rover reviews

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches