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  Land Rover Series 1  

The Land Rover was conceived by the Rover Company in 1947 during the aftermath of World War II. Before the war Rover had produced luxury cars which were not in demand in the immediate post-war period and raw materials were strictly rationed to those companies building construction or industrial equipment, or products that could be widely exported to earn crucial foreign exchange for the country. Also, Rover's original factory in Coventry had been bombed during the war, forcing the company to move into a huge "shadow factory" built just before the war in Solihull near Birmingham, previously used to construct Bristol Hercules aircraft engines.

Maurice Wilks, Rover's chief designer came up with a plan to produce a light agricultural and utility vehicle, of a similar concept to the Willys Jeep used in the war, but with an emphasis on agricultural use. He was possibly inspired by his own experience of using an army-surplus Jeep on his farm in Anglesey, North Wales. His design added a power take-off (PTO) feature since there was a gap in the market between jeeps and tractors (which offered the feature but were less flexible as transport). The first prototype had a distinctive feature the steering wheel was mounted in the middle of the vehicle. It hence became known as the "centre steer". It was built on a Jeep chassis and used the engine and gearbox out of a Rover P3 saloon car. The bodywork was handmade out of an aluminium/magnesium alloy called Birmabright, to save on steel, which was closely rationed. The choice of colour was dictated by military surplus supplies of aircraft cockpit paint, so early vehicles only came in various shades of light green.

Tests showed this prototype vehicle to be a capable and versatile machine. The PTO drives from the front of the engine and from the gearbox to the centre and rear of the vehicle allowed it to drive farm machinery, exactly as a tractor would. It was also tested ploughing and performing other agricultural tasks. However, as the vehicle was readied for production, this emphasis on tractor-like usage decreased and the centre steering proved impractical. The steering wheel was mounted off to the side as normal, the bodywork was simplified to reduce production time and costs and a larger engine was fitted, together with a specially designed transfer gearbox to replace the Jeep unit. The result was a vehicle that didn't use a single Jeep component and was slightly shorter than its American inspiration, but wider, heavier, faster and still retained the PTO drives.

Land Rover entered production in 1948 with what has later been termed the Series 1, the Series 2 began to be introduced in 1958 gradually replacing the Series 1 over the next two years, the last Series 1 to be produced was the 109" Station Wagon. Over the years there were a number of changes to the Series 1, the short wheelbase model began with 80" wheelbase, increased to 86" in 1954 and to 88" in 1956. The long Land Land Rover was introduced in 1954 with 107" wheelbase which was increased to 109" in 1956. Engines were originally 1600cc petrol, moving up to 2 litres in 1952 with a 2 litre diesel engine introduced in 1957.

Vanguards VA11101; Land-Rover Series 1; HUE 166; 60th Anniversary of Land-Rover Vanguards VA11102; Land-Rover Series 1; Cumberland & Westmorland Police Vanguards LR3002; Land Rover Series 1 2 Pce Set; First & Last Production Vehicles Vanguards VA11105; Land-Rover Series 1; Lincoln CorporationTransport Dept Vanguards VA11106; Land-Rover Series 1; Royal Air Force
Vanguards VA11101; Land Rover Series 1; HUE 166; 60th Anniversary of Land Rover Vanguards VA11102; Land Rover Series 1; Cumberland & Westmorland Police Vanguards LR3002; Land Rover Series 1 2 Pce Set; First & Last Production Vehicles
(VA11103, VA11104)
Vanguards VA11105; Land Rover Series 1; Lincoln Corporation Transport Dept Vanguards VA11106; Land Rover Series 1; Royal Air Force
Vanguards VA11107; Land-Rover Series 1; Suffolk Regiment, British Army Vanguards VA11108; Land-Rover Series 1; AA Road Service Vanguards VA11109; Land-Rover Series 1; Royal Navy, HMS Albion Not Issued Vanguards VA11113; Land Rover Series 1; 1st Battallion The Gloucestershire Regiment, 29 Infantry Brigade, The Glorious Glosters, The battle of the Imjin River 1951
Vanguards VA11107; Land Rover Series 1; Suffolk Regiment, British Army Vanguards VA11108; Land Rover Series 1; AA Road Service Vanguards VA11109; Land Rover Series 1; Royal Navy, HMS Albion Vanguards VA11110, VA11111, VA11112; Land Rover Series 1 Vanguards VA11113; Land Rover Series 1; 1st Battallion The Gloucestershire Regiment, 29 Infantry Brigade, The Glorious Glosters, The battle of the Imjin River 1951
Not Issued Vanguards VA11115; Land Rover Series 1; LR #3, The First to be Registered; Cockpit Green Still Looking Vanguards VA11117; Land Rover Series 1; 80' 2L; Royal Military Police Escort Vehicle, Berlin 1956 Vanguards VA11118; Land Rover Series 1; 80' Poppy Red
Vanguards VA11114; Land Rover Series 1 Vanguards VA11115; Land Rover Series 1; LR #3, The First to be Registered; Cockpit Green Vanguards VA1116; Land Rover Series 1; RAC Patrol Vanguards VA11117; Land Rover Series 1; 80' 2L; Royal Military Police Escort Vehicle, Berlin 1956 Vanguards VA11118; Land Rover Series 1; 80' Poppy Red
        Vanguards CC03005; Land Rover Series 1; Light Green, Canvas Half Cab; Haynes Miniature History
        Corgi Vanguards CC03005; Land Rover Series 1; Light Green, Canvas Half Cab; Haynes Miniature History

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Last Edit: 13/02/2023   Page Added 29/12/2022