2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1951 Land Rover Series 1 80-inch Utility
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 1595cc|
This lot is no longer available
Conceived as a replacement for the wartime Jeep by the Rover Car Company immediately after the cessation of hostilities, the Land Rover first appeared in prototype form in 1947 and used a production Rover 10 engine driving through a standard gearbox with specially built dual-range transfer box. With permanent four-wheel drive, simple but rugged engineering and basic styling, the first Land Rovers did well in the crucial export markets and a great many found their way into service on the land, in the military and industry in Australia over the years. Indeed, roughly 80 per cent of all Land Rovers built in the early post-war period were exported, Australia proving the largest non-military market. The earliest Land Rovers shared an 80-inch wheelbase steel box-section chassis with lightweight and easily detachable aluminium panels, including doors, bonnet and windscreen (canvas or metal roofs were optional), making for a versatile go-anywhere machine. The original motor was a sturdy 1.6-litre side-valve four-cylinder unit producing approximately 50 horsepower mated to a four-speed gearbox adapted from the Rover P3 with a two-speed transfer case. A particularly useful feature was the power take-off (PTO), allowing the Land Rover to power all manner of farm machinery. The original body style was updated slightly for 1950 with the headlamps no longer hidden behind the grille, while a seven-seater Station Wagon made by Tickford added such luxury items as a leather upholstery, a heater and one-piece laminated windscreen. Now celebrated as an automotive icon, interest in classic Land Rovers is at an all time high and Series 1 models are fetching record prices around the world.