With vehicles that have roamed almost all (if not all) terrains of Earth, Land Rover - now properly known as Jaguar Land Rover - and their design team have continually pushed all the boundaries of the automotive industry. With the synchronous aid of their vast thousand plus employee engineering team, almost all car designs that have gone from concept to manufacture to launch have rightly gone on to be considered a "design classic". With the news of the famous Land Rover Defender being discontinued a few years ago, many car enthusiasts agreed that such a design was perhaps the epitome of the company, and people across Great Britain - if not the world - were sad that such was no longer available for commercial purpose. The Series I was a design series that preceded the Defender and if you agree that the Defender was such a great design, then you may be interested to read on.
Discovering territories that no-one knew existed - literally - Land Rover is giving customers the very-limited-chance to own one of their original explorers and be a proud owner of a fully-restored Land Rover Series I. Aiming to go where no car manufacturer has gone before, Land Rover's Reborn department has been set up solely to restore original Series I's, with each of their chosen cars sourced and handpicked from a global pool for their authenticity. Inspired by the US-built Willys Jeep of World War II, the Land Rover Series I was designed for farm and light industrial use, and its steel box chassis (and aluminium body) has gone on to inspire so many more models that followed.
First manufactured in 1948, the then 1.6-litre petrol engine produced little over 50 bhp and its four-speed gearbox incorporated an unusual four-wheel-drive system with a freewheel unit. Unconventional and innovative at the time, the 4x4's disengaged front axle from its manual transmission allowed an atypical form of four-wheel-drive. With tops for the doors and an actual roof (canvas or metallic) only available as optional extras, the Series I truly was lightweight and super-cool. Land Rover has always positioned and marketed itself as equally suitable for the most rural of Britain's farmyards as the most treacherous of war-torn locations, and never has such a simple and stripped-back design led to so many more iterative designs.
Understanding of the gravitas that we have in question, Land Rover are offering 25 very lucky customers a fully restored Series I, with such lucky people certain to be investing in automotive history. Returned to their former self, the 25 lucky customers will be actively involved in the re-design process, with each allowed to handpick their own base vehicle (out of the carefully selected pool as aforementioned) and will be given the offering of the restoration to finish in either Light Green, Bronze Green, RAF Blue, Dove Grey or Poppy Red. With a complete strip-down on the refurbishment and a full rebuild to the original 1948 Spec, Land Rover are even using Land Rover Classic parts to preserve the cars authenticity. With an anticipated price tag of between £60,000 to £80,000, the soon-to-be lucky owners are sure to be rewarded of their investment in the years to come, monetarily or by self-indulgence.
Discover more about the Land Rover Reborn initiative online at LandRover.com.
Photography credit : LandRover.com