Land Rover Series 1 80" 1949 MY Ken Wheelwright Restoration


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Land Rover Series 1 80" 1949 Model Year & Sage Green Chassis Vehicle

We are happy to have on offer a R8665*** vehicle. This vehicle was the 5*** vehicle off the production line and was originally built on 2nd May 1949 and despatched from the factory on 13th May 1949.

This is a sage green chassis example and still has all its original running gear, side-plate engine which is numbered 865477, gearbox and axles. To find a vehicle that is 67 years old and retains all it's original running gear is outstanding let alone to be restored to such a high standard. Very few vehicles were produced with the chassis and body both in sage green, at the same time Land Rover had started to announce that bronze green vehicles would be produced and so numbers of sage green vehicles around this time of year were very limited. There was fewer sage green chassis examples produced in total than silver chassis vehicles.

Direct from Ken Wheelwright, the master restorer who has been restoring Land Rovers for more than 30 years.

When Maurice Wilks, Rover's chief designer, came up with a plan to produce a light agricultural utility vehicle in 1947 he would have no idea that his design would become an icon and launch a whole new industry sector. The original Land Rover was presented in sage green with a canvas roof and revolutionised rural transport. As an engineering marvel it can still outstrip its modern counterparts, and the Series I rightly belongs in the Motoring Hall of Fame. Hugely successful globally, improvements were made throughout the production run. In 1950 the lights moved from a position behind the grill to protrude through the grill and in 1952 a larger 2.0 litre petrol engine replaced the original 1.6 litre.

One man who has come to be known as the worlds leading authority on early Land Rovers, and indeed the go-to restorer for leading collectors and Land Rover themselves, is Ken Wheelwright. Working from his Yorkshire farm, Ken's restorations include three early pre-production prototype Land Rovers, two Tickford Station Wagons, the first Automobile Association restored 80 inch now on display at the Coventry Motor Museum and a Tickford Land Rover for the British Heritage Motor Museum. Four other vehicles are in a German museum collection, along with an exact replica of a Land Rover factory Transporter which took two years to build from archive pictures only. The most notable of Ken's achievements came when he was chosen as one of Jaguar Land Rover's preferred restorers, having supplied them with two Series I Land Rovers in dark bronze green that have featured on television programmes worldwide.

As a testament to his unsurpassable reputation Ken was commissioned by Land Rover to restore a Series IIA Land Rover which had been owned by the Wilks' family and was presented to the founder on his retirement from the Rover Company in 1965. This vehicle now forms part of Land Rover's own heritage collection, joining Ken's other restored Land Rovers. As befits the work of a no nonsense Yorkshireman we will end the superlatives here and move on to the Land Rover itself.

When Ken took ownership of the Land Rover he undertook a full nut and bolt restoration, so comprehensive that it would require a full page to list everything that was done. A brief summary includes the original chassis, painted in the correct age matching sage green and most original components reconditioned the vehicle sits on Avon Traction Mileage Tyres unfortunaty the sought after Dunlop T28 Trakgrip Tyres as used on many previous restorations are no longer available. When some parts were found to be beyond repair, original Land Rover new-old stock components were used. The engine, gearbox, axles etc were completely rebuilt at the same time and this vehicle really does tick over like a watch and pulls with plenty of power. This is a full nut and bolt restoration and not one to be confused with a cosmetic restoration. In addition a new wiring loom, brake and clutch components were fitted as was a new canvas roof.

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