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1951 Land Rover Series 1

(Price On Application)

Michael Collins Motoring Classics  are pleased to announce the completion of their full ground up restoration nut and bolt.

After an 18 months restoration that saw the body off full restoration,Chassis Shot Blasted and painted, engine, diff housings, gear box, engine was fully rebuilt, original correct starter and alternator, fuel pump

and electrical items correct as a new including Series 1 electrical wiring loom. It is also fitted with correct original trafficator indicators with

most of the  parts sourced from original

supplies in UK and a lot from local collectors with no expense spared. The Engine is series matching as well as the front & rear diff are also matching.

This vehicle was delivered new in Brisbane in 1951, with most of the Land Rovers life was out at Toowoomba.

All original panels were heat shrunk and panel beaten by a true retired metal restorer (not many of them left now), Eric gave me joy watching his workman ship as he revived this series 1 Rover back to its former glory. 

In the UK they are restoring similar Land Rovers which they are selling for 85,000 Great British Pounds and I doubt as original as this one.

The History Of Land Rover Series 1

Land Rover entered production in 1948 with what was later termed the Series I which was inspired by the US-built Willy's Jeep and made famous by the vehicle of choice for Sir Winston Churchill.

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. The Land Rover was designed to only be in production for two or three years to gain some cash flow and export orders for the Rover Company so it could restart up-market car production. Once car production restarted, however, it was greatly outsold by the off-road Land Rover, which developed into its own brand that remains successful today.

Many of the defining and successful features of the Land Rover design were in fact the result of Rover's drive to simplify the tooling required for the vehicle and to use the minimum amount of rationed materials. As well as the aluminium alloy bodywork (which has been retained throughout production despite it now being more expensive than a conventional steel body due to its ideal properties of light weight and corrosion resistance) other examples include the distinctive flat body panels with only simple, constant-radius curves (originally used because they could be cut and formed by hand from aluminium sheet on a basic jig).

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 the Standard Motor Company, who faced similar problems and were producing the highly successful Ferguson TE20tractor in their shadow factory in Coventry. More likely, he used 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 original Land Rover concept (a cross between a light truck and a tractor) is similar to the Unimog, which was developed in Germany during this period.

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.

Originally the Land Rover was a single model offering, which from 1948 until 1951 used an 80-inch (2,000 mm) wheelbase and a 1.6-litre petrol engine producing around 50 bhp (37 kW; 51 PS). The four-speed gearbox from the Rover P3 was used, with a new two-speed transfer box. This incorporated an unusual four-wheel-drive system, with a freewheel unit (as used on several Rover cars of the time). This disengaged the front axle from the manual transmission on the overrun, allowing a form of permanent 4WD. A ring-pull mechanism in the driver's footwell allowed the freewheel to be locked to provide more traditional 4WD. This was a basic vehicle: tops for the doors and a roof (canvas or metal) were optional extras. In 1950, the lights moved from a position behind the grille to protruding through the grille.

Specifcation & Overview




Body and chassis

Body style

2-door Off-road vehicle
4-door Off-road vehicle
2-door pickup



1.6 L I4 (1948–1951)
/2.0 L I4 (beginning 1950)
2.0 L diesel I4 (1957–58)


4-speed manual



1948–1953: 80.0 in (2,032 mm)
1954–1956: 86.0 in (2,184 mm) (SWB)
1948–1956: 107.0 in (2,718 mm) (LWB)
1957–1958: 88.0 in (2,235 mm) (SWB)
109.0 in (2,769 mm) (LWB)


132.0 in (3,353 mm)/140.5 in (3,569 mm) (SWB)
173.5 in (4,407 mm) (LWB)


61.0 in (1,549 mm)


73.5 in (1,867 mm)

Sir Winston Churchill with his Land Rover Series 1 which sold at auction for $220,000 in 2012

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