1948 MY Series One 80in full sympathetic restoration £59995 SOLD


Motodrome are very proud  to offer RIL188, a 1948 model  Land Rover Series 1 80in  soft top.


Chassis no: R861762

Engine no : 16101931

The Land Rover was launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show in Spring 1948, and immediately became a hit, especially for farmers etc as a versatile agricultural tool.

A farmer walked into Mann Egerton in Norwich in January 1949, and purchased this one, the 1762nd off the production line, and it was registered 25th January 1949. We believe when it came to us it was the first time it had left Norfolk since then.

We imagine it gave years of faithful service on and around the farm until probably the very early 1990’s at the very latest, before being parked up behind a barn, surplus to requirements.

Fast forward to 2017 and a well-known, Norfolk-based, expert Land Rover Series restorer was tipped off by the farmer’s family about an ‘what we think is an old green ‘Jeep’ that’s lying without any wheels round the back of one of our barns, but it’s overwhelmed with brambles so we can’t really see it…’

Naturally said tip was followed up and, armed with the appropriate tools for cutting away the undergrowth, what was revealed wasn’t a ‘Jeep’ but a very, very early Series One, in remarkably original condition having never been painted.

Said expert agreed to purchase it with a view to carrying out a sympathetic  restoration , recovered it to his workshop, and 4 years later the results are here to see, and I think it’s superb.

It’s a  rare opportunity to own a 1948 Model Year (MY) Land Rover Series One 80″ with silver chassis which has recently undergone a full nut and bolt restoration by professional Land Rover Series and classics restorers near to the original specification as possible.

Note: the first 3000 to 4000 (opinions differ) examples had the chassis painted silver to mimic the pre-production models, that were built on a galvanised chassis, and appeared in press photos as such. It was found to be too expensive to produce the galvanised chassis on an ongoing basis, so they were painted silver instead. 1762 still has it’s original chassis, albeit expertly restored.  

Completed in June 2021, the vehicle retains many of its key early 1948 components which have all been professionally refurbished to ensure maximum originality and quality, and the original panels left untouched and showing 73 years of patina and history.

Note: I was under the impression that the bulkhead was a new pressing, but I’ve been assured by the restorer that no, it’s the original. It did however require extensive repairs, to such an extent that it was felt the only viable option was to paint it.

Below sets out just some of the restoration and refurbishment work carried out on 1762.

Professionally fully rebuilt engine (not the original side-plate type, but the one that was in the vehicle when found. It’s still a 1.6, but the slightly later core plug type from around 1950. Possibly replaced  by Land Rover as part of a warranty claim? The engine is still running-in, and will need the running-in oil drained off in about 400 miles and replaced with standard period-correct oil)

Professionally fully rebuilt gearbox (ring pull freewheel type).

Very rare original rover clutch refurbished and fitted.

Axles rebuilt and retaining the original tractor joints.

Refurbished original prop shafts.

Professionally rebuilt long nose diffs.

Professionally refurbished original hydrostatic brakes with cast iron wheel cylinders.

Original 48 dated ignition coil.

Original 48 dated voltage regulator refurbished.

Original 48 dated radiator re-cored.

Refurbished and ultra-rare 2-spoke sprung steering wheel.

All 4 original-type narrow road springs, professionally refurbished.

Original 27 hole front grill and panel badge.

JLR replacement correct wheel rims fitted with new period Avon traction mileage tyres – as above, when found, 1762 had lost it’s wheels

New high-quality seats.

New Undercover Covers  high-quality hood with the correct dual letterbox aperture

New wiring loom

Period correct rubber 12v battery.

A full list of all works carried out is available upon request.

This is one for the serious collector or enthusiast and is  now ready for its new owner to drive and enjoy as an iconic and authentic historic vehicle or as an investment that will undoubtedly continue to grow significantly over the coming years.

It’s a real privilege, as Land Rover specialists, to be the custodians of an example of the very first year of production, as here’s where it all began. And you won’t find many original UK ones that show ‘number of former keepers -1’ on their V5..

On our own website, you’ll find our usual 2 videos: a comprehensive walkaround appraisal, and driving impressions, which form part of the description.

E & OE