Pre-production Land Rover L07, shown at Amsterdam launch, set for sympathetic restoration.
The Land Rover, chassis number L07, was one of three Land Rovers at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948, when the world got its first sight of the vehicle we all love.
One of 48 pre-production vehicles, it was presumed lost in the 1980s when research was done to track down the remaining examples – and its fate only came to light in 2016, when a garage owner was told about a couple of old Land Rovers in a garden. They were about to be scrapped, but the garage owner realised what it was and secured both vehicles – you can read the story of how it was found in the Spring 2016 issue of Land Rover Owner International.
The Land Rover was built as a left hand drive model, hence the L prefix in the chassis number, but was subsequently converted to right hand drive and has also been recorded as R07.
Given its significance, Jaguar Land Rover Classic was obviously interested, bought the Land Rover and its experts spent months researching the company archives to unravel its ownership history and confirm its provenance.
JLR Classic will sympathetically restore it at the Classic Works facility in Ryton, Warwickshire as part of the company’s 70th anniversary celebrations.
Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said: ‘This Land Rover is an irreplaceable piece of world automotive history and is as historically important as ‘Huey’, the first pre-production Land Rover. Beginning its sympathetic restoration here at Classic Works, where we can ensure it’s put back together precisely as it’s meant to be, is a fitting way to start Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year.
‘There is something charming about the fact that exactly 70 years ago this vehicle would have been undergoing its final adjustments before being prepared for the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show launch – where the world first saw the shape that’s now immediately recognised as a Land Rover.’
Previous owners of this historic vehicle are being invited to Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works facility to share their experiences and to witness its loving restoration.
Want to see the restoration progressing? A three hour tour of the Classic Works costs £49 and not only do you get to see the Series Land Rovers being Reborn, you also get to peek into the massive vault where up to 500 classic Land Rovers and Jaguars are stored. For more info, click here.