What’s the story?
The last remaining 1954 Royal Review Series I from HM Queen’s tour of Australia, rescued and restored. Not only was the Royal visit the largest such event ever hosted by the Australians, it was also the first time a reigning monarch had set foot on the vast, antipodean content; it required a very special fleet of vehicles; six Series Is, one for each state. When New Zealander, Keith Cree went looking for an interesting restoration project in an old truck yard in Queensland, he certainly took on a monster job.
Our favourite bit?
One of the really great things to come out of this story is the link with Arthur Goddard, the ‘lost’ Land Rover engineer recently discovered living a full and busy life in Australia. He was involved with Series Is right from the very start (see LRO June 2010), so it’s little wonder that he was involved with these Royal Review vehicles, too.
And the verdict from LRO writer John Dean?
The car’s first public appearance in 60 years was welcomed with enormous enthusiasm and affection; the admiring crowd that gathered absolutely adored her.
When Keith first found the crumbling remains of the last surviving Royal Review Series I from 1954, this transformation and reception seemed like an impossible dream. It just goes to show what hard graft and determination can achieve. A top job by a top bloke.
Model: Series I
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol