What’s The Story?
This is no ordinary One Ten. The registration number, CWK 53Y, immediately marks it out as one of the pilot production models - the vehicles that introduced ‘Land Rover’s new Land Rover’ to the world. Better yet, as far as we know, CWK 53Y is the earliest survivor of those pilot production models.
Land Rover was allocated several numbers in the CWK-Y series, but a low CWK number doesn’t necessarily mean an early vehicle. The numbers were not used in that order, and in fact CWK 53Y was the fourth of the pilot production batch.
It was manufactured on November 6, 1982 and was preceded on October 21 by two vehicles (which became CWK 59Y and CWK 39Y) and then by one more with a lower chassis number (CWK 52Y) on the day it left the lines.
Our Favourite Bit?
Land Rover was trying out different specifications on the assembly lines at this stage, so CWK 53Y has some interesting features including optional power-assisted steering and optional twin fuel tanks, with the standard 17.5-gallon tank at the rear matched by a second 15-gallon one under the driver’s seat. Then there’s the Country cab trim, which was another option - black rather than brown, the colour reserved for County Station Wagons. It is very rare today.
And The Verdict From James Taylor?
The pilot production One Ten’s smooth V8 makes all the right noises, while the four-speed gearbox (a Range Rover item) changes ratios cleanly. Is it the original gearbox? Quite probably - it would have been logical to use existing production parts to build these early vehicles wherever possible.
The full story can be found in the January 2016 issue of LRO. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue (please note we only hold stocks of the last three issues) by calling 01858 438884.