The ultimate barn find? First production Land Rover to be restored

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This vehicle is likely to play a major role in the celebrations of Land Rover’s 70th anniversary, for on April 30th, 1948 the car went on display to the public for the first time at the Amsterdam motor show.

This example is one of historical importance, on a par with the original Mini or Model T, for while HUE 166 is famously the world’s oldest Land-Rover, this is the first production model.

The original custodian of JUE 477, chassis number 86001, in July of 1948 was a member of the works’ development team and it spent its first two years at the Solihull factory.

By February 1950 it has been sold to Professor Mcewen of Newcastle University, at which point it gained a registration number. The next owner was David Fairless, who originally intended to buy a tractor rather than a second-hand Series 1 Land-Rover, and JUE 477 was initially used for agricultural work. 

As is often the case with venerable vehicles, it was eventually parked up and when a small group of LR enthusiasts came across it in 1995 its condition was not exactly pristine. Three years later JUE 477 made a brief but highly memorable appearance at the Land-Rover’s 50th birthday celebrations at Shugborough Hall and this inevitably attracted considerable interest.

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