A RARE 1952 former Royal Air Force Land Rover Series 1, recently found wasting away in a barn in Gloucestershire, will soon go on display at Land Rover Legends, a new-format Land Rover show.
Lost in a shed in England’s south-west since 1979, time has taken its toll on the classic steed, with much of the vehicle’s paint stripped clean.
The ‘rolling’ restoration remains a work in progress, but this is where things get tricky: due to the early records of ex-RAF Land Rovers getting lost over time, “detailed information of allocations within the RAF from 1952 right up to the early 1960s are unknown”, making the restoration efforts difficult.
Still, work has begun to reach the final aim of the resto: “to replicate the condition of the RAF vehicle as a glider tow vehicle, not intended to be in a Concours condition”. To this end, work includes removing the rear body section; cleaning and preparing the running gear; painting the remaining body panels; and adding RAF emblems and markings.
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The unique vehicle is running the correct 1997cc Siamese two-litre engine, but the rebuilt gearbox is a military replacement. Also fitted is a stainless petrol tank and side screens and doors with the correct pattern.
Eager eyes will notice the incorrectly positioned lights through the grille, which “are believed to be an ex-Military of Defence replacement”. As expected of such a vehicle, few original replacement parts or panels are supplied.
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This year, Land Rover celebrates its 70th year, and we’ll have comprehensive coverage of the marque brand’s Australian history in our June 2018 issue, in stores May 24.
Land Rover Legends will take place at Bicester Heritage in Oxfordshire on May 26 and 27, 2018.