COMING TO AUCTION
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TODAY WE FEATURE
WEDNESDAY 25th OCTOBER 2017
- Registration Date - 1950
- Make & Model - Land Rover Series I 80"
- Colour - Green
- Registration Number - EUD 496
- Chassis No. - 16100368
- Engine size - 1,997 cc
- Engine No. - 57116153
- V5C; Heritage Certificate; photos of restoration; bills
- Estimate - £13,000 - £15,000
First shown in 1948, early models used a rather feeble 1.6-litre ioe engine which struggled with the unreasonable burdens these work horses were usually asked to carry. In 1952, rescue came in the form of the 1,997cc unit donated from the Rover 60, which made a world of difference. Over the years, the wheelbase grew in length making the Land Rover more versatile, although the cross-country ability of the short 80-inch was never really bettered.
Who can forget – try as they might – the Val Doonican classic 'O’Rafferty’s Motorcar'?* You cannot fail to remember his praise of that vehicle, which used to be “black as me father’s hat, now it’s forty shades of green”. Well, there is no evidence that this Series I Land Rover was ever black, but the colour scheme is a little varied whilst still retaining - more or less - its monochromatic verdancy.
And that’s part of its appeal. Some people pay good money to have their restored cars ‘patinated’ (what a horrible word), but the successful bidder will get it thrown in aplenty with this Landy. There are photographs on file of the bare chassis restoration carried out on this Series I, but time and usage have mellowed the paint and dulled the Birmabright to a point of perfection. Who said a car is only original once?
For those who consider these things important, it should be known that EUD 496 was delivered new to Mr M Smyly of Stratton Audley Hall, near Bicester, in October 1950 and has had just three keepers since. There is a Heritage Certificate showing it to be a home-market car and the chassis is original.
The car also has its original axles and toolbar. It had a new master cylinder fitted in 2012 and a recent coil and ignition points fitted. A new tilt will be supplied in time for the sale, but the new owner is not obliged to retain it. The engine is not original being a more pokey 2-litre unit which is thought to have been fitted by Land Rover in period.
What more could you want: early car, later engine; fully restored, but not looking like it; worn in, but not worn out. An everyday car for the rugged individualist, and a mainstay of British motoring that makes a Morgan look like a hairdresser’s car.
* Please note: anyone singing or whistling this tune at the auction may be asked to leave.
Bidders are also advised that a brand new tilt has been fitted since these photographs were taken