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Homepage. This page: A photograph taken c1959, showing the early version of "The Best 4x4xFar".

1. A Somerset-registered S1 Land Rover.

YYB 193 was a Series 1 Land Rover belonging to Adrian's parents in the late 1950s, bought primarily to tow a heavy old Pemberton caravan. The previous towing vehicle - a V8 Ford Pilot - had found it increasingly difficult to tow such a weighty 'van, hence the search for a S1 Land Rover.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A Series 1 short wheelbase Land Rover
Adrian remembers this about his parents' Landy: "I remember at the age of about nine, sitting in the Land Rover parked on a steep hill in Cornwall. A creaking noise started and the vehicle rolled gently forward down the hill towards other parked cars. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to jump across to the driver's side and press all the pedals until it stopped. I'm not sure how long I had to sit there until my father re-appeared but I'm sure he appreciated the action."
YYB is a Somerset-area registration, suggesting that this Land Rover was registered some time after June 1957, making it quite a late Series 1. This famous 4x4 made its debut in 1948, and the basic profile remains evident to this day in the modern Defender series. Aluminium panelwork enclosed a steel box section chassis and bulkhead, initially with an 80 inch wheelbase, petrol engine, and four speed gearbox. The earliest Series 1s featured inset headlamps behind the mesh radiator grille, these would be moved outside of the grille in 1950.
In 1954 the 80in model was replaced by the 86in, and joined by the long wheelbase 107in pickup. Two years later a factory-built Station Wagon version of the 107 would join the range, and the 86in would stretch to become the 88in version. The 107 became the 110 in 1956 also. In 1958 the revised Series 2 would be introduced, as a replacement for the outgoing S1.

2. A 1949/1950 Series 1 recovery vehicle.

My thanks to Henry for emailing over this next photograph. In the early 1960s he worked at a garage in Scotland that hired out camper vans, usually based on the Bedford CA (photos of which may be found on the CA photos page). In 1964, a Kenex caravanette was hired out to someone that, while driving near Nairn shortly after collection, managed to roll it with predictable consequences. The trusty Series 1 Land Rover was pressed into service to collect the badly-mangled Bedford, a "rather hair raising" return trip of around 160 miles or so. The occupants of the camper escaped uninjured, although the damage to the camper - registration USA 300 - was such that it required re-shelling before going back into service.
Land Rover gurus will spot that this particular example, reg. HSP 687 and dating to 1949/1950, has been upgraded with larger headlamps. The fitment of the recovery crane required the canvas tilt to be removed, and the back of the cab to be panelled over to offer a modicum of comfort for the driver. Thanks for the photo, it's always neat to see unique snapshots such as this.
Series 1 Land Rover recovery vehicle

The re-furbished Land Rover.

After publishing the above photo, Henry got in touch again with another view of the same vehicle, after it had been refurbished at Tarves Motors. Whereas in the photo above, the Landy has a few battle scars to its bodywork, here it is in immaculate order. Various signs adorn the building in the background, while inside the front end of a small pre-war car can just be made out.
The re-furbished Landy
This page shows an early Land Rover ready to be loaded into the back of an RAF Blackburn Beverley.
Return to classic car photos - Page 11.

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