Land Rover will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018, and part of the company’s planned activities will include the restoration of a recently discovered pre-production Series 1. This gave the world its first glimpse of the shape that would become instantly recognisable as a Land Rover.

Last on the road in 1960, it was thought to have been lost for years. For years the whereabouts of this launch Land Rover was a mystery, until discovered in a Welsh field of which it had spent 20 years and then some languishing unfinished in a garden. Resurfaced in 2016 close to Solihull, with researchers at Land Rover taking time to authenticate the discovery, and trace its history.

The team behind the successful Land Rover Series I Reborn programme, which allows customers to own a slice of Land Rover history with meticulously restored Series Is, will now embark on their most challenging project yet: a year-long mission to preserve this historically significant prototype and enable it to be driven again.

There are many things unique to the pre-production Land Rovers that will need to be carefully preserved. Unique to the pre-production models are the thicker aluminium body panels, galvanised chassis and removable rear tub. The Light Green paint applied in 1948 will be preserved, as well as the ‘patina of its components’. The Jaguar Land Rover Classic team will follow a dedicated process to restore the launch vehicle.

Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said: ‘This Land Rover is an irreplaceable piece of world automotive history and is as historically important as ‘Huey’, the first pre-production Land Rover. Beginning its sympathetic restoration here at Classic Works, where we can ensure it’s put back together precisely as it’s meant to be, is a fitting way to start Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year.’