After World War II,
desperately needed to get car production going again.
Steel was in terribly short supply and exports got first preference
for all raw materials.
Maurice Wilks had been using ex-army Jeeps on his farm
and realising that there was no real alternative to them
decided that Rover would provide one.
The first prototype Land-Rovers (1947) were actually built on
The bodywork was made of an aluminium alloy called Birmabright [1,2].
Using similar dimensions to the World War II
the first Land Rovers had an 80" wheelbase.
This 80" wheel base, `Land Rover' was
was unveiled at the Amsterdam Motor Show,
30 April 1948  and
was produced from 1948 to 1953.
It used a 1.6 litre, 4-cylinder Rover engine from the P3
The engine was upgraded to a 2-litre version for
the 1952 season.
For 1954 the Land Rover was given a complete upgrade and
in addition to many changes which included the wheel base being extended
by 6 inches in the rear to make the wheelbase
another model was introduced being the long wheel base
Land Rover on a wheel base of
The 1948 to 1953 models
where identified, once the new models
had been announced, as the
The 86" and 107" Land Rovers as they are known were
only short lived as for 1957 there was
another wheel base extension of 2 inches in the front
of the chassis to make way for the new 2-litre diesel engine.
The Land Rover then became the
and 109" models.
The 107" stayed in production to 1958
as the 5-door station wagon
because it was not available with the diesel engine.
Land Rover was announced in 1958
all the earlier model Land Rover's, 80", 86", 107" and 109"
were now known as Series One Land Rovers
This "stop-gap" vehicle was much more successful than Rover
could ever have expected.
For 25 years they could sell more Land-Rovers, and later Range Rovers,
than they could make.
The aluminium bodywork became a hall-mark and explains why so many series ones
are trundling around today.
It is still used for most external
panels of Range Rovers, Discoveries and Defenders -
- Thanks to M. Bishop & A. J. Maeder.
-  G. Robson.
The Range Rover Land-Rover.
ANZ Book Co., 1979.
-  K. & J. Slavin, G. Mackie.
Land-Rover The Unbeatable 4x4.
Gentry Books 1981.