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Oxford Diecast LAN180001E Land Rover Series 1 80 Open HUE 166

Oxford Diecast LAN180001E Land Rover Series 1 80 Open HUE 166

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The first Land Rover prototype was built in the summer of 1947, and all the early prototypes had a tractor-like centrally-mounted steering wheel. This was done to save money building separate left- and right-hand drive models for export. However, by the time the production Land Rover appeared in 1948, the centre-steer idea had been scrapped. The Land Rover range was improved and expanded over the years to meet customers (both civilian and military) demands, and to exploit gaps in the marketnow arrived

Model has cream wheel hubs and not as shown

Rover chief engineer Maurice Wilks was inspired by his army-surplus Willys-Overland Jeep to create a workhorse vehicle for military and agricultural use. Prototypes were up and running by late 1947, and production of the Series I began at Solihull in summer 1948. The Land Rover price started from just £450. Supply to the British forces started in 1949, the Land Rover replacing the Austin Champ and later, the rust-prone Austin Gipsy, deliveries to organisations such as the Red Cross soon followed. The 100,000th Land Rover was made in autumn 1954 and by 1958, production ran to around 200,000.