LAND ROVER SERIES I – THE GO ANYWHERE VEHICLE
Pure simplicity. No door locks, no windscreen washers, no self-cancelling indicators, no power steering, only one driver windscreen wiper, passenger windscreen wiper is optional, removable door windows panels, doors that open 180 degrees and removable, removable roofs, collapsible front windscreen, push start button – these are just some of the features of the Land Rover Series 1 that make them so basic …
Its a Land Rover in its purest form, unspoilt by technology or nanny-state safety and emission regulations. The Series 1 epitomises the Land Rover legend which translate in collectors’ terms, it is the Land Rover to have.
The first production model were the Early 80-inch Series I models. This is where it all began. The original 80-inch Series I Land Rovers were built from 1948 to 1953. From 1948 to 1951, it was fitted with a 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol engine generating 55 Hp and 112 Nm of torque. It has a four speed manual gear box with two-speed transfer box with permanent four-wheel drive (later selectable). Later between 1951 to 1953, it has a new 2 litre engine with 52 Hp and 134 Nm of torque. The distinct difference in this model is the front grille which covers the head lamps and has no external door handles. The front windscreen panel do not have ventilations where it can be opened by the occupants by flipping a level.
The Early Series I were imported into the island of Borneo during the North Borneo Company’s rule and traces of the Early Series I can still be found in Sabah. You just need to look for them in the small towns in some shed or under a tree which makes a great restoration project!
The second production model, the Later 86-inch Series I Land Rovers were built between 1953 to 1958. The chassis was increased to 86 inches and it has many more refinement than the 80-inch Series I. First off, longer chassis means they are more comfortable to drive and many design flaws of the 80-inch models which were based on the wartime jeep were fixed. The 86 inch was properly redesigned with properly thought-out, sensible, capable vehicle.
It still has the same 2 Litre petrol engine and with slab-sided body panels. The 86-inch Series I still have that wonderful 1950s simplicity and appeal, but they drive better, have more load space, weather seals and driving position is not so cramped. Distinctive difference from 80-inch Earlier Series I is the front grille do not cover the head lamps, has external door handles, larger and tougher windscreen frame.
The 86-inch Series I created countless milestones for Land Rover and touched the lifes of many. It is the first vehicle that most of our grandparents and many rural communities around the world have ever seen. After it’s introduction to the the world during the First Overland Expedition in 1955, sales bookings came in immediately from the countries they visited and the Land Rover Company has never looked back since.
This 1956 Land Rover 86 Series I has undergone a full restoration from our workshop and is SOLD for RM98,000. This is a very rare vintage car and is a great piece of Borneo’s heritage. The registration no is still the original number.
Interested to own this piece of history? Talk to us and we can help you source for a classic Land Rover or do a full restoration for your dream car.