" We've said it before, but there's a lovely simplicity to pure utes. And the first few iterations of the Land Rover are about as Ute as a Ute can be. The earlier Landies remind us of that immediate post-war time "
Land Rover prototype
Ok, look closely. This 1951 Land Rover prototype looks a little different.
If you noticed, then you have a keen eye, and probably the sort of sensibility that appreciates the utilitarian loveliness of the totemic Land Rover.
The difference is, in this early test-bed in the wheelbase. The earliest versions of the Land Rover were inspired the WW2 American import the Willys Jeep, which had a wheelbase of 80 inches. This version, however, was part of a small cohort of Landie prototypes that came with a bigger 2.8 Litre Rolls Royce unit than the one that came as standard. The stretch was needed to accommodate the Roller lump, pictured below.
Other visible mods included a slightly raised bonnet, but there were a whole rake of cooling and transmission tweaks that needed doing, too. The car shown here raised in the regions of £50K through Bonhams recently – and who could blame an enthusiast for shelling out that sort of money for such a rare, historic and beautifully practical machine?
We’re in love.
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