Rare Series II conversion set to fetch £60,000 at auction
A rare Cuthbertson conversion is on track to fetch over £50,000 at auction
WITH A top speed of 35 mph and standing at over eight feet high, this 1958 Series II is unlikely to be the choice of most enthusiasts, but top auction house Bonhams is expecting it to fetch between £50,000 and £60,000.
It is one of the highlights of an auction at the Goodwood Revival that also includes a 1968 Royal Review Series IIA and a brace of beautifullyrestored Series Is among the usual top-end British sports cars and racing ephemera – and perfectly illustrates how Land Rovers have achieved cult status among collectors in recent years.
The Cuthbertson conversion is one of only 15 built by Scottish engineering firm James A Cuthbertson Ltd for the Forestry Commission. The company specialised in fitting rubber tracks to heavy-duty vehicles, enabling them to negotiate swampy terrain. In this case, the standard road wheels were replaced by sprockets, driving 40 steel shoes. Power steering is also fitted.
The 2.25 petrol-engined vehicle was totally restored in 2000 and is described by Bonhams as “stunning, inside and out.” It is believed to be the only one running in the UK.
The Royal Review Series IIA entered service with the Ministry of Defence in 1968, with the coachwork undertaken by the Central Workshops, REME. Nine years later it was used to convey the Queen and Prince Philip during their tour of Northern Ireland during the monarch’s Silver Jubilee celebrations of 1977. It has a standard 2.25-litre petrol engine.
It has been in private ownership since being released by the MOD in 1983 and is expected to fetch £20,000 to £30,000.
Also in the sale are two stunning Series Is, including a 1949 80in Series I that has been painstakingly restored using as many original items as possible, including the 68-year-old steel chassis, which has been repaired and galvanised.
This vehicle was in military service between 1949 and 1963 and it is believed that during this time the original 1.6-litre sidevalve engine was replaced by a later 2.0-litre OHV engine. This was a common MOD remedy for the overheating problems that the 1600cc unit was notorious for.
Early 80in Series Is are as soughtafter as ever and this one is expected to fetch between £50,000 and £70,000.
Less expensive, but in even better nick, is a 1955 86in Series I, which is in concours condition – hardly surprising since the 62-year-old vehicle has only been driven for a total of five years!
It had just three registered keepers, of which only one ever drove it. The first owner used it from 1955 to 1960, but upon his death it passed to his widow, who dry-stored it for 40 years before selling it to its third owner, an enthusiast and mechanical engineer who undertook a full but sympathetic restoration, using the same supplier as Solihull’s own Land Rover Reborn project.
Like the 1949 model, it still sits on its original chassis, which has been sandblasted and galvanised.
Attention to detail includes the installation of a new original-spec braided wiring loom. The deep Bronze Green finish was applied by a master craftsman and cost £5000. It is expected to fetch £35,000 to £45,000.
This page: This Series II Cuthbert conversion is just one of many restored classic Land Rovers up for auction at the Goodwood Revival