THE NEW SERIES I LAND ROVER
Land Rover revive the original Landy
“They just don’t build them like they used to.” It is a saying that echoes in my mind almost daily. Yes, grumpy old men have been uttering these words for millennia, likely even longer, but the influx of incredible levels of technology, performance, luxury and safety systems is having an adverse effect on modern vehicles. Yes, they are safer, faster and can make more computations per second than the entire fleet of Space Shuttles, but with every advance, today’s vehicles seem to lose a little bit of soul. Or at least that’s how I feel; new vehicles just don’t excite me anymore.
Then Land Rover announced that they are going to build 25 “new” Series I’s! When I read that headline on a press release that came across my desk, I damn near fell off my chair. We have long been calling on Land Rover to offer us at least one model that harks back to their roots, a simple back to basics 4WD the average off-road enthusiast can afford. Does the return of the Series I answer our dreams?
Sadly, no, our hopes soared as Jaguar offered up six brand new E-Type Lightweights last year in a brilliant scheme that worked loopholes in today’s car building regulations and standards. Long story short, Jaguar could never “build them like they used to” as an E-Type Lightweight breaks so many modern motoring laws they’d likely find themselves in court.
The saving grace is that Jaguar put 18 chassis codes into the books back in 1964, but they actually only built 12. This meant that there were six cars still left in a “state of construction” allowing Jaguar to build these cars as they did back in the 60’s. Surely, with six left over chassis codes for such a small production run, Land Rover must have heaps when it comes to the mass produced Series I?
Unfortunately not, or they do but haven’t said so. Instead, these 25 “new” Series I’s will be complete restorations of worn down Series I’s that have already seen 68-years of service. This is all part of Land Rover’s Reborn Initiative put together by Land Rover Classics, the branch that is tasked with the restoration
of old Land Rovers.
The specialists in the Reborn Initiative have handpicked 25 Series I chassis from Land Rover’s global network, in both short and long wheelbase. Each model will undergo a complete restoration keeping to the brand’s original 1948 factory specifications and using Land Rover Classic Parts to preserve authenticity. This includes the choice of five period finishes including Light Green, Bronze Green, RAF Blue, Dove Grey and Poppy Red.
Each of the 25 Reborn customers will be able to select their preferred restoration base, and a Land Rover Classic specialist will guide them through the build process from start to finish. Coincidentally, all work will be performed at the Land Rover Classic HQ that just happens to reside in the original Defender production centre at Solihull. Once these 25 examples are gone, Land Rover Classic will continue to provide restoration services to Land Rover
models that have been out of production for longer than 10 years.
Prices for completed Series I’s are said to range from £60,000 to £80,000 ($110,000-$147,000 CAD), so they will likely be going straight into a collectors hermetically sealed garage rather than out into the field. Regardless, we have to admire Land Rover for what they are doing. We applaud a company that will take in old products they built decades earlier and use legitimate factory parts and workers to restore that vehicle back to its former glory. So yes, the Series I has returned, but Land Rover is not putting them into production.
It does give me great pleasure to supply you with the specifications for these 25 vehicles, the original specifications of the Series I. These are numbers that younger minds likely can’t even fathom in this modern age. You gotta love it.
A classic shape. Funny enough, Land Rover is back into convertibles with the new drop top Evoque.
It only pumps out 50 hp, but you can fix it with a hammer.
“Is it finished… where’s the satnav?”
No push button FOB’s, just a simple metal key.