1956 Land Rover 86” Series One


・A low mileage example with a little over 40,000 miles recorded
・Dry stored and recently recommissioned this Series I is ready to drive away
・Complete ground-up restoration to a fastidious standard

The Background

The background of the iconic Land Rover is well documented. A blatant interpretation of the World War II Willys Jeep, the Land Rover was a peacetime utility vehicle targeted at farmers, foresters and landowners.

Being a 1956 model this Series I Land Rover benefitted from a number of mid-phase enhancements over the original production examples which first appeared in 1948. These included a larger and more robust 1997cc petrol engine, a 6 inch longer wheelbase to provide more carrying capacity and an updated four wheel drive system.

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The History

This Land Rover was bought by the current owner’s brother in 2007. The vehicle arrived on a lorry as a chassis and a large number of parts both loose and in boxes. The owner’s brother, who was an engineer in the mining industry, soon instigated a four-year nut and bolt restoration project. Where new parts were required, much effort was made to find the exact original part. The quality of the result of this labour of love can be seen from the photographs presented here.

By 2011 the Series I was ready to attend local summer shows. One of the rosettes awarded as such a show can still be seen in the dash stowage of the Land Rover. In 2013 the owner’s brother, very sadly, passed away and the ownership was bequeathed to the current owner.

Understandably, the current owner has a significant emotional attachment to the Series I and has treated it accordingly. In her ownership the Land Rover has been securely dry stored, kept on a battery conditioner and run out occasionally…..but only on dry days! The owner estimates that the vehicle has covered around 500 miles in the last three years.

This strong emotional attachment to the Land Rover means that the owner is now keen that the vehicle goes to a new owner who will understand and appreciate the quality of this fastidiously restored vehicle.

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The Paperwork

A current V5 is on hand for the Land Rover as is a Certified Copy of a Factory Record, as issued by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. This details the vehicle as being delivered to its first owner in January 1956. That owner was the Home Office at its depot in Evesham, Warwickshire.

The Series I is registered as a Historic Vehicle and as such, we believe it to be tax and MOT exempt.

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The Interior

The interior of this Land Rover presents exceptionally well and we believe it to be possibly better than factory standard. The fold down seats have been professionally retrimmed in period correct material to a very high standard.

The extensive body-coloured sections of the cabin appear in pristine, repainted condition and all period knobs, gauges, pedals and information plates are present and in excellent original fettle.

The rear cabin has a heavy-duty protective rubber mat in place over the pristine, body coloured floor and the tailgate and cabin sides appear undented and immaculately painted.

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The Exterior

The photographs presented here give an indication of the condition and quality of the exterior. The restoration has succeeded where many fail. It has retained some of the gentle undulations of the Birmabright BB2 body panels acquired over its long life. However, the paintwork appears in excellent and lustrous condition in all areas.

The canvas hood appears to be in first class condition and will certainly do an excellent job of keeping the Land Rover dry as well as suppressing more noise than the aluminium hard tops do. The wheels, glass and galvanised trim pieces all appear in a “factory-fresh (or better!)” condition. Tyres appear to have covered very few miles indeed.

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The Mechanics 

We were able to witness the Land Rover start promptly with no smoke, tick over evenly and drive smoothly into position for photography. The owner reports that the vehicle runs “like a sewing machine” and everything works as you would expect from a fully restored and recommissioned example.

The owner had the vehicle fully recommissioned in 2018 which included the fitting of a new petrol tank and the flushing and replacing of all fluids. All visible mechanicals, including the chassis and bulkhead, appeared in pristine condition. See the photographs for full details.

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The Appeal

It is rare to find an early Land Rover that has been so well restored, cared for and presented. Anyone familiar with this off-road icon will appreciate and understand the attention clearly lavished on this example by an accomplished mechanic, enthusiast and engineer. 

This Series I Land Rover is ready to start, drive away and be enjoyed by its new owner. In our opinion this is an example that can be driven straight to a Land Rover show and win accolades and prizes alike. The restoration strikes the best of balances between restoration, originality and usability. A fitting and lasting tribute to its restorer.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1956
  • Make Land Rover
  • Model Series 1
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 41,120 Miles
  • Engine size 1997
  • Location Shropshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
29 bids
  • Ma•••• £26,500 24/10/21
  • N2•••• £26,250 24/10/21
  • Ma•••• £26,000 24/10/21
  • N2•••• £25,999 24/10/21
  • Ma•••• £25,750 24/10/21
  • N2•••• £25,500 24/10/21
  • Ma•••• £25,250 24/10/21
  • Ma•••• £25,000 24/10/21
  • Ja•••• £22,250 24/10/21
  • Rj•••• £22,000 24/10/21

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