In the Rotunda: Land Rover Series One, Chassis No.860001, 1948

Land Rover Series One
Chassis No. 860001
JUE 477, 1948

JUE 477 holds a unique place in the history of British motor manufacturing, being the first production Land Rover in a series that would last 70 years to date. Chassis number one (860001) has been hidden from view for almost 20 years, until now…

This 80-inch Land Rover was ‘dispatched’ in July 1948 before being immediately signed over to a member of the Land Rover development programme, remaining within the Solihull site in much the same way as pre-production number seven and HUE 166 (Huey), the world’s oldest Land Rover.

It was not registered for road use until 1950, being bought by a Newcastle University Professor in the February. Over the following 20 years, JUE 477 changed hands just once before being purchased by Mr David Fairless – a trip to buy a tractor resulting in the acquisition of chassis number one instead.

After using the Series One on his Northumberland farm for a time, 860001 was eventually parked up. Continued speculation and interest as to its whereabouts and condition led Mr Fairless to briefly reveal the vehicle at a celebration of Land Rover’s 50th birthday at Shugborough Hall in 1998.

Following the interest generated by its appearance, JUE 477 was then moved out of the public eye into a barn on the family farm until the decision was taken in 2017 to seek a new owner and guarantee its long-term future.

Chassis number 860001 will now be subject to a carefully considered restorative process that retains the remarkable history, original components and unique details.

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Car displayed from Monday 12 to Sunday 18 February.

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