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.