JUE 477 tells the unlikely story of the world’s first production Land-Rover, chassis number 860001, a vehicle of historic significance which was hidden away in decaying condition for almost four decades.
Built in 1948, Land-Rover number one was intended for presentation to King George VI, but actually ended up working on farms and mining sites in north east England. After 22 years of hard service, this well-used workhorse was sold to Northumberland farmer David Fairless for just £15 – and he wasn’t sure whether to continue using the vehicle or break it up for spares. Before long, 860001 lay forgotten and exposed to the elements on the farm.
In 2017, after Fairless’s death, 860001 was liberated from the barn. Sold to INEOS founder and chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the vehicle was then treated to a sympathetic 18-month restoration by renowned Land Rover restorer Julian Shoolheifer, retaining as much of the original vehicle as possible.
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