The story of Land Rover number one
Chassis 860001 was completed on 19 July 1948 and was the first official production Land Rover. Original plans to gift the vehicle to His Majesty King George VI were shelved and the 80” then spent the next year and a half in the Lode Lane factory site before eventually being registered as JUE 477.
The Land Rover was then acquired by Professor Ewen McEwen - Professor of Agricultural Engineering at King's College, University of Durham and although it changed hands several times, it remained in the north east of England, eventually being bought by a local farmer and miner in Northumberland in 1970.
Mechanical issues meant that it was left on exposed farmland until 1998 where it made a brief appearance at the Land Rover 50th anniversary celebration at Shugborough Hall before being put back in storage in a tumbledown barn.
In 2017, Julian Shoolheifer was tasked by the owner's family with finding a new custodian for JUE 477. Once achieved he was subsequently given the job of carrying out a sympathetic but thorough restoration, preserving as much of its history and originality as was safely possible.
JUE 477 remained exposed on a Northumbrian hillside for several decades.
© Peter McMullon