Rover’s chief engineer, Maurice Wilks, impressed by the ex-army Jeep he used around his farm in Anglesey, realised there was a market for a similar vehicle when his elder brother, Rover MD Spencer Wilks, visited in 1947 and asked, “What will you do when it wears out?”. The resulting Land-Rover became a world-wide success and only ceased production in 2016 after 2,016,933 had been built. The example modelled, production prototype 3 of 48, is the only surviving vehicle from the Land-Rover’s original April 1948 launch at the Amsterdam Show, having initially been dispatched to Rover’s London depot in Seagrave Road on 27th April 1948, then driven to Amsterdam for its starring role.
GWD 431 was the first example to be road-registered as a ‘Land-Rover’ on 21st May 1948, and has unique details such as the red badge on the front-offside wing. It was initially used as a promotional vehicle and then sold to the Kingston Tanning Co, which was run by Geoffrey Wilks, Maurice’s brother. Current owner, Tim Dines, saw it on a Devon Farm during a family holiday in 1974, when he was sixteen, and borrowed £200 from his sister Nicola to buy it after discovering it was Land-Rover number 3. With help from his family Tim restored it just in time for the Land-Rover’s 50th birthday celebrations at Gaydon in April 1998. He treasures this important historic vehicle, the second oldest surviving Land-Rover.
Engine capacity: 1595cc 4IL. IOEV
Max speed: 55mph
Weight (unladen): 2594lbs
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