Series 1 86
Land Rover Series 1 86
The original Land Rover. Produced from 1953 to 1956.
Originally fitted with a 600-16 crossply tyre, with the option of a 650-16. A more modern radial alternative would be 205R16, but the vehicle feels better on the original crossply.
Work started on the first Land Rover in 1947, with the initial 48 pre-production prototypes constructed early in 1948. These were powered by a 1.6-litre Rover P3 engine, the same as the first production cars which started to be built in May 1948.
Retrospectively known as the Land Rover Series I, these first of the breed all featured an 80-inch wheelbase, then in 1951 the 1.6-litre engine was swapped for a more muscular 2.0-litre unit, for easier towing. In 1953 the standard wheelbase was stretched to 86 inches, to increase luggage capacity by 25 per cent, although the payload remained the same. For those who wanted even more carrying capacity, a long-wheelbase (107-inch) Land Rover Series I was also introduced.
Almost a decade after the series I arrived, in 1957 the first diesel Land Rover hit the road with a 2052cc four-cylinder engine. Because the diesel engine was two inches longer, the car’s wheelbase also grew by two inches, to 88 or 109 inches. Series I production ran until 1958 when the Series II took over.