Picture a public house back Chelsea in 1963, somewhat different from today’s normal bistro type affair, a place just to drink and chat over a good ale and no doubt a few smokes too!
It was in one such establishment some 56 years ago, actually the Admiral Codrington in Mossop Street, after a brief ‘how do’ and some further mumbled pleasantries with a fellow drinker, albeit only a few as the other was inebriated, resulted in a handshake and the keys to this early Land Rover Series One 80-inch being handed over for just £10….and I am so very pleased to report that this Series 1 is still owned by the same gentleman and has been known as Chubby’ ever since.
As you would expect after nearly 6 decades it has become very much part of the family and played a significant role in their lives throughout the last 56 years. Sadly, with the relentless passage of time and ‘anno domini’, and the unenviable problem of what to do, the difficult decision has been made to allow another to enjoy ‘Chubby’.
There is a history timeline that the owner Alan kindly put together, a blow-by-blow account of its progress and roles down the years, all the way until 2016, when its physical state meant it was to time to either discard or restore.
Quietly I am told there was never any possibility of it being simply discarded, in fact quite the reverse, as a decision had already been made to approach Dunsfold Land Rover and discuss its total restoration.
Dispatched to DLR during 2016, it was eventually completed later in July 2018. As much of the original vehicle has been re-used as practical. The chassis was beyond economical repair, so a new galvanised unit of the same type was fitted. Much the same problem with the bulkhead existed, so a correct rust-free unit was installed.
The list of works is endless but the whole car was worked through preserving where possible and/or replacing with correct items when it was not. Finally, it was correctly painted in Bronze Green to replicate the older style finish…not too smooth and shiny! As you can imagine an enormous amount of money has been spent.
Incredibly the owner believes the current shown mileage is correct, recalling it was on its original tyres when he bought! It was subsequently only ever used at weekends and then occasionally as the years progressed...just a faithful friend, always ready at their 'beck & call' !
A wonderful opportunity to acquire and become the custodian of a lovely early Series One 80-inch Land Rover that now has decades of faithful service to be enjoyed.
It would be a pleasure to answer any further questions you might have. The Land Rover can be inspected at my Guildford showroom – do please call me directly on +44(0)7788 865700