1956 Land Rover Series 1 88”

MAKELand Rover
MODELSeries 1 88"

1956 Land Rover Series 1 88”

  • Off road for many years 
  • Documented history 
  • Full body-off photo resto 
  • Low ownership 
  • Original buff log book 
  • Please scroll down the page past the video to see the bidding and to read a full description for this lot

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  • Off road for many years 
  • Documented history 
  • Full body-off photo resto 
  • Low ownership 
  • Original buff log book 

A Rover for the land. There it is. In those few simple words, a cult classic emblematic of golden era was born. 

In the immediate post war period, necessity become the mother of all invention. ‘Make do and mend’. Like many other small farmers of the time, Maurice Wilks needed a lightweight multi-purpose vehicle. It would have to drag a trailer-load of hay, power a small sawmill, plough a field, take a few sheep to market and ferry the family to church. 

What made Wilks different though, was that, as well as running a farm, he was chief designer at Rover – where his brother, Spencer, was MD.  

The brothers spotted the opportunity. A Rover for the land. Boom! It must be a Land-Rover, and in double quick time, a prototype, devised by Gordon Bashford was under test. 

The team managed to pull together just 25 pre-production classic Land Rovers by the time of its Oct 1948 launch at the Amsterdam Motor Show. The reaction was overwhelming. It cost just £450. Passenger seats, doors, a spare tyre and a starting handle were optional extras. Rover knew it had to get its finger out and up its plans for production. It did and it never looked back. 

Classic Series Ones (S1) are now highly prized. A word of caution. Tin worm is the enemy. Look for the very best one you can find, or alternatively, find one, where someone else has done all the hard yards for, like this one. 

A little bit about KFX 51 

It has had very few owners, and we have the original Log Book.  

This Land Rover Series 1 was first registered on 26th October 1956 to a family of farmers named Horsington of Sherbourne. They owned the vehicle until April 1969. KFX 51 was then sold to the Haydon-Bathard family of Bournemouth. The family later moved to Wiltshire, taking KFX 51 with them. 

There it worked on the farm. It was not recorded with the DVLA until 1st August 1997. The registration number is it’s original, we have the Buff Log Book as proof, however the re-allocation of KFX 51 means it is non-transferable.  The current V5 shows 4 registered keepers, and it is declared as manufactured, registered and used from 1956, therefore it has historic road tax and MOT exemption status.  

The last two owners were related and it was simply handed on within the family. Included with the original buff log book is a lot of history, many invoices, a number of old MOT’s, along with and assortment of workshop manuals. 

Our vendor has done some work on KFX 51 and that is where we pick the story up. 


Limited by budget, restricted by steel allocation and minimal press tools, the Land-Rover’s simple square shape was imposed rather than designed. Today that that classic profile is recognised around the world. 

Steel was in short supply, but there was an abundance of aluminium.  Again, the design team turned these negatives to their advantage. Those pioneering engineering skills are features that remain to this day on modern Land Rovers. 

This classic S1 has had a body off resto, that has been beautifully executed. 

Once the body was off, it was fully inspected and thoroughly checked in all the usual areas. Once that was complete, the chassis was then treated with a Chassis Coat Black permanent covering developed specifically the exposed frame. The refitted body tub and cab were completed with all new fixings, nuts, bolts etc. Two driving lamps are fitted which look very nice too. 

A new canvas tilt with a rear window concludes the outside. It does look stonkingly good, as you’ll see from the images. 

Engine and Mechanicals 

Spoiler alert. We may upset some die-hard S1 purists here. Here goes. The original classic Land Rover engine is, how shall we say, an acquired taste.  

The engine currently nestling under the S1’s bonnet is a Ford V6. Our vendor tells us the history,  

The 3rd owner replaced the engine with a Ford 2792 V6 petrol Engine using an off the shelf adaptor to marry up this engine with the gearbox, four wheel drive and Hi-Lo transfer box. 

In my ownership we have attended to the engine’s needs, fitted a new Webber twin choke carburettor, fuel pump and electronic ignition. It drives and pull superbly”. 

In practical terms the V6 transforms the Land Rover Series 1 into a rather quick, easy to live with, road going car. Our vendor tells us, the new engine “works with the transfer box and the 4 wheel drive. It runs like a dream but with the 2.8 Ford Koln V6 it has all the torque yet smoothness to leave as is and enjoy.”.  

With the bags of low down torque provided by the V6, it means the S1 performs even better off road, if that were possible. We think it is a great touch.  

If you’re not a fan of the V6, don’t despair. From our vendor, again, “Coming with this Land Rover is a correct Rover 4 Cylinder petrol OISE engine which has been checked over and is ready to be commissioned and fitted, if a new owner wished to go back to original. We have not had the Rover P4 2ltr engine running, it is yet to be re-commissioned and rebuilt. Has fresh oil and new filter and all gaskets, a new water pump, Original carb, oil Pump and is full of SAE 40 engine oil from Morris Lubricants in Shrewsbury. The engine turns nicely” 

We’d call that, having your cake and eating it.. 

The list of mechanical replacements and refurbishments are exhaustive. We will let our vendor describe just a few of the main headlines. There is more detail, with invoices that can be provided, just ask. 

“We have fitted, new brake drums, brake shoes and wheel cylinders and a new master cylinder.  

A new battery and fuel pump. Much rewiring was done and a new ignition starter switch has been fitted for safety reasons.  

It is fitted with front driving lamps and a heater (though not connected). Front and rear towing attachments are fitted. A thermostatic fan is installed. 

We also told, “At sometime a side winch was fitted, driven off the PTO link on the gearbox”. 


The interior space follows the same pattern as other areas on the cult classic S1. A thorough but thoughtful overhaul. It has been restored back to high standard with the emphasis on originality. 

A set of three front seats in green vinyl come with the vehicle, as does an additional set of Rear Bench seats.  

This is one of the definitive examples of utilitarian post-war motoring. Yet a well sorted Series 1 Land Rover remains an entertaining, endearing machine – as well as a, practical hard-working one. 

Our view 

Narrowing down values for classic S1 Landies is a tricky business. 

In general terms, early vehicles are usually worth more. But even these vary wildly. At the very trumpy top end, those being restored in the factory by JLR, in the Reborn programme, are being sold for circa £80-100k. At the bottom, you can pick a wreck up, that is basically a log book, for £5k. 

Unless you fancy writing a few blank cheques, avoid these. 

The market for ‘good’ ones ranges from around just a smidgen under £20,000 all the way up to £30,000. Without revealing any secrets, that makes the sensible reserve on this very well sorted  classic Land Rover Series I, superbly attractive. 

For the Series 1 fan looking for a practical, fun, potential a show-worthy example, this is the perfect choice. 


Vehicle Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire – it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor.

Have a question about this vehicle? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
g**********4 £7,000.00 2022-04-20 06:43:15
d*************m £6,500.00 2022-04-21 18:47:37
Start auction £6,000.00 15/04/2022 11:00 PM


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