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Last Updated 5/30/07

 

Series I Land Rovers in the USA - a Brief History


Photo by Roberto Hirth - Rio de Janeiro,Brazil


The Rover Company launched the Series 1 Land Rover in the UK in 1948 but, unlike some other major world markets, the Series 1 Land Rover did not make it into the USA until about 1951. Sales were slow and there were not many Land Rovers imported into either the US or Canada during the 1950's. So it is hardly surprising that a Series 1 Land Rover is a rare find in North America these days.
The sheer geographic enormity of the North American market made supply of Land Rover spares and servicng problematic. And, who would want to invest in a Series 1 Land Rover that would probably be subject to a serious workload when servicing facilities were not near at hand. True, the Land Rover was designed with the owner maintenance facility built -in, but not every potential owner has the inclination or motivation to get invloved in regular vehicle maintenance, and then there is still the requirement for spares occasionally.
Hardly surprising then, that the Rover compnay should make a loss on each Series 1 Land Rover it sold to the North American market.

An effort was made however to adapt the Series 1's to the
North American market: A laminated windscreen was a standard feature. The different lighting regulations required that the Land Rover's sidelights be mounted in the front wings and not on the front of the bulkhead, as in the UK. Also, in the UK, the rear numberplate was to the right hand side,but it had to be central to comply with the US regulations. Furthermore, in the UK, the rear brake and stop lamps on the Land Rover were an integrated unit in the shape of a letter D on its side; but to comply with US regulations they had to be circular.
For the Candian market the Series 1's were equipped with better heat insulation and draft exclusion.


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Fascinating facts
(No.60 )
The Military FACE (Field Artillary Computer Equipment) was based on the 3/4 ton 109 and acted as a firing command post.

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