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The four wheel drive engagement was a ring pull. The seats had ‘spade backs’, there was only one windscreen wiper and it had an R866xxxx number.


about 1500 vehicles – from R866xxxx to R866xxxx – that were painted Sage Green, but nearly all of them were exported to R/H drive export countries; South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. The fact that yours is still here makes it a very rare Land Rover indeed!


We pushed it back into its hutch and scampered home.


I posted more


photographs on the LRSOC forum and the interest and answers flooded back.


Ah, yes, they said, it looks like it was originally Sage Green. Stone me, I thought, HUE166 is Sage Green. The number, they said, looks like May, 1949! And that, they said, makes it about as rare as a Land Rover can get. It was part of a batch of


I need to get the dispatch details from Gaydon and check all the other


serial numbers from gearbox, axles and engine – I know the engine was replaced with a genuine, Land Rover, 2.0 Litre engine, sometime around the turn of the sixties, seventies – but I’ve spoken to my drag racing friend and he thinks its first owner was a dockyard. Apparently they were importing lorries and if one of them wouldn’t start or move, for whatever reason, my Landie was tasked with getting it out of the way before the crane landed


another one on the dockside.


It wasn’t


registered – as LYE 406 – until 1951, which is why everyone thought it was fairly commonplace, rather than a very close sibling of HUE 166.


So far, that’s all there is. All my effort is going in to clearing out my workshops at home and increasing the amount of space around it at F-i-L’s.


I need to buy


lots of toys – welding gear, spray guns, trestles, trolley jack, engine stand and so on, before the real work starts, but now I can’t wait to see it back in Sage Green and looking quite a lot like the most famous Land Rover in the world.


by Roger Whittle


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