After the 2e World War Rover tried to restart car production as quickly as possible. One of the projects involved the development of a British replacement for the American CJ-2 Jeep. In no time an off-road vehicle was designed with the same 80-inch wheelbase as a Jeep, but made up mainly of British parts of or derived from pre-war Rover passenger cars. This type only became known as 'Series 1', when the Series 1958 appeared in 2.
The world first of the Landrover took place at the Amsterdam auto show in the RAI. Soon the order book filled up and the production of the Land-Rover (then with a dash in between) started. The Rover all-rounder was built around a steel ladder chassis, leaf springs and rigid axles (of the Rover P2) and the bodywork consisted of easily manufactured aluminum panels. The 4 cylinder 50 PK 1.595cc gasoline engine and gearbox were the same as those of the Rover P3.
The first versions of the Landrover had permanent 1951 wheel drives up to 4.
Actually, there was only one body variant possible: the 80-inch version with hood, although body builder Tickford, with the approval of Rover, designed a closed station wagon and sold it in small numbers. Due to the British tax system, most of the approximately 650 copies were for export. From 1950 more body styles became available: a metal hardtop, a closed pick-up (truck cab) and specialized commercial vehicles. In that year, the grille was also slightly adjusted, so that the headlights were released. In 1952 the 1595cc petrol engine was replaced by a 1997cc 52 HP version.
86 inch and 107 inch
To be able to transport more volume, the 1954-inch wheelbase was extended by 80-inch for model year 6 and the rear of the vehicle was extended 3-inch. This resulted in 25% extra loading space. In the meantime, the Landrover was not only used as a military vehicle, but all kinds of agricultural accessories were also designed that could be powered by one of the 3 PTOs (power take-offs).
The grille of the 86 inch had evolved into a mesh in the form of an inverted 'T', with the headlights remaining inside the wheel arches, but free of the mesh. The wire mesh grille was used in Australia for barbecuing, but that aside. New body variants were added for the 86-inch: an 86-inch station wagon. Similar to a hardtop, but with rear seats, side windows and a double roof plus an 107-inch long wheel base (LWB), initially only as a pick-up, later also as a station wagon. The LWB 107 inch was an important 2e model, next to the short wheel base (SWB) 86 inch.
88 inch and 109 inch. The diesel time. The 1957cc 2.052 PK diesel engine developed in 51 needed more space in the engine compartment, so the wheelbase had to be expanded to 88-inch and 109-inch for this. The 2 liter of diesel was later used as the basis for the 2286cc gasoline and diesel versions in the Series 2. The first Series 2 Landrover became available in 1958, so there are relatively few 'Series 1' with 88 or 109-inch wheelbases. The LWB Stationwagon variant is never equipped with the diesel engine and remained on an 107-inch wheelbase.