The story of JUE 477


The FIRST EVER LAND ROVER to roll out of Solihull was originally scheduled to be shown to King George VI in 1948, but instead wound up working in mining sites and farms in northeast England.  After more than two decades, it was sold to a farmer for £15 in a very used tatty condition.  The farmer decided to just store it on his farm where it remained for for 50 years. Unfortunately, during that time, the roof of the barn where it was stored caved in and the Landie was exposed to the elements.


When the farmer passed away, his family reached out to a Land Rover restorer to find out if the car was worth anything.  The restorer was dumbfounded when he realized that he was looking at something that Land Rover fanatics had always wondered what it’s fate had been. 


A sealed bid auction was conducted. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, an entrepreneur and adventurer, won the auction and decided to restore it.

The restoration was a painstaking task that took 2 years to complete, as the intent was to keep every part of the original as possible (down to the nuts and bolts and the severely corroded chassis) 

After careful reconstruction, "Jewey" was returned to perfect working order, still wearing its weather-beaten bodywork.


"Jewey" did not go to any museum as most would consider logical.  Instead, in true Land Rover fashion, Sir Ratcliffe decided to take it on a grueling trip thousands of miles across the Gobi desert.

There were 48 prototypes. Production No1 was actually built in the middle of this run.  It spent nearly 50 years hidden from view in total and was indeed pulled from a collapsed barn in 2017.

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