MAO 639 – 1953 Land Rover Series 1 – 80″ – 27,000 miles from new !
“It’s only original once !”
Land Rover Centre have built a business buying, selling and restoring some of the best Land Rovers in the world. Supply and demand over the years have dictated that there is a very good market for restored Land Rovers – simply because unrestored “original” examples are getting more and more difficult to source as the years go by.
“MAO” is a bit of an exception.
Built in February 1953 it is one of the Last “80” Land Rovers produced, as the “86” superseded it that same year.
It retains the original 1.6 litre engine and has covered a genuine 27,000 miles from new.
Delivered new to “Stanwix Garages Limited” (Carlisle Cumbria) on 2nd March 1953 and given the Cumbrian registration “MAO” – (hence the nickname “The Chairman”)
The Land Rover remained in the area and was owned by a series of people until it was discovered in September 2006 outside a closed down garage.
The Chairman came into the possession of the previous owner Michael, in March 2015 – through a specialist classic vehicle auction.
Michael has a lifetime of enthusiasm for classic vehicles and has owned everything from Land Rovers to vintage Rolls Royce’s. He has been a client of ours since 2013, when he purchased a delightfully original Series 2 Short wheel base station wagon from us.
Before bringing the Land Rover home, Michael had the Land Rover assessed and brought up to fully roadworthy condition, including a complete brake overhaul, some new engine hoses, a full service and a carburetor rebuild, plus 12 months MOT.
November 2015 – Full leaf spring replacement
During 2016 Michael instructed a Rolls Royce specialist that he has used for many years to carry out a thorough overhaul and schedule of repairs, to bring the Land Rover up to his exacting standards. The work included (but was not limited to):
- Re-core of original radiator
- New water pump and gaskets etc
- New wiring loom
- New Battery
- Detailing bodywork
- Detailing galvanised parts
- New hood
- New door seals
- Recondition of road wheels
- Clean and treat chassis
- New lamps
- New tyres and tubes
- Full engine service
- New wiper motor
- New dip swtich
- New tool kit
The whole emphasis was on retaining the Land Rovers originality – rather than stripping and restoring – which ion some ways may have been easier.
There is a HUGE history file with the Land Rover, including invoices, personal notes, and a number of hard to obtain books.
So if you are looking for a “Fully restored show queen” – then this Land Rover is probably not the one for you. However, if you are looking for probably one of the most original 80 inch Land Rovers around, I honestly think you will struggle to find better.