ROI Potential: 1956 Land Rover Series I

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This Land Rover has been sitting for 30 years, in perhaps one of the more picturesque settings we’ve seen on craigslist. The asking price is $3,200, which seems like reasonable money for a Series 1, as these vintage 4x4s continue to rise in value. It’s hard to determine if rust is an issue, but vintage vehicles seem to survive surprisingly well in the Pacific Northwest. Find the Rover here on craigslist, and thanks to Barn Finds reader Andria A. for the find. 

Don’t get me wrong: the body is tired, and the hardtop has obviously been crushed in. It looks as if it drove at a high rate of speed into a low overpass, to be honest. The primer carelessly spread across the body indicates an attempt at repair of some sort, or at least that this Land Rover has been patched together for many years before it was parked for three decades.

The peach-coloring that’s rampant across the cabin and exterior didn’t strike me as factory at first, but a quick glance at a color chart presents some evidence that it may be heavily faded “Poppy Red” paint. There’s a shot on Google of another Series 1 that’s obviously baked in the sun for quite some time, and Poppy Red appears to fade just like this one has. Still, I’d prefer to hear from a Land Rover expert to get their thoughts on the original color.

It’s not running at the moment and no information is offered about its mechanical health (or lack thereof). Of course, there’s no title as often the case with older vehicles, but the overall completeness on display with this Land Rover provides some encouragement that it’s not a total basketcase. With prices on the rise, is now a good time to pick up an early project like this one?

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  1. EuromotoMember

    You may be right about the color, but it strikes me that the interior paint would be less faded than the exterior yet it looks uniform in the pictures. Just a thought.

    Like 1
  2. Alex

    With an all-aluminum body, rust wouldn’t seem to be a major issue on this one.

    Like 2
  3. Bear

    The bulkhead, floors, & frame are all steel.
    & these parts rust like CRAZY! …even under the best conditions.
    Given the fact that this one has been “sitting for 30 years” (outside?), it is a pretty safe bet that you are gonna have to deal with some rust issues.
    (I would BET that it will need a new (galvanized) frame, & some bulkhead & floor repairs, at a minimum.)
    & THEN you’d get to start to deal with the drivetrain…… :-O

    Like 9
  4. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    No better 4×4 out there .. so much you can do with them.
    I did wonder if the paintwork was a homage to the famous Pink Pather Land Rovers …

    Like 6
    • Jeepster

      uhmm, ever heard of a Cj5, Willys MB, FJ-40. No better out there ?
      Dang, no wonder your empire continues to get over run

      Like 1
      • Jeepster

        and Land Rover now owned by the injuns ( & doing a thousand times better lime idjot ) Ha – Ha-Ha-Ha ….wait a sec BBWWHaaaa Ha Ha

        Like 0
      • UK Paul

        Of course I have heard of Willys etc… that’s what I was comparing them to.
        They doing better than when Ford owned them aren’t they?

        Like 6
      • DenverWoody

        @Jeepster Your handle belies your automotive sympathies, so I suppose no one should be surprised, but have you ever heard of subjective opinion? Or tact?

        Like 5
      • Jeff Mitchell

        Meow your claws are showing🙀

        Like 2
      • Mike

        Congrats, Jeepster…in a growing trend of douchebaggery here, you may have won the prize!

        Nice work. Very impressive.

        Like 3
  5. Derek

    I’d say that that was good value for a Series One.

    Like 3
  6. Garry

    Len Beadell used Landies when surveying Central Australia for roads and nuclear tests. His books are well worth reading and give an insight into the ability of these vehicles.

    Like 6
  7. Martin

    Having had a Jeep which I replaced with the Land Rover I currently have, I can say with some confidence that the Land Rover is hugely superior in every situation so far encountered.

    Like 7
  8. RoverVermont

    You mention the thought of this Rover driving at a high rate of speed into a low overpass…

    No Rover Series 1,2,or 3 EVER drove at a high rate of speed!

    (I have a Series 2a, and a Series 3 Stage One)

    Like 1
  9. Matt C

    Second the comments on rust – the chassis and the front bulkhead/firewall will and do rust away. You can buy complete galvanized replacements but it is a big job. I did it on a Series IIa and it took me over 16 months (in my spare time). I’m not sure that it wouldn’t make more sense to buy one in the UK and ship it over, they are expensive here but over there you can find Series Land Rovers at quite reasonable prices.

    Like 1
  10. Tom Smith

    I don’t think the Series 1 (’48-’58) came in Poppy Red. another red was used for fire engine models…this looks more like russian dressing. This is an 86 or 88″ meaning it is from ’54 – ’58. It should have a 2 liter petrol engine. The earlier 80″ trucks are the most sought-after.

    Like 0
  11. Sheffieldcortinacentre

    Series Landy’s especially 1 don’t do speed of any kind.

    Like 0
  12. jeepster

    my word – what a thin skinned bunch of sissy marys, please do not say these things when visiting Tennessee, damn.

    Like 0
    • Mike

      You sound like a guy who says “sissy marys”.

      Like 2

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