The British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire owns one of the rarest Land Rover survivors: a 1949 Land Rover Series 1 station wagon with coachwork by Tickford. This rare Land Rover Series 1 station wagon was gifted to the museum by a private collector in 2005 and is central to the Land Rover collection at the museum.

About the Tickford Land Rover Station Wagon

The Tickford Land Rover was unveiled soon after the launch of the original Land Rover in 1948. The station wagon gave the impression of a more commercial vehicle, although the taxman did not see it like that and applied a private car Purchase Tax, giving the Tickford Land Rover a cost new of £959, compared to the tax-exempt Series 1 workhorse at £580. £959 in 1949 is the equivalent of £42,500 today. These were expensive vehicles!

1949 Land Rover station wagon Bonhams

Tickford’s station wagon was an all-metal rear body on a wooden frame. The cabin had space for seven people, with four folding seats in the rear, which could be removed for extra storage space. Rear access was by the front passenger’s door and via a split folding tailgate at the back. The body was well finished, with a larger single piece windscreen, winding windows and a metal cover to protect the bonnet mounted spare wheel.

By the end of production in 1951, only 651 station wagons had been made and the vast majority of those went for export – over 600 units, many to aid agencies including UNICEF. An estimated 20 examples survive. Good restored examples with the original running gear including 1.6-litre engine now sell for over £70k.

1949 Land Rover Station Wagon by Tickford ©Bonhams

The first SUV is often debated: was it the Bronco or was it the Range Rover, which itself used the Bronco for inspiration. The original SUV might well have been this: the Tickford bodied Series 1 Land Rover station wagon. This rare example is beautifully presented and carries my initials on the plate. The starts definitely align for me above this handsome machine! Watch my Youtube short below and check out the Classic Car Valuations Youtube channel for more from the museum.

The British Motor Museum is open from 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week, with the exception of 24-27 December and 31 December-1 January inclusive. Advance tickets cost £16 for adults and £9 for 5-16 year-olds. Under 5s are free. There are a range of concessions, so check out the deals they have going.

Images ©Bonhams – thank you

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Images courtesy of unsplash/author