See the 1953 Royal Land Rover Series 1 at Engineering Materials Live on March 12th

Entry to the Engineering Materials Live event on March 12th also provides a free ticket to see the fabulous British Motor Museum at Gaydon – and the Royal Land Rover Series 1 is just one of almost 300 landmarks of British motoring history that you can see there.

This particular Land Rover was specially adapted for official use from the basic 86 inch wheelbase model. It was the first of the bespoke royal Land Rovers and is known as ‘State IV’. The body was custom designed with a rear platform from which its Royal passengers could acknowledge the crowds and is painted the royal colour ‘claret’. Like all state vehicles for the use of the monarch, it was not required to be registered hence the absence of a number plate. The vehicle was part of a fleet which accompanied the Queen and Prince Philip on a six month Commonwealth tour soon after the Coronation of HM The Queen in 1953. The couple covered 50,000 miles over a route from London to New Zealand and Australia, then on to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Aden (Yemen) and Africa returning to Europe through Gibraltar. Where it was not practical to travel by road, the Land Rovers were transported by special air freighters. The varying road conditions and temperatures were a challenge to the royal vehicles. The Australian army provided a ‘royal car company’ of seven officers and 104 other army personnel who were each given three months training for the assignment, including driving at ceremonial speeds. In 1974 a new vehicle based on the Range Rover became the principal Royal review car and ‘State IV’ seen here was put into retirement and is now part of the collection at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon.

Pre-register as a Engineering Materials Live visitor and receive a free British Motor Museum pass (worth £14.95) to see this Land Rover and almost 300 other fascinating vehicles. Pre-registered visitors also benefit from abundant free parking right outside the show, a free bacon roll and brew for those arriving before 1030, and free tea and coffee on site all day.

Tom Austin-Morgan

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