Originally designed for farm and light industrial use, the first prototype was built in the summer of 1947. This was followed by a further 48 examples that were built for trials and appraisal. The Land Rover was launched in April 1948 at the Amsterdam motor show, it was originally designed as a short term project to keep the Rover car company busy until the depressed post - war car market started to pick up.
In common with the Land Rover's that followed, the Series 1 had a box section steel chassis, and aluminium bodywork. This was due to the rationing of steel, and the abundance of aircraft aluminium. Many thousands of the Series I's can still be seen on the roads today. Some are still in original condition, many have undergone restoration, and others can be seen heavily modified at off - road events.