Modified Land Rovers are nothing new, it is almost certainly the norm to see a Land Rover modified to suit the owner which is what gives the iconic British vehicle its character and charm.
Sir Winston Churchill owned a 1954 Series I Land Rover which in true Land Rover fashion, had been modified to allow him to be chauffeur-driven in style around his 300 acre estate, it featured an extra wide passenger seat, leather dashboard grab handle and a heated footwell.
The heated footwell must of taken some doing, as anyone that has ever driven or owned a series Land Rover will understand!
The series 1 which was registered to “Rt Hon Sir Winston Spencer Churchill KG. OM. CH. MP. Chartwell, Westerham, Kent” had the number plate ‘UKE 80’ and was built for Churchill’s 80th birthday, it was presented to the great man on November 30, 1954. The UKE part of the vehicle registration plate was standard Kent issue for December 1954, it is likely that the 80 was deliberate to mark the occasion.
The series was later auctioned at Cheffins’ vintage sale on October 20 at Sutton Saleground near Ely, complete with it’s original logbook and still registered Sir Winston Churchill. On the day of sale the vehicle had 12,932 miles on the clock and bidding started at £40,000 with an estimate of £60,000.
The final sale price of Land Rover which had been dry stored in a shed in Kent since 1977 was £129,000, the buyer remained anonymous. According to Cheffins auctioneers the vehicle was the most expensive item in its auction of more than 2,000 vintage vehicles.