Vehicles | August 13, 2020 12:50 pm

Land Rover’s “Car Zero” Is a Flawless Series I, and Up for Grabs

Not a fan of the new Defender? This is for you.

"Car Zero" from Land Rover Reborn's Series I project
"How much you packing under the hood?" It's a Series I, bro, that's not the point.
©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

New drool-worthy limited-edition cars cross my desk every single day. Often I’m hesitant to write about them for the simple fact that no one, not even those of you cashing in on your Tesla stock, have a chance to buy them, because by the time the news comes out they’re already spoken for. 

Such was the case with “Car Zero,” the first Series I — the legendary precursor to the Defender — restored in-house as part of the Land Rover Reborn initiative, which we wrote about back in 2017. For anyone who considers themselves a Defender purist, it was the holy grail: a 1950 right-hand drive model that had spent most of its life as a farm workhorse in Australia, now restored to manufacturer perfection like it just rolled off the line at Solihull. The only problem? No one was getting their hands on it.

Now, that’s all changed. RM Sotheby’s recently added the Series I “Car Zero” to its upcoming auction this October. Will it probably go for more than a brand-new, souped-up 2020 Defender, even though it puts out 55 horsepower? Probably, but for the right buyer it’ll be worth every penny.

For all the potential American buyers out there, just a reminder that you shouldn’t be deterred by the right-hand drive setup. You can still drive them on U.S. streets, and as The New York Times wrote about earlier this year, it’s actually becoming sort of a thing. And while the temptation with a vehicle this historic may be to hide it away in a temperature-regulated, windowless bunker, especially with only 126 kilometers on the odometer since the restoration, whoever wins the auction should seriously consider driving it into the ground just like the original owner did.

Not sure where you’d like to take it first? We’ve got one idea.

Oh, and if you don’t win the auction in October, or don’t want to wait that long and leave it up to chance, Land Rover is still taking inquiries for its Reborn project.

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