The Story of HUE 222

THE STORY OF FINDING A VERY RARE Land Rover:

1948 Series 1 registration HUE 222

(now owned by the Editor Mr Denys Shortt in the UK)

Land Rover - HUE registration plates

The photos above show that there were only fifteen HUE number plates given to early Land Rover Series 1's.

Of course the most famous is the first Land Rover HUE 166 owned by Land Rover and located in the British Motor Museum at Gaydon.


The discovery and early research

The first news of its existence in Italy appeared on LRSOC magazine  Legend n.123 in October 2004  

Mr. Martin Turner of the company "Cox & Turner  took some pics of it in Florence during his honeymoon.
It had seemed at first sight just a Series 1 with a hard top, but with a more accurate look he saw the licence plate  HUE222. This awoke his curiosity!
He wondered what it was doing, so abandoned,  under a tree in a garden in Italy.
The photo (shown above) was taken from the walls of the Boboli Gardens, which overlook a private property where the car was parked.
Following this discovery an article was written in Land Rover Legend Magazine of the Land Rover Series One Owners Club.

In the copy of Legend Magazine No.124 Nov / December 2004 - Anthony Kilsby reported something more.

During a six month  European trip  made with his wife Jane on board a Land Rover series one 86 inch (KBW 860), they in July  also visited Florence. It was there that, once againHUE222  was seen  in the same garden.  Taking a look around he was able to speak with the owner of the garden and he reported that the were also parked a Land Rover Series 3,  a Morris Traveller and an old Triumph. All of these belonged to a family friend that had temporarily left them there as he did not having any secure parking.

Anthony Kilsby managed to take a close look at HUE and he could see that there was little evidence of rust.  A nest of wasps in HUE suggested to him it was better to desist from further investigation.

Doing research in old records and newsletters it  turned out the owner was a  Mr Enrico Tedeschi , an Italian man at the time living in Brighton, England.

At this point Paulo Turninetti (an Italian Land Rover enthusiast)  takes over the story -

For the next Christmas holiday I arranged a week  in Tuscany Italy, obviously spending a day in Florence!  Here, I spent a whole afternoon peeking over all the walls of the Florentine gardens, but without trace of HUE.

At that point curiosity on my part, I started to find out more by searching on the internet.  I found Mr. Tedeschi in England where he had lived for several years. I contacted with him by email and he responded politely that the he was the previous owner of HUE 222. He had sold it before going to live in England.  Unfortunately he could not provide any additional information.

Not  wanting to surrender, I thought about searching on the internet to see if there was any other news about HUE. I also tried with the Land Rover clubs and found the Land Rover Florene Club. I called the President to see if he could find the name of  the man who bought the car from Mr Tedeschi.

Then it was March of 2005 after so many phone calls and passing through many people that I found the owner.  He said "I do not think even I will restore it"    and then a few more pone calls  "if one day sell it 'I will tell you"

Until about  five years after  it became "yes we could  talk about it,  but you have to know that it isn't  'a normal car', this number plate is famous " ......with the obvious purpose of increasing the cost.

So, it was November 2010 (six years after that magazine article)  when the purchase price was settled.

Finally in December 2010 I attached my trailer to the Ddefender and left for Florence to pick up HUE222 , accompanied by my very understanding wife.

Domenico , the seller,  had been waiting at  the motorway exit to take us to the place, that he calls his "showcase"  housing  where there were about  fifteen Land Rover series 1's  in various condition. Also a quantity of an unspecified number of parts and pieces all made by Land Rover. There was also the  Morris that spent its life as "companion" of HUE222 under a tree in the hills of Florence.

So I brought it home,  in my " showcase"  looking forward to the restoration that must bring it back to the glory days that saw the birth of the Land Rover legend.


TRYING TO TRACE THE ENGLISH STORY

Year of construction December 17, 1948
Delivery Date December 20, 1948 to  Midland Autocar Co Ltd, Russell Street, Leamington Spa Worwickshire

First  recording January 15, 1949
Holder P.F. Lloyd, 19 New Street, Kenilworth, Warwickshire


Interestingly, Kenilworth was the town where Maurice Wilks also lived and HUE166 was registered for the first time January 17, 1949 to WF Adcock, Daisy Farm, Kenilworth

Doing research on LAND ROVER REGISTER 1947-51 I found that starting from December 15, 1948 to March '49, 15 Land Rovers were registered with a license plate HUE in Worwickshire County Council  and now just two are still known.


The magazine FULL GRILLE Land Rover Register 1947-51, number 17 December 1980 shows the recording in the voice of R86 VEHICLE PRODUCTION HUE222 on behalf of Enrico Tedeschi.

The same on No Legend 7 of 24 March 1981,REGISTER OF VEHICLES on the Land Rover SERIES ONE CLUB OF 2001, 'yet with the words: Colour Light green, and Hardtop Truck Cab

Chassis number 861194 R
Engine number 861194

In reality 'on the machine and' this engine 861413, supporting the view that the engines were replaced for the first registration after the machines had been used as a car factory.

The vehicle identification number (VIN) printed on the chassis near the left side of the engine,  shows next to the main number R861194 number more small 1584 topped in turn by two small circles, a more' evident within a code DCU 754 and the other much less marked with the initials DCU 755.

This number called "build chassis or frame number" was supposed to take account of the total production and is suspected to be part of the Internal QMS (quality management system!) to ensure better monitoring of the construction of the frames, which circulate in the place he had to find the brand of the operator who had worked in the construction of the frame.

Another source cites the fact that the number was placed in a factory linked to Solihull on whose behalf provide for the construction of frames in a time of strong market demand and the still inadequate domestic production.

The plate in recent years was curiously composed of two overlapping plates. Investigating this issue I discovered was that usually placed at the factory a "Blank number plate" which was also known as painted plate because 'in theory you could just paint the number plates attached. Actually 'always happened that a new license plate number was printed with the overlapped. This' HUE222 the case of both the front plate for the on the back.

The car lacks the "grab rail", a sort of pipe that was used to keep safe the passenger and was placed on Bulkhead, in the space between the two hooks stop windscreen. It seems that many do not have their ,  and the only explanation is given to the fact that simply lacked the time of installation or the part itself, and since the machines were delivered, were deprived of this finite element.

The hard top that equips this machine is  'definitely a post-sale as the first hard top back to 1950. Of course the machine 'arrived in Italy with this configuration.
Characteristic is the fact that the measure does not seem much on the medium 80 ", but it 's also much larger and so everything suggests that it was built deliberately increased, perhaps to flush the water outside of the box and cab guide.

Characteristic steering wheel called "flat four spoke", the peculiarity is the flat form ,  'cause unlike all the other  concaves four spoke'  and it 'was apparently produced only in the months between May and October '48.

One of the salient details of the machines defined in the "early 1500" and built from April 48 to 49 January was certainly the angular coverage of the "flywheel housing and the" gearbox cover, with the flange of the gear lever attached directly above, and the characteristic angular shape typical of a purely manual construction. A new bulkhead was put into production  starting from 1501 chassis frame.
At this point, given the fact that the procedure was abandoned from  the original , move to a new phase more 'industrialized with the use of the presses.
 Easy to see what was the initial suspicion that even the leadership, perhaps also because of the scarcity of economic resources, had started production of what was to be only a "stop gap" still rely on purely manual construction techniques without making a large investment in technical equipment
.


 

 

ITALIAN STORY and  RESTORATION

Enrico Tedeschi , the man who brought HUE222 in Italy, was a man that first introduced a Land Rover spares parts business in Italy  called " London Limited" in a time where there wasn't an official dealer organisation  yet. He was very keen on old Land Rovers and  owning several series vehicles he thought also have a series 1.

So found HUE and with the help of Aylmer Motor Works of London - a company he did business with. He brought the car to Italy on 4th July 1975 carried on a Land Rover Forward Control!

At the end the car laid for a couple of year in a garden near home without never had attention. This has been a lucky event because at the end HUE come on its own with all original parts in place. So it is a real matching number, not so common to find indeed.

After some year, being Tedeschi's  wife fron England , they decided to move toward a new home in Brighton leaving here their Land Rover including HUE, that was transferred from a garden to another !!!!!

 

In february 2011 i exposed it to the Automotorero' old timer show in Turin, then suddenly the restoration project started.

The series one club member well know the story because i asked them a lot of suggestion trying to keep the car on its best , keeping safe all has been possible and changing those parts that looks wrong. So i found an original distributor Lucas dating 12/ 48 exactly the date when HUE was made, a series one man provided a new fuel tanks made according original specifications, the original 11/48 radiator was welded from an italian specialist, we restored the original chassis frame just changing some parts thanks to the perfect spares provided by Radford brothers. We surprisingly found the Colville ( scottish iron foundry ) name sandblasting the  tow bar,  than just sprayed few silver colour over for dont delete the name.

The steering wheel very rare as said , has been " rescued" from a young craftsman that rebuilt it covering the iron crown with resinwood and modelling it by hand.

 

I found and bought  perfect period Avon Traction Mileage directly bought to Vintage Tyres in Beaulieu ( coming back from Dorset series one rally !! ). New seats and hood has been bought from Undercovers Cover, collected once again directly in England while a periodic trips to some Land Rover event.

The engine has been completely stripped down and rebuilt, as the gear box that really was in good condition thanks to the mud/grease that kept safe all the gears themselves.

Under the front plate we found well maintained the original Sage Green colour, Whit the helps of a friend owning a colour shop , after some test we obtained the perfect match as it should  be.

 It has been, as probably lot of you readers well know

a fascinating story, nothing has been neglected, nothing has been done without being sure of what we was doing. HUE222 is the only 1948 series one in Italy and all the guys of

Registro Storico Italiano are proud of it, because the four years occourred for the restoration have been  lived  all together, for us this project has meaning in some way the project of all the club .

Once the works ended HUE222 was exposed once again in all its brightness to some show like Torino and Padova making part of the official Jaguar Land Rover Italy stand

 

                                               written by Paolo Turinetti