Ray, me and JUE

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Offline rbm

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  • Location: Cumbria, UK
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Ray, me and JUE
- Apr 16, 2009 - 18:50
On a very bright sunny summer day about eleven or twelve years ago we (my wife our 2 young lads and I) met up in Kendal with the late Ray Sykes - ARC national scrutineer and my best mate for a trip out into the fells beyond Penrith to go and look at a motor. The trip came about after one of those winter nights sat in the pub chewing the fat, Ray came out with a tale: When he was at university he had run an old series 2 and on a camping weekend he had see this derelict 88" sat in a field so went up to the farm house to ask if he could ..err.. I would say buy but with Ray more likely scrounge some bits for his road motor. Anyway on with the tale, the chap who answered the door was not so keen but they got talking Ray mentioned he had an 1949 Land Rover (from the first batch supplied to the WD) and the chap responded saying he had an older one than that and if he came back in the morning after milking time he would take Ray to see it.
So as the tale goes Ray went back and they hike across a few field to an abandoned farm, round the barn were a number of rusting vehicles and a couple of Land Rovers, one being an 80" in a sorry state but mostly complete. This was JUE and the significance was the chassis number ..... lots of zeros followed by a single number and that number was ONE.

Ray had arranged this trip having spoken to the owner of JUE and we headed up into the fells after the obligatory stop for bacon bun (I don't think Ray could pass a greasy Joes without having to stop - how he stayed so thin?) travelling it must have been halfway to Newcastle. Eventually we stopped and it was on with the wellies and we had to hike off across some boggy fields. There it was sat rather sadly, surrounded by a handful of rusting split screen Moggy Thous and Ford Fergies, paint faded and rubbed through to alli, a front hub and swivel missing, one wing outer ripped loose, a rear body side missing, no doors or screen, bumper bent back to the wings. Surprisingly the drivers spade back remained so I sat in and grasped the twin spoked steering wheel what a feeling, yes it was looking forlorn but here I was sat in possibly the most important Land Rover ever, JUE 477, the very first one built to be sold - if this and its sisters had failed back there in 1948 the Land Rover would have been consigned to history books there and then.



sorry about the picture digital photo of 35mm print.


by the way JUE477 is NOT for sale.

Offline PH Moore

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  • Location: Northumberland, UK
  • Posts: 18
Re: Ray, me and JUE
Reply #1 - Apr 16, 2009 - 19:59
JUE477 is located about 18 miles from where i live.I got to see it a good
few years ago,when it was taken to a Land-Rover show after the discov
-ery of it.As far as i know it is still un-restored.

Offline Rob Sharpe

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Re: Ray, me and JUE
Reply #2 - Apr 16, 2009 - 22:44
Ray was always a veritable font of all knowledge on everything Landrover. Between him and Clive the service manager you could get an answer to any query from 'Kentdale'  Another one taken too soon.

Offline 715GC Trade Advertiser

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Re: Ray, me and JUE
Reply #3 - Apr 16, 2009 - 23:37
Hello there, when this turned up at the 50th is was so very interesting, made the weekend, we could not stop going back for another look, my dad and i are always looking back at when it drove in behind an old estate car. I wish that it went to Gaydon and was left there, the way that it was found, it would be very hard to restore whats left!
 
Tom Pickford
A few series ones!

Offline rbm

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  • Location: Cumbria, UK
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Re: Ray, me and JUE
Reply #4 - Apr 17, 2009 - 20:59
The owner of JUE knew exactly what it was when he bought it, so I guess it was never lost. Ray was the first person outside the owners family to be shown JUE and had always been promised that if it was to be restored it would be Ray that did it.
 
The owner took JUE to the 50th as at the time there was a rumour that a .... err... well known Land Rover owner had found and was restoring the 1st production 80" (which might have been difficult to do as he didn't own it !!)
 
Yes Ray was taken far to soon, I still miss him. We had done Norway in 2 80", Ray had lost his licence due to illness so his sister drove Ray and his 80" up to Trondhiem and my wife drove him and it back 5000+ miles. We were planning the next trip when he was taken from us.
 
One of Rays ambitions was to see whales in the wild and he did in in Alaska in the days just before he passed away.

 

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