1958 Land Rover
In 1984 the Newfoundland Antique and Classic Car Club (NACCC) acquired this 1958 Land Rover from the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador. It was donated to the Club for restoration and preservation as a piece of the Province’s transportation history. The Land Rover was originally driven by former Premier and Father of Confederation, Joseph R. Smallwood, and was the first vehicle to drive across the Trans Canada Highway in Newfoundland.
As you can see from the photo on the right, the vehicle needed extensive restoration. Many club members volunteered for the project and after six years of hard work the Land Rover was ready to be displayed. The Land Rover’s first showing was at our annual car show in June 1990.
In the photo on the left Joseph R. Smallwood and Carl Hamlyn of the NACCC officiate at the unveiling of the Land Rover at the NACCC annual car show in 1990. It was truly an honour to have Mr. Smallwood present to add a little more to the history of the vehicle.
In 1992 the Land Rover was part of the 1992 Confederation Tour. This was a cross-Canada tour of antique vehicles to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Confederation. The Land Rover, driven by former NACCC President Carl Hamlyn, led the tour from St. John’s to Port aux Basques. The tour started at Mile 1 in St. John’s and ended in Victoria, BC.
In 1999 the Land Rover was displayed at the Delta Hotel in St. John’s as part of the Canada Conference celebrations. This was a three-day celebration of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 50 years as a Canadian province, and Canada’s entry into a new millennium, which included Canada’s business leaders, academics, politicians and artists, and the general public.
In 2000 the National Association of Antique Automobile Clubs of Canada planned a Coast-to-Coast tour that ended in St. John’s on August 18th. Premier Brian Tobin met the tour group at Paddy’s Pond overpass when they arrived. The Premier, driving the 1958 Land Rover, led the group of approximately 200 antique vehicles to the Confederation Building, again adding a little to the history of the vehicle.
In 2002 the Land Rover was displayed at the Mile One Stadium during the Cruise-in for Charities car show that was hosted by the three Canadian Tire Stores and The Telegram. This was the largest indoor car show to be held in this province and the public responded with over 12,000 people in attendance. The show raised $48,250 for local charities, the Salvation Army and the School Lunch Association.
The year 2005 is the 25th Anniversary of the NACCC and the Land Rover is currently undergoing further restoration, which will include mechanical work, new tires, new upholstery and a fresh paint job. It is anticipated the restoration will be completed in time for our 25th Anniversary car show “Classic Wheels for Easter Seals” which will take place at the Glacier in Mount Pearl on May 14th and 15th.
Photo above – NACCC members Bob Ford and Carl Hamlyn working on the Land Rover restoration in the 1980s.
Left – Evening Telegram article from June 1990 shows Joey Smallwood and two of his grandchildren behind the wheel of the Land Rover at its unveiling.
Each year the NACCC members do some restoration work, both structural and mechanical, to keep the Land Rover is road worthy condition. Below is a recent picture of the Land Rover.