The 1948 Land Rovers made the journey to Bideford from Bristol after being restored and rebuilt

The two 1948 Land Rovers outside Passion4Cars in Bideford.The two 1948 Land Rovers outside Passion4Cars in Bideford.

The first two Land Rovers ever sold from a Bideford garage have returned home nearly 70 years later.

The two vehicles were originally collected from Solihull and brought back to Elliott's of Bideford in September and November 1948 before being sold.

They are now owned by Julian Paton and Andrew Richards from Bristol, who have lovingly restored them with original Land Rover parts.

The pair drove to Bideford from Bristol on Thursday and were joined at the garage, which is now used car dealership Passion4Cars, by former car dealer Michael Elliott and Ted Chaplain, a previous owner of the vehicles.

KTT466 outside Passion4Cars in Bideford.KTT466 outside Passion4Cars in Bideford.

Leaving at 7.30am, KUO90 and KTT466 arrived in North Devon around midday after a journey down the A38.

KUO90 owner Julian said: "The fact we are here tells us there's not too much wrong with them. It's the first major run KTT466 has been on since it was rebuilt."

The 55-year-old added: "I came down 15 years ago and met Ted and started to negotiate buying the vehicle.

"He didn't want to give it up and we got to sound each other out.

KUO90 outside Passion4Cars in Bideford.KUO90 outside Passion4Cars in Bideford.

"He wanted the vehicle rebuilt and didn't want to see it sold off for parts. The deal was when it was rebuilt he wanted to see it.

"Eight years ago it was fully rebuilt, I drove it down and then we started to retrace the history of the ownership."

After putting 360 hours and some £15,000 into restoring the vehicle, Julian has traced much of KUO90's history, and found the vehicle had even gone back to Elliott's in 1960 after its first owner, Colonel Harold Miles, died.

The Land Rover still has some of Colonel Miles' cigarettes and money in a storage box by the passenger seat.

The two 1948 Land Rovers outside Passion4Cars in Bideford.The two 1948 Land Rovers outside Passion4Cars in Bideford.

The vehicle eventually came to Ted in the 1970s, and the 80-year-old said it was 'bloody marvellous' to see them up-and-running.

He added: "It's unbelievable really, especially if you had seen how they were originally. Julian has done really well."

Michael, who still has the purchase ledger documenting the arrival of the two Land Rovers, helped get KTT466 registered by the DVLA for Andrew.

The former car dealer, now 79, said: "I was only a lad when these came out, around 10 or 11-years-old. It just shows how durable they are.

The dashboard of the 1948 Land Rover KUO90.The dashboard of the 1948 Land Rover KUO90.

"It's a tribute to Land Rover really. They've got a devoted set of owners."

The inside of KUO90 still has an original Elliott's and Sons plate.The inside of KUO90 still has an original Elliott's and Sons plate.

Andrew Richards, Michael Elliott, Ted Chaplain and Julian Paton with the 1948 Land Rovers. Picture: Matt SmartAndrew Richards, Michael Elliott, Ted Chaplain and Julian Paton with the 1948 Land Rovers. Picture: Matt Smart