In 1947, when everyone was still recovering from a ghastly war, one British company was feeling rather brave. Rover decided that the world needed a 4x4 car for getting about in, especially out in the country.
A year later, they launched the Land Rover at the Amsterdam Motor Show. Over the years, this brand has become one of the most iconic in Britain and the rest of the world. The first crude Land Rovers used Rover car engines and had permanent four-wheel drive from the outset.
Aluminium was used for the panels due to a shortage of steel after the war and paint came from a defunct aircraft factory. Aluminium proved light and very popular and is still used today.
Over the years, Land Rover developed and improved their popular 4x4 giving it better engines, chassis and more room. Defenders can still go places no other car can and despite their ultimate lack of luxuries, have proven hugely popular the world over.
Talking of luxury, Land Rover saw a need for a luxury 4x4 in the late 1960s and introduced the Range Rover in 1970. With its luxury interior and powerful engines, the Range Rover has consistently topped the luxury off-roader popularity charts.
In the 1980s, the Discovery came along as a more comfortable alternative to the 90 and 110 models. Despite the intention for it to be a replacement for the basic Land Rover, owners and enthusiasts alike soon stopped that and production of both continues to this day along with the Freelander – a 'soft roader' used primarily on the urban school run.
60 years of production can’t be bad and so despite the companies ups and downs we should celebrate the birth of a great car marque.
Listings stats on AutoClassics
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the last ‘proper’ Camel Trophy event, AutoClassics tackles Portugal in a very special Land Rover Discovery
Portugal by Land Rover Discovery
They cost over €200,000, but with a choice of 475bhp supercharged or 282bhp V8 and bespoke interiors, these could be the best Defenders yet
First drive: ARES Design Land Rover Defender
One of three prototype Land Rovers used at the Amsterdam Motor Show is to appear during the inaugural Land Rover Legends event at Bicester Heritage on May 26-27
Legendary pre-production ‘L03’ set for Land Rover Legends
The inaugural Land Rover Legends event at Bicester Heritage has proven a hit, bringing together some of the greatest Landys from 70 years of the best 4x4xfar
In pictures: Land Rover Legends at Bicester Heritage
Land Rover for sale