There are be celebrations around the world today for the 70th anniversary of the Land Rover – and you can watch the special birthday video below
Today, 30 April 2018, is World Land Rover Day, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the company – exactly 70 years since the first Land Rover made its debut at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.
Land Rover is inviting fans to join the celebrations in a World Land Rover Day online broadcast. It stars the people who helped create the world’s most-loved 4x4s and Land Rover’s technologies, from its Series Land Rover and Defender origins, to the introduction of the Range Rover in 1970 and Discovery in 1989.
A special 70th birthday video as filmed today, and the broadcast is now live:
- Land Rover to restore the Amsterdam show Series 1
- Land Rover chassis 1 returns!
- Want to drive a classic Land Rover? Here's how you can
- Better still, buy one! Land Rovers for sale here
Land Rover timeline
- 1948 Land Rover Series I launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show
- 1953 Long Wheelbase version of the Series I is introduced
- 1956 Oxford and Cambridge teams complete on London to Singapore expedition in Series I
- 1958 Land Rover Series II unveiled with more refined design
- 1970 Original two-door Range Rover (the Classic) goes on sale
- 1971 Land Rover Series III launched
- 1972 Range Rover crosses Darien Gap on 18,000-mile Trans-America expedition
- 1976 1,000,000th Land Rover built
- 1979 A Range Rover wins the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally (and again in 1981)
- 1981 Land Rover begins legendary partnership with Camel Trophy
- 1981 Four-door Range Rover released
- 1989 Land Rover Discovery, the third Land Rover model, goes on sale
- 1990 Original ‘Landie’ relaunched and renamed Defender
- 1994 Second generation Range Rover launched
- 1997 All-new Freelander is unveiled with innovative new technology: Hill Descent Control
- 2001 Third-generation Range Rover with all-round independent air suspension revealed
- 2003 Inaugural G4 challenge sees 16 teams traverse USA, South Africa and Australia
- 2004 Range Stormer Concept previews performance Range Rover and three-door body
- 2004 Discovery 3/LR3, the third-generation Discovery, launched at New York Motor Show
- 2005 All-new Range Rover Sport unveiled
- 2006 Freelander 2/LR2 launched. The first Land Rover to be manufactured at Halewood
- 2008 LRX concept car previews design language of a new luxury compact SUV
- 2009 Fourth generation of the Land Rover Discovery introduced
- 2010 Range Rover Evoque, the world’s first luxury compact SUV, makes global debut
- 2012 Fourth-generation Range Rover introduced – the first all-aluminium SUV
- 2013 New generation of Range Rover Sport unveiled at New York Motor Show
- 2014 Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division is officially launched
- 2014 Range Rover Sport SVR debuts, the fastest, most agile, most powerful Land Rover
- 2014 Discovery Vision Concept previews design vision for new family of Discovery vehicles
- 2014 Launch of Discovery Sport, a new premium compact SUV with 5+2 seating
- 2015 Trio of end-of-line Defender editions revealed with biggest sand drawing in UK
- 2015 Exclusive Range Rover SVAutobiography long wheelbase launched in New York
- 2015 Evoque Convertible becomes world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible
- 2015 One-of-a-kind Land Rover 'Defender 2,000,000' sells for £400,000 at charity auction
- 2016 Last Defender rolls off the production line
- 2016 All-new Discovery with world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology launched
- 2017 Land Rover launches the fourth Range Rover, the Velar
- 2018 Limited Edition Range Rover SV Coupé debuts at Geneva Motor Show
Defender art in the snow
In addition to the rest of the celebrations, a huge Land Rover Defender profile, 250 metres wide, has been imprinted in the snow on the side of a mountain in the French Alps, 2700 metres above sea level. It was created by snow artist Simon Beck in sub-zero temperatures.
Beck drove a Defender to get close to the 2700m, before walking 20,894 steps and 16.5km (10.2 miles) through the French Alps to create the artwork. He said: 'Making my snow art requires endurance, accuracy and strength – all attributes shared with the Defender. Its iconic shape is so simple and recognised across the world; this must be the most recognisable piece of art I’ve ever made.'
The snow drawing is a tribute to the Wilks brothers’ first sketch of the original Land Rover shape in the sand of Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey, UK. Maurice Wilks, engineering director of Rover, first sketched the shape for the original Land Rover in the sand of Red Wharf Bay and proposed the idea to his brother Spencer, Rover's managing director.
The design was eventually christened the 'Land Rover'. Those first sand sketches went on to create one of the most iconic vehicles in the world and ultimately led to the creation a company that has become the most famous 4x4 manufacturer on the planet. In 2015, the company recreated the sand sketch at Red Wharf Bay, as seen below.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Prof Dr Ralf Speth, said: 'Land Rover is an iconic brand around the world and the outline of the Defender is instantly recognisable. To reach the landmark of 70 years is truly special and we will mark it with a year of celebrations that represents Land Rover's ‘Above and Beyond’ spirit and honours the people behind the world’s favourite SUVs.'