Land Rover Announces 70th Anniversary Celebrations

After 70 years of all-terrain adventures and global expeditions, Land Rover has once again taken the Defender to new heights.

Stretching over 250 metres, the most remote Defender outline was imprinted on the side of a mountain in the French Alps. The unique snow art was created to announce World Land Rover Day on 30 April, exactly 70 years since the original Land Rover was first shown to the world at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.

The unique image is a tribute to the moment when the engineering director of Rover, Maurice Wilks, 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 forward-thinking design was christened the ‘Land Rover’, the outline of which we now recognise as the Defender.

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.”

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 pioneering technologies, from its Series Land Rover and Defender origins, to the introduction of the Range Rover in 1970 and Discovery in 1989.

Snow artist Simon Beck, who specialises in creating geometric outlines on foot, braved sub-zero temperatures to start the celebrations by creating the Defender outline 2,700m up at La Plagne in the French Alps.

To produce the high-altitude Defender outline, Beck walked 20,894 steps and 16.5km through the French Alps.

Simon Beck, artist, 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.”

Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true ‘breadth of capability’ across the model range. Defender, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque each define the world’s SUV sectors, with 80 per cent of this model range exported to over 100 countries.

In 2015, Land Rover re-created the outline in the sands of Red Wharf Bay, to mark the final year of current Defender production.

70 YEARS OF 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

2007    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

 

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