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
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