Car maker gathers selection of classic models for special event to mark 70 years since ground-breaking Land Rover was launched

The original Land Rover was launched 70 years ago today (30 April), and the company is marking the event with a special celebration that was broadcast online (video below).

The Land Rover Series On was launched in 1948 at the Amsterdam motor show, having been conceived by Rover in the aftath of World War Two. With demand low for the luxury cars the firm had previously produced and the firm's factory damaged during the war, the company decided to develop a Jeep-style off-road vehicle for agricultural use. It was originally launched with a single, 1.6-litre, 50bhp petrol engine.

Steve Cropley: behind the scenes of Land Rover's 70th birthday event

The machine proved to be a huge hit, with the line-up of Land Rover models rapidly expanding. In 1978, Land Rover was spun off into its own company, which is now owned by Tata Motors.

In pictures: 70 years of Land Rover

Tonight at 8pm BST, the Coventry-based car maker launched a live online broadcast from the Land Rover Classic Workshop that featured originals such as ‘HUE’, the first prototype Land Rover, and the first two-door Range Rover, as well as current models including the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Velar.

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Land Rover’s 70th-year celebrations began three months ago, when it revealed plans to “sympathetically renovate” one of three pre-production cars from that Amsterdam unveiling. The completely unrestored example was rediscovered last year.

Cropley: Celebrating the Land Rover Defender (from 2016)

Since that car was first shown in 1948, Land Rover has sold more than 7 million cars.

Saying goodbye to the Land Rover Defender: an Autocar special

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth said: “Land Rover was born with the launch of a single vehicle. Today, our family of SUVs is testament to the pioneering spirit of innovation that has characterised Land Rover for seven decades.

“Our family of Defender, Discovery and Range Rover models provides unrivalled capability, versatility and luxury, giving us the perfect foundation for another 70 years of success.”

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13

30 April 2018

Are they REALLY going to miss this opportunity to reveal the new Defender?  Seriously?  Any other company would have jumped at the chance.  As they've made no announcement, then I assume the inept management at JLR will continue.

30 April 2018
Bazzer wrote:

Are they REALLY going to miss this opportunity to reveal the new Defender?  Seriously?  Any other company would have jumped at the chance.  As they've made no announcement, then I assume the inept management at JLR will continue.

Is it ready to be revealed? 

30 April 2018

As I've said to jonboy below, I 'think' it is ready, but if you Google 'Defender release date' you get all manner of info from all sorts of places...and none of them from Land Rover.  The best I can see is that it "will be released as part of Land Rover's 70th anniversary celebration".  That celebration weirdly started three months ago and goes on until the end part of this year.  So it COULD be today, or June, July, August, September, October or November.  Then again, it could be 2019.  I'm still waiting on jonboy to providea date.  I've missed it, apparently, in the motoring press - he's quite sure it's been stated.

30 April 2018
I actually don't think they really want to do a new Defender.

They are only doing it because they think they have to, and I fear it will be far too closely related to existing products to appeal to the army, proper farmers, or utility companies.

30 April 2018

The thing is, had it been compliant, JLR could have sold Defenders by the shipload in the US, despite the absurd price.  So they should know that they can sell the new one in the US IF they get it looking right, and it isn't a stupid JLR price.  But Jeep already have the great-looking new Wrangler out, and they're adding a pick-up to the line, too.  Ford have already hinted that they're entering the sport SUV market as well with a new Bronco (and which even may come to the UK).  So JLR's inept management have really missed a trick - that of sales to the US.  The longer this 'soon' goes on, the more sales they miss out on.  I REALLY cannot understand what is going on in their heads.  They knew for years that the 90, 110 and 130 were coming to an end, then they went and botched it with the DC100 (which I actually think would have sold like hot cakes - I would have bought one).  Dropping the Freelander (as a small SUV) was the icing on the inept cake.  They continually want to go up-market and up-price...but they don't have the premium image they think they do have!  Even the old Defender was seriously flawed in its engineering, hence the truly massive after-market trade in beefing-up Defenders with better suspension, etc.  Bowler should have shown JLR where they should have gone - make it superb and reliable.  Instead JLR just like to 'think' it's wonderful, when we all know it ain't!  A Suzuki Jimny is very almost a match for a Defender!  That isn't right.  The RR and Disco are BETTER than the Defender off-road.  That isn't right, either.  Don't even get me started on how unsafe the Defender is.  Roll it and you're dead!  They should have concentrated their efforts on making the one vehicle that is Land Rover into being unbeatable.  And they should have had the new one out the same day the old one went bust.

I would so like JLR to change their ways.  Make them understand they're 'British', sack the management, bring out a small SUV (called the Freelander), stop the continual up-marketism, make them as reliable as a Skoda, have the foresight to see the end of diesel, and for Cliff's sake get the new Defender out NOW!

30 April 2018
Bazzer wrote:

The thing is, had it been compliant, JLR could have sold Defenders by the shipload in the US, despite the absurd price.

That's a bit of an assumption, especially when the Defender didn't sell shiploads when it was available in the US.

30 April 2018

It became very popular once it was forbidden fruit.  25 year old Defenders can be shipped to the US, and many have gone there.  However, it's my understanding that has dried up, now.  This is probably due to the new one being imminent (!) or the arrival of the new Jeep Wrangler.  And always remember that the Americans were aware of the rollover problem, so I say again: had it been COMPLIANT they would have sold in great numbers.  Of course, though, it is indeed just my assumption.

30 April 2018

One day, and soon, MBA students will study the rise and spectacular fall of Land Rover. Far, far too little investment; other worldly pricing; brand leverage to destruction; arrogant dealers; and the sheer folly of putting Marketing in charge of anything. So much to learn.

30 April 2018

JLR have already said when the Defender will be released, many times, it is a shame that the above refuses to admit it - The car is complete, it is different, and more Defender than any other model within the range - and dont forget, ALL cars have to abide by so many more new rules and regulations that designs and safety makes most cars under the skin, the same - but it is only the moaning minnies that will whinge about the new one - everyone without exception that has seen it, was struck by how good it looked.And they included "PROPER" farmers, as far as i know a farmer is a farmer, not a proper one or a fake one or whatever stupid thoughts went into the comment above. the armed forces have seen it and wil have it on evaluation, like they do on EVERY product, that they invest in, but hey, like i have said before why spoil a good story, with facts and history with the usual boring comments. 

 

30 April 2018
jonboy4969 wrote:

...everyone without exception that has seen it, was struck by how good it looked...the armed forces have seen it and wil have it on evaluation, like they do on EVERY product, that they invest in...

Right, every single person. What are you, custodian of the styling buck, no one's allowed to leave the room before giving you their opinion? As for armed forces, when the Jeep, Land Rover and Hummer are all now obsolete as military vehicles due to insufficient armour in the face of IEDs (only the G-wagon soldiering on), being replaced by vehicles based on truck chassis or bespoke hulls and heavy-duty diesels, an aluminium monocoque based vehicle is going to be evaluated as a military vehicle. Yeah, right.

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