It's exactly 70 years since the first Land Rover was revealed at the Amsterdam Show, and the company has all the celebration stops out to make it a big moment.
We've already had a 70-car cavalcade (I drove a 1980 Range Rover) and the great and good have been touring Land Rover's fantastic classic Works HQ just outside Coventry, looking at famous cars, half-built restorations and superb cars waiting for titivation. Especially big-price Series Ones (a dozen built and sold so far) and early Range Rovers.
We've had the Series One birthday cake (suitably distressed) and now we're starting a half-hour YouTube TV programme being produced as live ("we want lots of energy from you") fronted by Andy Jay and Quentin Willson. Lots of people in black are suddenly walking back and forth and there's lots of coaching from the florid floor manager.
I'm here, really, because there were rumours they'd be doing a sneak preview of the new Defender, but as soon as I put my nose in the door I know it isn't going to be true. Too many of the great and good; not enough hacks. And if there'd been big news about, we'd have been tipped the wink. Willson starts off introducing LR heroes (a 48-year employee and a family with a collective 140 years work-time). Plus Nick, son of first MD Spencer Wilks and Sir Ranulph Feinnes, the explorer. Just as he gets to the heart-warming bit, a car alarm goes off - guess they'll be cutting that bit.
We stroll through Land Rover history - the story of the first sketch in the sand, the early launch, the three-day convoy of show cars to Amsterdam, the recent re-discovery of the third car ever built (which emerged from a garden after 60 years). Expert Mike Bishop talks about preserving patina and showing off the surprisingly advanced early 4x4 system. Then we move on to the first Velar (the early disguise name for the Range Rover). There's lots about expeditions over the years, Ranulph Feinnes talks about using Land Rovers for his journeys over 55 years ("in all that time they never let us down - these are God's vehicles") and the Discovery - launched 1989 - gets in there too.
There's a frisson as chief designer Gerry McGovern's "favourite car" is mentioned but it turns out be (surprise) the Velar, not the new Defender.