Lara Croft has driven one – and so has The Queen, Marilyn Monroe famously flashed some leg in one, in 1955 a young David Attenborough and a group of fellow Oxbridge graduates embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition from London to Singapore in a pair of Series 1s (painted in the respective university blues of course). This famous 4x4 has helped map the world and rediscover lost civilisations, and it is without a doubt that some of the most significant scientific and geographical discoveries in modern history would simply not have been possible without it; and it all began with a sketch in the sand…
...The Land Rover story is a remarkable one, and its journey really did begin with a sketch in the sand. Rover’s Chief Engineer Maurice Wilks was walking the beach with his brother when he drew a new vehicle comprising two boxes, a wheel in each corner, and short overhangs which would allow traversing on rugged terrain. The design was inspired by the American Willys Jeep used in WW2, and the idea behind it was build a workhorse which would help the country and its farmers get back on their feet in its wake. Powered by a four-cylinder 1.6-litre engine it produced just 50bhp and debuted at The Amsterdam Motor Show, costing just £450.
Made from post-war aluminium surplus the 1948 Series I changed everything. Revolutionising the way vehicles were built with a chassis that was significantly lighter, stronger and stiffer than its steel counterpart and it paved the way for future on and off-road vehicle design. Currently developing a new range of 4-cylinder petrol engines with 300HP and a 15% improvement on fuel economy, and their new twin-turbo-4-cylinder turbo yielding 250HP and 500Nm of torque Land Rover continues to go above and beyond to retain its reputation as a car built to serve.
Careful to maintain its heritage and intrepid DNA as it’s family expands Land Rover has not only stood the test of time, but evolved into a global icon for innovation, power and capability – and it’s come a long way from that sketch in the sand.
‘Creating a new icon is a complicated art, improving on it even more so, but it is a passion which drives us; it's why we do what we do.’