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Land Rover cel­e­brates 70th an­niver­sary

LRO (UK) - - Contents -

‘Clas­sics, like this Range Rover In Vogue, show the her­itage.’

James Tay­lor

‘No ve­hi­cle has done more to open up the world than Land Rover.’

Quentin Will­son

In the first of what’s likely to be­come an an­nual event, even if the non-spe­cial years aren’t such lav­ish oc­ca­sions, celebri­ties de­scended on JLR’S Clas­sic Works at Ry­ton for a spe­cial an­niver­sary broad­cast on 30 April.

But the day didn’t start there. Groups of her­itage ve­hi­cles left the Soli­hull fac­tory to trun­dle through the War­wick­shire coun­try­side, via Pack­ing­ton Hall, where the grounds played a ma­jor part in test­ing mod­els over the years, be­fore re­group­ing and ar­riv­ing in chrono­log­i­cal or­der at the Clas­sic Works. All mod­els were rep­re­sented, from the Se­ries I to the new Ve­lar, and they were greeted by a dis­play of sig­nif­i­cant Land Rovers, many of which have graced LRO over the years. In­side sat HUE 166 – the first pre-pro­duc­tion Land Rover – and L07, one of the Land Rovers dis­played at the Amsterdam show 70 years ago.

Sir Ran­ulph Fiennes, Tim Slessor (First Over­land) and Gavin Thomp­son (Bri­tish Trans-amer­i­cas Ex­pe­di­tion) were re­united with the Land Rovers they had spent so much time with,

and Monty Halls and Fearghal O’nu­al­lain (RGS Wa­ter Di­aries Ex­pe­di­tion) rep­re­sented a younger gen­er­a­tion of ex­plor­ers.

Camel Tro­phy win­ners Bob and Joe Ives, Roger Crathorne (Mr Land Rover), Nick Wilks (son of Land Rover Founder, Spencer) as well as long­stand­ing mem­bers of staff were also there to en­joy the cel­e­bra­tions, which cul­mi­nated in the broad­cast by Quentin Will­son and Andy Jaye.

The broad­cast, avail­able at youtube.

com/lan­drover, gave a pot­ted his­tory of Land

Rover, but didn’t an­swer the ques­tion on most of our lips: what about the new De­fender? There wasn’t any ref­er­ence to it what­so­ever – a missed op­por­tu­nity, we think.

But what we did get to see was the first Land Rover built on the 70th an­niver­sary, a white Dis­cov­ery Sport made at the Hale­wood fac­tory – a ve­hi­cle that will go on to be part of the com­pany’s Global Tech­nol­ogy Project.

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