Today, Land Rover celebrates a birthday. For, 70 years ago, the original — the Land Rover Series 1 — made its boxy debut at the Amsterdam Motor Show. It was 1948, and this utilitarian vehicle was humbly unveiled. Little did it know that it would become one of the most powerful and well-loved brands of the 20th century — and beyond.
The Series 1 was initially designed as a farm utility vehicle, however it only took one year for the British Army to order their first of many batches. Today, Land Rover claim the title of the world’s favourite SUV, having sold more than 7 million worldwide since their launch in 1948.
"It would become one of the most powerful and well-loved brands of the 20th century — and beyond..."
Since then, Land Rover have diversified more than anyone thought the original concept would allow. The first Defender rolled off the production line — and then, promptly, the roughest terrain it could find — in 1990, and later luxury SUV lines such as the Range Rover Evoque and Velar have gone on to define the 4X4 market.
Land Rover have provided vehicles for organisations all over the world, with one of their longest partnerships being with the Red Cross, who they have been helping take aid to the third world since 1954.
If you are lucky enough to own a Series 1 — or another vintage Land Rover — there is a dedicated workshop inside the original Defender factory in Solihull where Land Rover mechanics will restore your old wheels to their former glory.
This team are currently restoring one of the three pre-production Series 1 models that was made for the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948. You will be able to see this newly restored classic in a special Youtube broadcast Land Rover are doing tonight at 8pm to celebrate their 70th anniversary.
Land Rover's 70th Anniversary
Want to see where the brand are today? Take a look at how Range Rover have recently redefined the luxury SUV sector…