The Full Story 70 Years of Land Rover from Export to Catwalk

It started as a go-anywhere workhorse. Seven decades later it’s a luxury brand selling £300k Range Rover ‘coupes’.

1948 Life’s a beach
The Land Rover debuts in Amsterdam in April, less than a year after Rover chief engineer Maurice Wilks sketches Jeep-based ideas on Anglesey beach, with brother Spencer, Rover’s chairman. A centre-steer prototype on a Jeep chassis with Rover mechanicals promptly follows. If these guys were still around new Defender would be finished by now.

1953 Making Britain Great again
The Solihull factory is booming, with hardy Land Rover already outselling luxury Rover saloons. Short-wheelbase (86 inches) joined by long-wheelbase (107 inches) in 1955.

McLaren 600LT Giant Test

Triple Distilled. Pure and Punchy Track-Ready Two-Seaters

Take three supercars, re, and sidmmer on Wales’ g driver-focused formhe most potent hit?roads. Which givePs tajo

OUR-WHEEL DRIVE and rear-wheel drive; midengined and rear-engined; naturally-aspirated and turbocharged; £141,000, £185,000 and £215,000. Rarely does a CAR Giant Test contain three cars so different in the way they go about their business. The common ground, the musketeers’ hand pileon, the weird bit at the middle of a Venn diagram, is the exact nature of that business. It’s not simply going fast. Any supercar can do that. These cars are only one tiny step removed from the racetrack, and as perfectly at home on it as they are parked at a Cars and Coffee meet serving as a handy armrest while you regale onlookers with tales of track heroics.

When you find yourself racing a McLaren 570 GT4, you need all the help you can get. We had Brune Senna

Bruno Helps Us from No-hopers to Podium

When you find yourself racing a McLaren 570 GT4, you need all the help you can get. We had Brune Senna

NUMBER FOUR: I was on old tyres. Number 74: I didn’t get a clear lap without traffic. Number 452(A): the sun was in my eyes… I’m scanning my increasingly well-thumbed mental copy of The Big Book of Racing Drivers’ Excuses, Volume 1 to try to justify my best lap in first practice being nearly six seconds off the pace. Okay, the other drivers have been in the car all season (excuse number 42), but… six seconds? Six seconds. In racing terms that’s a fortnight. I need help.

Inside Land Rover’s 70th Birthday

ROVING THE PROMISED LAND

More religion than car brand, Land Rover inspires obsession in its disciples. Can a pilgrimage to its 70th birthday party, in a last-of-the-line Defender and a 1948 Series I, make us true believers?

I CAN’T QUITE work out why I’m so happy. Some elements of my present situation – the rugged, photogenic landscape of scrub, rock and crumbling ruins; the sun-soaked late-summer heat; the fact that there’s an engine and movement involved – are long-established good-time ingredients. But others aren’t accepted mood improvers. Stuff like the heavyweight vibration, the mild poisoning by engine fumes, the fact that my un-creamed skin is turning angry with exposure to sun and wind, the advanced dehydration and the fact that a 70-year-old slab of aluminium is hammering my backside like a sheet-alloy battering ram.

All-New Range Rover Evoque The Tech Revolution Beneath The New Range Rover

The Tech Revolution Beneath The New Range Rover

HAVE YOU DONE much in the way of off-road driving?’ comes the quite justified enquiry. Justified since this car’s consumed every waking moment of engineer Scott Higgins’ last three and a half years, and the near-vertical water slide of a drop ahead – sculpted in low-mu mud and bordered by unyielding trees should we go off piste – looks keen on tripping up our new Evoque prototype, if not comprehensively redesigning it around a stout trunk.
‘A fair bit,’ I lie, the sliver of truth the fact that the bit I have done, in a Discovery on snow-dusted rocks, emphatically rammed home the point that, with a modern Land Rover beneath you, knowing what you’re doing off-road is no longer necessary.

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