Land Rover celebrates its 70th birthday

First ‘stop gap’ post-war vehicle unveiled April 30, 1948

Land Rover celebrated its 70th anniversary Monday with special events in England and at the company’s new North American headquarters campus in Mahwah, New Jersey, where employees greeted the U.S. team that won the 1995 Camel Trophy endurance rally. 

Although founded 70 years ago in England, the first North American-spec vehicle was produced and sold in the U.S. in 1987.

In England, Land Rover officials noted that the vehicle was created as a stopgap after World War II “and went on to become the world’s favorite 4×4 with over 7 million sales.”

The original Land Rover was unveiled at the Amsterdam Motor show on April 30, 1948.

An array of Land Rovers on display Monday at the company’s new North American headquarters | Land Rover North America photo

“Land Rover was born with the launch of a single vehicle,” Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover said in a news release. “Today our family of SUVs is testament to the pioneering spirit of innovation that has characterized Land Rover for seven decades. Our family of Defender, Discovery and Range Rover models provides unrivaled capability, versatility and luxury, giving us the perfect foundation for another 70 years of success.

“Land Rover is so much more than just the most capable all-terrain vehicles. It connects people through a passion for adventure and making more of our world. From our employees to customers and enthusiasts, this is the family that makes Land Rover special.”

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70 YEARS OF LAND ROVER TIMELINE

1948     Land Rover Series I launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show

1953     Long Wheelbase version of the Series I is introduced

1956    Oxford and Cambridge teams complete on London to Singapore expedition in Series I

1958    Land Rover Series II unveiled with more refined design

1970    Original two-door Range Rover (the Classic) goes on sale

1971    Land Rover Series III launched

1972    Range Rover crosses Darien Gap on 18,000-mile Trans-America expedition

1976    1,000,000th Land Rover built

1979    A Range Rover wins the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally (and again in 1981)

1981    Land Rover begins legendary partnership with Camel Trophy

1981    Four-door Range Rover released

1989    Land Rover Discovery, the third Land Rover model, goes on sale

1990    Original ‘Landie’ relaunched and renamed Defender

1994    Second generation Range Rover launched

1997    All-new Freelander is unveiled with innovative new technology: Hill Descent Control

2001    Third-generation Range Rover with all-round independent air suspension revealed

2003    Inaugural G4 challenge sees 16 teams traverse USA, South Africa and Australia

2004    Range Stormer Concept previews performance Range Rover and three-door body

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2004    Discovery 3/LR3, the third-generation Discovery, launched at New York Motor Show

2005    All-new Range Rover Sport unveiled

2006    Freelander 2/LR2 launched. The first Land Rover to be manufactured at Halewood

2008    LRX concept car previews design language of a new luxury compact SUV

2009    Fourth generation of the Land Rover Discovery introduced

2010    Range Rover Evoque, the world’s first luxury compact SUV, makes global debut

2012    Fourth-generation Range Rover introduced – the first all-aluminium SUV

2013    New generation of Range Rover Sport unveiled at New York Motor Show

2014    Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division is officially launched

2014    Range Rover Sport SVR debuts, the fastest, most agile, most powerful Land Rover

2014    Discovery Vision Concept previews design vision for new family of Discovery vehicles

2014    Launch of Discovery Sport, a new premium compact SUV with 5+2 seating

2015    Trio of end-of-line Defender editions revealed with biggest sand drawing in UK

2015    Exclusive Range Rover SVAutobiography long wheelbase launched in New York

2015    Evoque Convertible becomes world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible

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2015   One-of-a-kind Land Rover ‘Defender 2,000,000’ sells for £400,000 at charity auction

2016    Last Defender rolls off the production line

2016    All-new Discovery with world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology launched

2017    Land Rover launches the fourth Range Rover, the Velar

2018    Limited Edition Range Rover SV Coupé debuts at Geneva Motor Show

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