Land Rover is one of the most popular distinctive and durable luxury brands in the automobile market. Land Rover comes from simple beginnings. The first prototypes were built to be functional not stylish and were designed with agricultural use in mind.
Although the first models were designed in 1947 the Land Rover company wasn’t established until 1978. In 1994 the company was acquired by BMW who sold the brand to the Ford Motor Company in 2000. Ford sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors in 2008 and they now operate under the Jaguar Land Rover car manufacturing division. Land Rover has enjoyed incredible popularity among celebrities world leaders and the wealthy. For much of their existence notable people who have owned one or more Land Rovers include Oprah, Robin Williams, Sean Connery, Tom Brady, George Clooney, Beyonce, Paul McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Jim Carrey and we could go on! Their popularity shows no sign of fading as Land Rover has nearly tripled their sales from 2009 to 2016 with a record 434582 (four hundred and thirty four thousand five hundred and eighty two) vehicles sold globally in 2016!
Land Rovers commitment to quality innovation luxury and class is an inspiration and since it seems like everybody who’s anybody owns one we know. This brand fits perfectly with the LX lifestyle.
So let’s take a look at the 15 things you didn’t know about Land Rover:
- The British royal family has been associated with Land Rover since 1948. One of the earliest Land Rover prototypes was delivered to Buckingham Palace in 1948 and was used by King George 2-6 in place of his horse. It was replaced in 1950 with a production model and 3 other Land Rovers were delivered along with it. Ever since then Land Rover has been a significant part of the British royal fleet. Jaguar Land Rover even specially built an open-topped Range Rover that the Queen used to tour the streets of Windsor as part of her 90th birthday celebration.
- The Range Rover designer hated that they became luxury vehicles. Charlie King was brought over to the rover company from rolls-royce in 1945 and of the first projects he took on was designing the Range Rover. He designed the car not as a luxury model, but as a utility vehicle that could tackle off-road situations and haul a load of gear with ease. He was more than irritated to see his design cross over to the luxurious line of automobiles. He wasn’t shy about sharing his opinions about it either. He said using the Range Rover for a school run or even in cities and towns at all is completely stupid. He expressed that he hated the fact that his car had become an acceptable alternative to Mercedes or BMW for the pompous self-important driver.
- The first Land Rovers were built with a steering wheel mounted in the centre. When the first prototype for the Land Rover was built in 1947 it featured a centrally mounted steering wheel with seats on either side of it. It was meant to be a vehicle used by farmers so the steering wheel was situated like it would be on a tractor. It also saved money for the company because two different models didn’t have to be built to suit right and left-handed driving.
- Land Rovers have been around 30 years longer than the Land Rover company. The first Land Rover was originally designed in 1947 by Maurice Wilkes. Wilkes was the managing director of the rover company a British car manufacturing company. The first Land Rover was introduced in 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show. The Range Rover was introduced in 1970 and the one millionth Land Rover was produced in 1976, however Land Rover didn’t exist as a company until 1978.
- Land Rovers limited-edition Holland & Holland Range Rover is one of the most expensive SUVs on the market. When Land Rover decided to collaborate with elite British shotgun maker Holland and Holland the result was bound to be something extraordinary, the limited-edition at 2016 Holland and Holland. Range Rover carries a price tag of $245000 and only 30 were sold in the US. One of the main features of the luxury SUV is a removable locking leather-trimmed gun case that holds two firearms from Holland and Holland. It also has French walnut wood detailing custom leather trimmed floor mats. Each door handles branded stitching and the rear seats that recline and come with tables.
- Land Rover created the first monster truck in the 1950s. The British Forestry Commission challenged automobile manufacturers to create a vehicle that could be driven over even the deepest mud puddles. Land Rover met the challenge attaching huge tractor tires and large axles for my Studebaker to a series 2a Land Rover. This was the birth of the monster truck!
- The Range Rover was displayed in the Louvre a work of art. The Range Rover has been catching eyes since its inception due to its unique design and distinctive lines. After the Range Rover was launched in 1970 it was put on display at the historic Louvre museum in Paris France as an exemplary work of industrial design.
- Land Rover invented a floating version of their defender. One of Land Rovers one-of-a-kind vehicles is the floating Land Rover 90 which was built to celebrate the brand’s 40th birthday in 1989. Land Rover special vehicle operations department borrowed some ideas from the series two prototypes that were supplied to the British Army in the 60s which were operational in water. The cars cabin was sealed with fiberglass and then inflatable platoons were added for buoyancy along with a propeller and a rudder. The flotation devices can be removed and stored in the car when the driver wants to operate on land rather than in the water. There is a snorkel to provide air and the exhaust sticks upward out of the water. The car is still operational on land and in water today.
- Land Rover created the svx concept for a James Bond film. The 2015 James Bond film spectra featured a few customised cars that were created specifically for the film among these were the Aston Martin db10, the jaguar CX 75 and the land rover s VX concept also known as the s VX defender. Land Rovers special vehicle operations supplied 10 customised Land Rover defenders for the film that came with 37 inch tires, upgraded suspension and a full roll cage. The engine was also given a boost from 120 horsepower to 185 horsepower. Although most of the defenders were damaged during filming one that remains in perfect condition was auctioned off in September 2017.
- It’s one of the Queen’s preferred vehicles. When not riding in a limo Queen Elizabeth usually prefers to ride or drive in one of the fleet of Range Rovers owned by the rail family particularly her bronze green 110 defender. She also used a Land Rover to make a political statement when Prince Abdullah who would later become the king of Saudi Arabia made an official visit to the Queen’s Scottish estate. In 1998 Queen Elizabeth offered him a tour of the property. The Prince might have been startled when she jumped in the driver’s seat of one of the Royal Land Rovers since women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. She immediately took off and sped along the winding roads of the properties. Abdullah was pleading with her through his interpreter to slow down and pay attention to the road but she didn’t pay him any attention.
- Winston Churchill received a series 1 Land Rover for his 80th birthday. In 1954 Winston Churchill was gifted a series 1 Land Rover for his 80th birthday which was modified with a heated foot well and extra-wide passenger seat so that he could be chauffeured around his estate. The car was sold at auction in 2012 for 129 thousand pounds or around 180 thousand US dollars
- The Land Rover Defender is one of the safest cars on the road. A British study that looked at injury wrecks between the years of 2000 and 2004 found that those in a Land Rover Defender only had a 1% chance of being killed or suffering a serious injury and a 33% chance of sustaining any kind of injury in the event of a serious accident.
David Spade was in a serious car wreck in January 2017 but no one was seriously injured. He credits his Range Rover for saving his life.
- Land Rover has their own coffee company. In 2005 the brand branched out in a surprising direction establishing the Land Rover Coffee Company. The Coffee Company states that they build upon the genuine pioneering and enduring ascent of Land Rover.
- Bob Marley’s Land Rover was restored in honor of what would have been his 70th birthday. The famous Jamaican singer Bob Marley loved his blue 1976 Series three Land Rover. But after his death in 1981 his car was neglected for years near his Kingston home. In 2016 to celebrate what would have been the iconic singers 70th birthday Sandals International resorts, which operated Jamaica’s Land Rover dealership at the time, worked to restore Marley’s vehicle. It took two years to strip and rebuild from the ground up it’s now housed at the Bob Marley Museum.
- Fidel Castro used a series 1 Land Rover as his personal command vehicle during the Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro a leader of the Cuban Revolution and the longest-serving non-royal leader of the twentieth century was a huge fan of Land Rover. He drove a ruthless series 1 as his personal command vehicle during the Cuban Revolution which is now housed in the Museum of the revolution in Havana. The car is painted in battleship grey and has a number of bullet holes in it.