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The short but fascinating history of the Land Rover

When we talk about some iconic vehicles which have left their impression in the sands of time, there is no doubt the Land Rover brand that cannot be ignored. It has one of the most accomplished and perhaps the bumpiest journeys over a period of six decades. While there are a number of things we know about this iconic vehicle, there are quite a few things about its’ history which not many of us know about. Instead of looking at the obvious trivial history, let’s look at a few things which might have avoided mention in the history books altogether. This also allows us to look at the Land Rover from a totally different perspective.

Land Rover As A Company Isn't That Old At All

We know the name brand like the back of our hand and many of us believe that Land Rover has been around since 1948. This is only partially true. There is widespread belief that after the first Jeeps appeared, Land Rover became the second oldest four-wheeler in automotive history. This is just an extended urban myth simply because in 1948 these cars were made by Rover. Land Rover as a company came into existence in 1978, which is almost three decades after the first Land Rovers hit the roads!

A Legend Is Born

As we scroll down the Land Rover time line, there are some exciting and interesting anecdotes which certainly will make us feel proud about this iconic car brand. It’s worthy to mention here that the sketch (or blueprint) for the first Land Rover was initially drawn in the wet sand of a Welsh beach- way back in 1947. Even more ironic, it could perhaps be wrong to call it a blueprint. Perhaps a ‘yellow print’ would be a better term because that rough sketch was drawn on the sand. Thus after that, the Land Rover became the first car which had an interesting combination of a Rover Motor Company car engine and a jeep chassis. It was more cost effective to build them through a stop-gap arrangement. This means the body panels were all made from wood covered with a light alloy material. The chassis fabricated with the help off-cuts did-away with the use of larger steel sections which were obviously rationed those days.

Steering Wheel In The Middle

Another piece of astonishing news is that the first Land Rover had the steering wheel located in the middle if the driving cab. This was done presumably to keep the design simple and make it look more tractor-like. This also did away with the need for building two sets of models for right handed and left handed drivers that divide model types across the world. This is known to extreme Range Rover enthusiasts who have dubbed this “Centre Steer” and is often rumored to be the holy grail of collectible cars. While there is the McLaren F1 and some various custom modifications that have the wheel in the middle, Range Rover was initially first create this feature in a car model.

The Beginning Of The Journey

The Land Rover history began right at the beginning of the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948 and it became an instant hit as a result. This stop-gap product would soon be a trendsetter and outsell all other brands and vehicles of that time. Within one year- Land Rover was being exported to 70 countries. It certainly was an admirable performance that made the stop-gap construction arrangement so popular, it’s commonly being enjoyed by their customers for the last seventy years. This was just the beginning and their brand has grown by incredible leaps and bounds since then.

Land Rover Was First To Do Monster Trucks

When we look at those monster trucks lumbering over us on the highway or city streets, we should look at what Land Rover had developed. They were the first to make these outrageous huge trucks for the British Forestry Commission. They wanted a vehicle which could tackle the most difficult muddy puddles and slushy surfaces to cross easily. Looking more like a futuristic tank, Land Rover essentially created a land-based Snowcat long before Snowcats even went into production.