5 years ago

April 2018

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Look back at the birth of the original Land Rover | How Land Rover has driven adventure and scientific exploration | GQ Editor Dylan Jones discusses inspiration with Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern | Exploring the potential impact of electrification and connected vehicles | Tackling the 999 steep steps up to Heaven’s Gate in China


XXXXXXX LEFT 1954 | Car custom-built for Churchill’s 80th 1958 | Series II launched in May, designed by David Bache 1961 | Series IIA launched 1966 | Land Rovers appear in the provoking film Born Free 1969 | Headlamps move to the front wings 01 02 04 05 03 01 The 100,000 car rolls off the line in 1954 02 From 1972, Forward Control versions were produced mainly for military duties. Several civiliian fire engines were also built and the platform was even used to create futuristic taxis for the 1995 film Judge Dredd 03 The Series III Safari Station Wagon version was both popular and versatile 04 Numerous special military variants have been produced, including the half-ton, air-portable “Lightweight” 05 Global star Sophia Loren adds a touch of sophistication and glamour PHOTOGRAPHY: XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX 14

ORIGINS OF THE SPECIES 1971 | The Series III is introduced 1979 | First V8 introduced 1982 | Popular County trim version introduced 1983 | Land Rover 110 version introduced 1983 | The 110 wins its first Camel Trophy in Zaire And as Maurice foresaw, the needs of British farmers – a reliable and affordable vehicle which could carry or tow people and supplies into and out of otherwise inaccessible places – were the same as countless other buyers from other sectors and from around the world. PHOTOGRAPHY: BRITISH MOTOR MUSEUM HERITAGE TRUST (4) CALL OF DUTY The first British Army order arrived in 1949: it was so large (for nearly 2,000 vehicles) that to keep costs down, all Land Rovers were painted in the Army’s Bronze Green until 1953, when blue and grey were also offered. The Land Rover first saw active duty in Korea in 1950 and it continues to serve its nation, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. It went on to serve in numerous different variants with the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force, as well as other military services and the UN the world over. Many still serve today. This inspired the ‘Defender’ name which the original Land Rover acquired in 1989 to distinguish it from the new Land Rover Discovery. “I have always been a Defender man, right from my days in the Marines,” says Monty Halls, the marine biologist and conservationist, and a Land Rover ambassador. “If there’s one vehicle I want to be sitting in when “ The amazing thing about the Defender for me isn’t the vehicle itself, but the people we can help as a result of being able to access these places” MIKE ADAMSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RED CROSS things start going wrong, the Defender is my magic carpet.” And of course this robust reliability meant that it was immediately and enthusiastically adopted by explorers. Major Henri LeBlanc was the first, driving an early ‘80-inch’ model to what was then Abyssinia just a year after production started, establishing an export network as he went. Many of the most notable Land Rover explorers have been women. Australian adventurer Barbara Toy crossed north Africa and the Middle East in ‘Pollyanna’, her 1950 model. In 1958, three British women drove 16,000 miles from London to the Himalayas, scaling a virgin mountain in Afghanistan on the way and naming it ‘Wives Peak’. And in 1968, six grandmothers with an average age of 57 drove three Series II Land Rovers 15,000 miles from London to Australia to visit their grandchildren. SUBTLE, CONSTANT EVOLUTION The Land Rover evolved visually, although the first and last are clearly related. The Series II, as used by the grandmothers’ expedition, was the first to make any concession to styling, launched with a subtle but effective makeover by brilliant Rover designer David Bache which included the hallmark rounded shoulders it bore until the end. The biggest single change came in 1969 when the headlamps moved from behind the grille out on to the wings, much improving the car’s appearance. Not all changes were universally accepted at first – Australian customers protested at the launch of the Series III in 1971 because its new, modern moulded plastic grille could no longer be removed and barbecued on. IN CIVIL SERVICE The original Series Land Rovers and Defenders continue to serve with distinction in a multitude of diverse civilian roles that require a robust, versatile vehicle. The Red Cross ordered its first Land Rover in 1954, starting a strong relationship that endures to this day – Land Rovers have brought aid to literally millions across the globe. All eras of Land Rovers have been used extensively by police, fire and ambulance services, while rescue organisations continue to take full advantage of their capabilities from mountain rescues to launching lifeboats into the sea from exposed beaches. Others help local authorities maintain essential infrastucture, while many vets rely on them to treat animals in difficult places. Communications companies and the BBC use them to reach remote transmitters. Whatever the need, it’s safe to assume that a Land Rover has helped at one time or another. 15

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Land Rover Magazine


Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.

In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.

Jaguar Land Rover Limited: Registered office: Abbey Road, Whitley, Coventry CV3 4LF. Registered in England No: 1672070