The Series I Land Rover would be released at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show, a solid workhorse that would quickly garner a loyal following of devotees with its rugged no-nonsense style and ability. The original 80” wheelbase would be extended to 86” in 1954, later the 107” making it an attractive proposition as an agricultural workhorse. 10 years after its initial introduction, the Series II would be released, it featuring a vastly improved appearance and better levels of comfort and performance (but most importantly it would remain every bit as rugged as its predecessor).
By 1959 there would be 250,000 Land Rovers on and off the bitumen, that figure doubling by 1966. Recognizing that there was a niche to be filled by providing a luxury version of the venerable Land Rover, the engineers set about designing the up-market Range Rover, a paradigm shift in the concept of off-road vehicles. Released in 1970, the Range Rover was years ahead of its time. The following year the Series III was released, and by 1976 over 1 million Land/Range Rovers had been sold. By now there were plenty of competitors determined to muscle in on the success of the vehicle, most notable would be Toyota with their Land Cruiser. But unlike all the others, Land Rover remains as the only marque to have a heritage forever linked to rugged terrain and dirt roads.
1948 - 1958
The car's most notable appearance in a movie was in the South African film 'The Gods Must Be Crazy', and from our expericence the brakes were never that good although the film version did go to extremes! More>>
1958 - 1971
After 20 years of uninterrupted producction Rover claimed that 600,000 Land-Rovers were operating in more than 170 different territories all over the world. Over that time the outward appearances changed remarkably little, but major developments, particularly to the power unit, had been introduced over the years. More>>
1958 - 1971
Did the fitment of the 6L engine improve what was already very good? The simple answer is yes. The vehicle did not lose any of its character, remaining very much a utility vehicle, specifically designed for hard use and exacting conditions. The 6-cylinder engine option only improved hill climbing and offered better performance. The "character" of the Matilda remained - and that was a good thing. More>>
1970 - 1996
Whoever it was at Rover that convinced the powers to be to develop a "high end" Land Rover must have had an accurate crystal ball, the resulting Range Rover proving to be a huge sales success and spawning a love affair for many with the notion of driving a large, expensive fuel guzzling monster capable of obliterating pedestrians and other road users without ever having the intention of taking the vehicle "off road". More>>
1980 - 1986
1980 heralded big news for lovers of the Land Rover, as now for the first time the Rover V8 engine could be optioned! Dubbed the "Stage 1", the V8 offered vastly superior performance and made the Land Rover a much more drivable conveyance on the highway - and was the first Land Rover to feature full time 4WD. More>>
Many commentators were critical at the time of the Disco's bland styling, which looked traditional and obviously familiar. But they were missing the point, here was a Range Rover for the masses, and the public loved it. It was a shame then that the quality control was not able to keep pace with the rapid expansion of the production facilities, and the inevitable damage to the Discovery's reputation followed a string of reliability issues. More>>