Land Rover Celebrates 65 Years ss One pf the World's Best Loved Brands
The 65th anniversary of one of Britain's most iconic and well known brands was marked with a week of celebratory events at Packington Estate near its Solihull homeland. Featuring 150 heritage vehicles, the debut of a Special Edition all-new Land Rover and a mass of enthusiasts from around the globe, this was a true birthday celebration for the world-famous car manufacturer.
The birthday celebrations culminated in a ‘HUE’ birthday cake flown in by special delivery in a Lynx helicopter by a member of the ‘Black Cats’ Royal Navy display team, renowned for thrilling audiences with their dynamic air displays. Considering Land Rover’s association with the British military this was a perfect ‘present’ for the first ever Land Rover.
Land Rover, the biggest automotive employer in the UK, has been a favourite since its debut in 1948 with British and world figures, whether transporting Winston Churchill in his specially-adapted vehicle or providing transport for the Royal family. In fact, Land Rover is the only automotive brand to hold all three royal warrants.
From the very first Land Rover ‘HUE 166’, affectionately know as Huey, to the incredibly engineered all-new Range Rover Sport, Land Rover has never forgotten its heritage and roots. This celebration of 65 years of being a British icon is a fitting reminder that if it were not for a sketch in the sand by Maruice Wilks, these cars we know and love may never have been born.
The occasion also set the scene for the debut of a Special Edition Defender – the LXV (65 in roman numerals). Defender evolved from the original Land Rover in 1990 and this iconic family of utility vehicles – Land Rover Series I, II, III and Defender – has now sold in excess of two million units.
Around 150 heritage Land Rovers attended the celebratory event at Packington Estate which was the testing ground for the original 1947-48 Land Rover prototypes through to the Range Rover development vehicles of the late 1960’s and early 70’s. These vehicles showcased key milestones in Land Rover’s 65-year history and also some 4x4 world firsts such as anti-lock brakes, adjustable air suspension, Electronic Traction Control, Hill Descent Control, Terrain Response® and Stop/Start
The vehicles on display demonstrated Land Rover’s legendary breadth of capability, with ploughing, emergency service, military, expedition, royal and concept vehicles all firmly positioning Land Rover as the world’s most versatile vehicle. They sat alongside Land Rover’s current model line-up – the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque – and included the brand’s latest technological innovations in the form of the new Electric Defender research vehicle and the world’s first 9-speed transmission for a passenger car.
John Edwards, Land Rover’s Global Brand Director says: “Land Rover is celebrating 65 years of proud heritage. It was in fact a dual celebration, as March saw Land Rover deliver the strongest ever monthly and quarterly sales performance in its history.