The Roots Of Land Rover

Many may argue that Land Rover and Range Rover are the same brand/label… right? Right… they both fall under the same Tata Group’s Jaguar Land Rover group and manufactured by the same company. But to really understand the difference between the two makes/models is to go back to where it started off.


The long answer begins in 1948, during the aftermath of World War 2.  When the nation was recovering from years of turmoil and struggling, exportation was crucial and essential materials were stretched. The resourcing period before the war meant implications on the car industry and such as demand on Rovers Luxury vehicles.


At a time of austerity, Maurice Wilks the chief designer at Rover may have come up with one of the best fundamental vehicles in the world. “He was responsible for the inspiration and concept work that led to the development of the Land Rover off-road utility vehicle” – (Wiki, 2016).  The land Rover focused on the utilitarian use of the vehicle with an emphasis on agricultural use. The logic was that a rugged and sturdy vehicle would be more beneficial and suit the demand of the people.


The Land rover went into Prototypes and pre-production. Models of the Land Rover proved themselves in testing and entered full production in 1948 when the Land Rover was born.


The Series 1 Land Rover has become an original and now iconic green piece of engineering.  The Olive green paintwork was born of necessity, as the military surplus paint was cheaper so it was the only affordable paint. The bodywork was made of an alloy of aluminium and magnesium, all materials that were not strictly rationed. The raw and robust ability of the Land Rover grew in popularity giving it the First choice for any off road adventure.


Something that was meant to be a quick cash cow for the makers at Rover, has now over timed flourished to become a popular brand and a symbol for Britain. Originally the Land Rover was a single model offering, which from 1948 until 1951 used an 80-inch wheelbase and a 1.6-litre petrol engine. Producing around 50 bhp. However, this transfer box featured a new two-speed transfer that was on top of the original Rover P3 four-speed gearbox inside.


The Land Rover progressed to having the Mark II, which actually was the first vehicle to use the well-known 2.25-litre petrol engine. Thereafter came Series IIA, Series IIB to the Series III being the most common produced.  Defining the evolution for the Landrover Defender.  Next, we will look at the real bad boy that is the Defender!