A Brief History of the Classic Land Rover
Originally, these vehicles were simply called the ‘Land Rover’ – an off-road capable car model of the Rover Company. As ‘Land Rover’ became established as a brand, the ‘Series’ indication later became a retronym model name. The Range Rover was introduced in 1970, and the company became a British Leyland subsidiary in 1978. In 1983 and 1984, the long and the short wheelbase Land Rovers were finally given official names – the One Ten, and the Ninety respectively, and together they were badged the Defender models in 1990, after the 1989 introduction of the new Discovery model.
1947: Rover’s chief designer Maurice Wilks and his associates create a prototype using Jeep chassis and components.
1948: The first Land Rover was officially launched 30 April 1948, at the Amsterdam Motor Show
1958: Series II launched
1961: Series IIA began production
1967: Rover becomes part of Leyland Motors, later British Leyland (BL) as Rover Triumph
1970: Introduction of the Range Rover
1971: Series III launched