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The History of the Land Rover

Land Rover is a well known and loved brand, originating in 1948 as part of the Rover Company. Land Rover specialises in 4-wheel drive vehicles including the iconic Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and the Range Rover Evoque models.

A well-known and celebrated example of British manufactured automotives. Old and new Land Rovers share the same values - British design and assembly.  Despite multiple owners, the Company has always been a pillar of British automotives. To this day, Land Rovers are assembled within two plants at Halewood and Solihull. Research and development takes place at the Gaydon and Whitley engineering centres.

There’s no doubt about the fact that Land Rover is a relevant and important automotive manufacturer even today. Enthusiasts trawl car auctions and the internet for Classic Land Rovers for sale as they hope to get a working piece of British automotive history. How did the company start?

The design for the original Land Rover was started in 1947 by Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the Rover Company on his farm in Anglesey. He worked with his brother Spencer, who was the managing director of Rover at the time. Some think that the Land Rover’s original design was influenced partially by the Jeep. The prototype (with the fond nickname Centre Steer) was actually built on a Jeep chassis and axles. Very much a homegrown effort, Centre Steer’s original dark green colour was actually dictated by what was available at the time - military surplus supplies of aircraft cockpit paint. Some classic Land Rovers for sale today are similar shades of green in the Centre Steer's image. These were field tested at Long Bennington and designed to be field-serviced.

Following major success, Land Rover broke away from being a product line of the Rover Company in 1978. Land Rover became it's own brand under the umbrella of the British Leyland Motor Corporation following their takeover of Rover in 1967.

British Leyland was broken up and privatised following some very public business troubles. Land Rover was brought under the ownership of British Aerospace in response. In 1994 the Rover Group was broken up by BMW. Land Rover was sold to the Ford Motor Company, becoming part of it’s Premier automotive group. In 2006 Ford purchased the Rover Brand from BMW for around £6 million. In 2008 the Ford Motor Company sold Jaguar and Land Rover to India’s Tata Motors, where the Company has since stayed.

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