Land Rover

Ocean Park Auto services and repairs all models of Land Rovers

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The first Land Rover made its debut in 1948. It was designed with brilliant simplicity for extraordinary ability and unrivalled strength and durability. In fact, six decades on it is estimated that two-thirds of all these incredible vehicles are still at work – many of them in some of the most extreme conditions and inhospitable places on earth.

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1947 – Rover engineers start building the first Land Rover prototypes with center steering wheel. The Rover Board sanctions a trial batch of 50 Land Rovers. The name “Landrover” was approved by Rover’s Board of Directors.

1948 – The first pre-production Land Rover is finished at Rover’s Solihull factory. The first Land Rover is shown to the world at the Amsterdam Motor Show. The vehicle is equipped with permanent four-wheel drive, a canvas roof and optional doors. The headlights were mounted behind the radiator grille.

1949 – The 80″ station wagon model was introduced with headlights through the grille. The AA took delivery of their first specially adapted patrol vehicles and have been using them ever since. Production has already reached more than 200 units per week. Bronze green replaces light green as the official Land Rover colour.

1950 – Land Rovers make their debut in the US at the first British Automobile and Motorcycle show held in New York City. A metal hard top is offered as an alternative to the canvas roof.

1951 – “Completely Knocked Down” Land Rovers are exported to Belgium where they are rebuilt with steel bodies and badged as Minerva Land Rovers to be used by the Belgium Army.

1952 – The 50,000 Land Rover rolls off the production line. New changes see the introduction of exterior door handles and side lights on the wings. The engine is enlarged to 1997 cc.

1953 – The 107″ model is introduced and the SWB (short wheel base) version is lengthened to 86″.

1954 – Annual production exceeds 20,000 and the 100,000 Land Rover is built. The Rover company purchases the first pre-production model HUE 166. It is restored by Land Rover apprentices in 1956.

1955 – The 10 seat LWB is introduced.

1956 – The Rover Company sponsored the introduction of the “Land Rover Owners Club” with branches across the country.

1957 – The first diesel powered Land Rover is introduced.

1958 – The Scottish Land Rover Owners Club takes a Land Rover to the top of Ben Nevis -4406 feet above sea level. The Land Rover Series 11 is launched. It has more defined styling. Rover Motor Company of North America is introduced, based in Toronto, Canada.

1959 – The 250,000 Land Rover is produced.

1960- The Rover Motor Company of North America moves its HQ to New York.

1961 – A 2.5 Litre Diesel engine is introduced.

1962 – The Land Rover Series 11A is launched as is the Forward Control Land Rover.

1963 – Maurice Wilks, the founding father of Land Rover dies suddenly of a heart attack at his holiday home on the Isle of Anglesey. Land Rover’s managing director, William-Martin Hurst visits General Motors and brings back to the UK the rights to build the ex-Buick light alloy 3.5 V8 engine.

1965 – The prototypes for the first military Lightweights are introduced.

1966 – 500,000 Land Rover is produced.

1967 – Rover Motor Company merges with Leyland.

1968 – The Series 11A headlamps are moved from the radiator grille to the front “fender”. Military lightweight 88″ are introduced.

1968 – Leyland merges with British Motor Holdings to form British Leyland Motor Corporation.

1969 – The SAS take delivery of 72 specially converted military Land Rovers -nicknamed “Pink Panthers”.

1970 – The Range Rover is launched. The vehicle is equipped with permanent four wheel drive, a V8 engine, solid axles and coil springs. The headlights on all Series 11As move to the wings.

1971 – Land Rover Series 111 is launched. It has a synchromesh gearbox, a new radiator grille and an all-new interior.

1973 – The Series 111 version of the military Land Rover is introduced. He military 101″ Forward Control introduced.

1974 – Exports of Land Rovers to America are ended and British Leyland is nationalized.

1975 – British Leyland Motor Company changes its name to British Leyland

1976 – The 1,000,000 millionth Land Rover is built.

1979 – The first 3528cc V8 engined Land Rover is introduced.

1981 – The 4-door Range Rover is introduced and Range Rover production passes 100,000.

1982 – The Land Rover Series 111 County Station Wagon is launched.

1983 – Range Rover gets a new 5 speed gearbox The new 110 Land Rover is launched at Eastnor Castle.

1985 – The last Series 111 model is produced.

1986 – Range Rover of North America is established.

1987 – A new magazine called Land Rover Owner is launched.

1988 – British Aerospace buys the Rover Group from the government for £150,000,000.

1989 – Launch of the Discovery, the first all-new Land Rover in 19 years is introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The hyphen in the Land Rover name is dropped.

1990 – The Defender name, based on the 90 and 110 series is introduced. A limited edition (200) Range Rover CSK was introduced. The initials are those of the Range Rover’s chief designer, Charles Spencer King.

1994 – The Rover group is acquired by the BMW group. An all new Range Rover is introduced at the Paris motor show. Land Rover’s annual production tops 100,000 for the first time.

1996 – The last Range Rover Classic is built. It is driven off the production line by celebrity Noel Edmonds. It is number 317,615.

1997 – The Freelander is launched at the Frankfurt Motor show.

1998 – The Discovery Series 11 is launched at the Paris Motor Show.

2000 – The Ford Motor company purchases Land Rover for $2.7 billion.

2002 – Land Rover announces that annual sales have increased for the third year running with all the vehicles in the model range enjoying record sales growth.

2003 – Factory tours resume at Land Rover’s production centre at Solihull with customers and enthusiasts having the opportunity to enjoy The Home of the Legend.

2004 – The new Discovery 3 is launched.

2005 – The new stylish Range Rover Sport is shown for the first time at the Detroit Auto show.

2006 – Production of the new Land Rover LR2 begins at the Halewood plant on Merseyside.

2007 – Land Rover announces record annual sales of 227,000 new vehicles.

2008 – Land Rover celebrates its 60th anniversary in April, and in June, Ford sells the company to the Tata Group in India for £1.7 billion.

2009 – The worldwide economic recession results in a downturn in Land Rover sales which means job cuts are announced at the new Tata owned Jaguar Land Rover Company.

2010 – The Jaguar Land Rover group begins developing a new range of low carbon technology vehicles as a way of helping to reduce carbon emission output around the world. An improved global economy also sees a welcome increase in Land Rover production and sales.

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We are proud to be a Responsible Business. We recognize that valuing and protecting the environment and the communities in which we operate, is critical to a successful future.
Indeed, our progress in this area has recently been recognized. Jaguar Land Rover have been named ‘Responsible Business of the Year 2013’ – the UK’s top accolade in this field, awarded by Business in the Community.
This is an on-going commitment and one we’re working to deliver across every aspect of our business

Land Rover is a founding member of Tread Lightly!®—an organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of and encouraging responsible outdoor practices. Together, we’re helping off-roaders enjoy and respect the environment.