Happy birthday Land Rover: 4×4 brand celebrates 70th anniversary

Published: 30 April 2018

► Land Rover’s 70th anniversary
► Born 30th April 1948 in Amsterdam
► A look back on LR’s history

Many happy returns, Land Rover! The perennial 4×4 brand is celebrating its platinum anniversary, after the first-ever Series I Land Rover was unveiled at the 1948 Amsterdam motor show.

Over the course of 70 years, Land Rover has grown from just a manufacturer of basic, rough-and-ready 4x4s to an entire brand which has seen huge success. It has even spawned a whole luxury brand admired the world over.

Prof Dr Ralf Speth, JLR’s big boss, said ‘Land Rover was born with the launch of a single vehicle. Today our family of SUVs is testament to the pioneering spirit of innovation that has characterised Land Rover for seven decades.’

Land Rover has been celebrating its 70th anniversary since January, after they announced it would be resurrecting one of the original Amsterdam motor show prototypes unearthed not far from the Solihull plant.

The brand is also having a birthday bash at the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works centre, which includes a special broadcast of how the Land Rover brand grew from a minnow in post-war Britain to one of the most successful car brands in the UK.

We’ve listed some iconic reviews and features of recent Land Rover to whet your appetite below…

The full story, according to Land Rover

1948    Land Rover Series I launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show

1953    Long Wheelbase version of the Series I is introduced

1956    Oxford and Cambridge teams complete on London to Singapore expedition in Series I

1958    Land Rover Series II unveiled with more refined design

1970    Original two-door Range Rover (the Classic) goes on sale

1971    Land Rover Series III launched

1972    Range Rover crosses Darien Gap on 18,000-mile Trans-America expedition

1976    1,000,000th Land Rover built

1979    A Range Rover wins the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally (and again in 1981)

1981    Land Rover begins legendary partership with Camel Trophy

1981    Four-door Range Rover released

1989    Land Rover Discovery, the third Land Rover model, goes on sale

1990    Original ‘Landie’ relaunched and renamed Defender

1994    Second generation Range Rover launched

1997    All-new Freelander is unveiled with innovative new technology: Hill Descent Control

2001    Third-generation Range Rover with all-round independent air suspension revealed

2003    Inaugural G4 challenge sees 16 teams traverse USA, South Africa and Australia

2004    Range Stormer Concept previews performance Range Rover and three-door body

2004    Discovery 3/LR3, the third-generation Discovery, launched at New York Motor Show

2005    All-new Range Rover Sport unveiled

2006    Freelander 2/LR2 launched. The first Land Rover to be manufactured at Halewood

2008    LRX concept car previews design language of a new luxury compact SUV

2009    Fourth generation of the Land Rover Discovery introduced

2010    Range Rover Evoque, the world’s first luxury compact SUV, makes global debut

2012    Fourth-generation Range Rover introduced – the first all-aluminium SUV

2013    New generation of Range Rover Sport unveiled at New York Motor Show

2014    Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division is officially launched

2014    Range Rover Sport SVR debuts, the fastest, most agile, most powerful Land Rover

2014    Discovery Vision Concept previews design vision for new family of Discovery vehicles

2014    Launch of Discovery Sport, a new premium compact SUV with 5+2 seating

2015    Trio of end-of-line Defender editions revealed with biggest sand drawing in UK

2015    Exclusive Range Rover SVAutobiography long wheelbase launched in New York

2015    Evoque Convertible becomes world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible

2015    One-of-a-kind Land Rover ‘Defender 2,000,000’ sells for £400,000 at charity auction

2016    Last Defender rolls off the production line

2016    All-new Discovery with world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology launched

2017    Land Rover launches the fourth Range Rover, the Velar

2018    Limited Edition Range Rover SV Coupé debuts at Geneva Motor Show

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches