Land Rover has celebrated its 65th birthday by showcasing both historic and modern vehicles at the Packington Estate. This, of course, was the manufacturer's proving facility from the late forties to the early seventies. The event celebrated key models in the company's history and 4x4 technological firsts such as anti-lock brakes, adjustable air suspension, electronic traction control, hill descent, terrain response, and stop/start technologies. Land Rover's longest serving employee, Roger Crathorne, was also on site to add gravitas to the event. And there is more. The manufacturer has created the Special Edition Land Rover Defender LXV to mark its 65th birthday. This 2.2-litre beast – that is a 90” Hard Top model with six-speed manual transmission – has Santorini Black paintwork to complement its Corris Grey roof, grille and headlight surrounds. It has a union flag decal on the rear too. Furthermore, the cabin is special thanks to its high-quality leather seats that have LXV embossed headrests/orange stitching. These extras ensure it stands out from the other two million Defenders that have rolled-off the production line. The Special Edition Land Rover Defender LXV is also exclusive as only 65 will be sold in the UK.
History of Land Rover
The Land Rover Series I made its début in 1948 and was loved for its robust build quality and off-road capability. The latter came courtesy of its four-wheel-drive system, high ground clearance, and short overhangs. The range then expanded to include a five-door model, etc. - before being replaced by the Series II in 1958 and the Series III in 1971. However, these were utilitarian and motorists were craving a more luxurious off-road alternative. The manufacturer therefore launched the Range Rover in 1970 which has now evolved into a sophisticated fourth generation vehicle. As such the all-new Range Rover has a powered tailgate, television, and surround camera system to make parking straightforward. There is a sport version too. In 1983, the Land Rover Series III was replaced by the Ninety and One Ten. The numbers, of course, related to the wheelbase length in inches. However, these were renamed Defender 90 and Defender 110 a few years later. In 1989, the Land Rover Discovery launched as a cut-price alternative to the Range Rover. It was popular, so – much like its more prestigious sibling – is now a multi-generation vehicle that has evolved beyond recognition. This is complemented by the smaller Freelander. And that brings us to the 2011 Range Rover Evoque. This beauty has coupé looks mixed with staggering off-road credentials. As such it is a big seller and has expanded the manufacturer's appeal to a wider demographic. Happy 65th Land Rover.