Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,119 pages of information and 233,665 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Land Rover

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First production model.
April 1951.
June 1953.
July 1953.
September 1954.
October 1958.
Reg No: ASV 441.
18th March 1961.
1967. 109" Station Wagon. Reg No: SMK 912F.
1975. Land Rover 101. Reg No: KKH 237N.
Reg No: MRX 555P.
Land Rover 101 Forward Control. Reg No: FWD 350Y.
Reg No: MRX 555P.
South America badge.
Reg No: HL 08 AA.
Reg No: 62 KB 84.
Reg No: 3547 PZ.
Reg No: 10 FG 31.
Reg No: 73 FM 99.
Reg No: A848 ODY.
Dorset Fire Brigade. Reg No: UTX 558.
Reg No: PXC 428E.
Dorset Fire Brigade. Reg No: WFX 105M.
October 1984.

of Solihull

1947 Spencer Wilks and Maurice Wilks, of Rover, conceived the idea of the Land Rover, seeing a commercial demand for a small, economical, four-wheel drive, "go anywhere" vehicle. Their design was based on the Willys Jeep, using Rover components, and with a body made from aluminium plates to save on steel and dies.

1948 Launched at Amsterdam Motor Show

1949 First Land Rover four-wheel-drive vehicle powered by a 1,600cc engine and a 15cwt payload.

From 1949 production of the Land Rover exceeded Rover car output by an increasing margin each year.

Between 1948 and 1958 the company sold 200,000 Land Rovers, over 70 per cent for export.

1950 Maurice Wilks began to develop a long wheelbase Land Rover - Long wheel base (LWB) model was introduced.

1952 Wilks had the idea for what was to appear as the Range Rover

1957 Diesel engine option.

By 1962 three times as many Land Rovers as Rover cars were sold.

Company became part of British Leyland Motor Corporation.

1970 Range Rover introduced.

By 1982 was one of the 4 main divisions of BL

1987 The Land Rover part of Rover Group was trading profitably.

1994 BMW acquired the Rover Group. Sold the Land Rover business to Ford

2002 Became part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group along with Aston Martin, Volvo Cars, etc. Land Rover became closely associated with Jaguar, sharing sales and distribution network (including shared dealerships) in many countries; some models shared components and production facilities.

2008 Tata Motors acquired the Jaguar and Land Rover businesses from Ford and formed them into Jaguar Land Rover

List of Models

See Also


Sources of Information

  • British Lorries 1900-1992 by S. W. Stevens-Stratten. Pub. Ian Allen Publishing
  • Biography of Spencer Wilks, ODNB