The design for the original vehicle was started in 1947 by Maurice Wilks. It was simply called Land Rover (the terms “Series” and “Defender” are retroactive and only introduced in the 1990s). Wilks, chief designer at the Rover Company, on his farm in Newborough, Anglesey, working in conjunction with his brother Spencer who was the managing director of Rover.
The design was influenced by the Jeep and the prototype, later nicknamed Centre Steer, was built on a Jeep chassis and axles. The early choice of colour was dictated by military surplus supplies of aircraft cockpit paint, so early vehicles only came in various shades of light green; all models until recently feature sturdy box section ladder-frame chassis. Early vehicles like the Series I were field-tested at Long Bennington and designed to be field-serviced.
|Land Rover series|
|Manufacturer||Rover Company (1948-1967)|
British Leyland (1968-1983)
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||FR layout/All-wheel drive|
|Successor||Land Rover Ninety & One Ten / Defender|
Land Rovers were manufactured primarily at the Solihull plant, near Birmingham, but production of the Freelander was moved to the Halewood Body & Assembly plant near Liverpool, a former Ford car plant. The Freelander is also assembled in Knock-down kit (CKD) form at Land Rover’s facility in Pune, India. As of 2015, the company continued to expand by building locally in India as well as increasing the number of models made at JLR’s Chikhali facility near Pune to include the Discovery Sport and Evoque.