7 Land Rover Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know

Think you know everything there is to know about the Land Rover? Check out this surprising trivia and impress your friends with some astonishing Land Rover facts.

Mobile movies

Land Rovers have performed an important public service in remote regions of Africa. With a mobile cinema screen attached, for many years the Land Rover Series 1 was responsible for bringing public information and education to outlying areas unreachable by other means.

Royal appointment

If you drive a Land Rover Defender you’re in distinguished company. Her Majesty the Queen is a famous fellow Defender enthusiast. Having reportedly owned more than 30 of these classic cars in her lifetime, Her Majesty had a custom-made Defender specially built in 2002, replete with green leather upholstery and a powerful 4.2 litre V8 engine

Getaway vehicle

In a decidedly more shady turn of affairs, the Land Rover had a key role to play in the Great Train Robbery of 1963. Fifteen robbers (including the notorious Ronnie Biggs) made off with £7 million of ill-gotten gains in two stolen Land Rovers, escaping to a farm in Buckinghamshire where the vehicles were later discovered.

Oxbridge escapades

Here’s something we reckon should feature on the curriculum more often! Back in the 1950s, student teams from Oxford and Cambridge contacted the Rover Company with an outlandish proposal: they were going to drive 16,000 miles to Singapore, a challenging feat that had never before been achieved. Their adventure was filmed by the BBC, and the success of the Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition gained them (and the Land Rover) a place in history.

Centre steer

The first Land Rover prototype built in 1947 had a steering wheel positioned centrally (similar to the tractors of the time), with space for two passengers to sit flanking the driver on either side. A bonus of the design was that it didn’t need to be adapted for export to countries where left hand drive is standard.


We know the Land Rover has been customised for many purposes over the years, but this Land Rover fact takes versatility to a new extreme. During the 1960s a prototype was built of the Vickers Hover Rover – a Land Rover with a cushioned base that could transform itself into a hovercraft. Its intended use was for spraying crops, but sadly the design never made it into mainstream production.

Starring role

The Land Rover and the Range Rover have both played key parts in countless movies and TV shows. Notable appearances include prominent sequences in the 2015 James Bond film, Spectre, an animated version of the Land Rover Defender 110 in US TV show Godzilla: The Series, and a highly customised Land Rover 101 FC that appeared as the City Cab in 1995’s Judge Dredd

If we’ve whetted your appetite for more fascinating Land Rover facts, check out our blogs on the history of the Land Rover Defender and the history of the Range Rover.

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