10 Interesting Land Rover Facts
Land Rover is one of the most successful car manufacturers in the world and an iconic British vehicle, popular with the Royal Family and celebrities from across the globe.
Do you think you know everything there is to know about the Land Rover? With such an interesting history, take a look at these 10 interesting facts you didn’t know about Land Rover.
1. The first Land Rover’s steering wheel was in the middle
The first Land Rover prototype built in 1947 had a steering wheel positioned in the middle of the vehicle, perhaps taking inspiration from the Jeep. The design left enough space for two passengers to sit on either side of the driver, with the added bonus that the design didn’t need to be adapted for export to countries where a left-hand drive is the standard.
2. Land Rover and the Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition
Back in the 1950s, what started out as a bet between two students turned into a record-breaking adventure. Students from Oxford and Cambridge contacted the Rover Company with an outlandish proposal. They were going to drive 16,000 miles from London to Singapore, a challenging feat that had never before been achieved.
The Rover Company provided two Series I vehicles and their adventures were filmed by the BBC. The success of the Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition gained them (and Land Rover) a place in history.
3. Land Rover invented the first monster truck
In the 1950s, the British Forestry Commission required a vehicle that could tackle the muddy, marshy environment. As a result, Land Rover designed and produced a vehicle with four large tractor tyres and elaborate axles. Because of this, it’s argued that Land Rover invented the monster truck 30 years before the design actually became popular.
4. The ‘Rover’ craft
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.
We know the Land Rover has been customised for many purposes over the years, but this takes versatility to a new extreme!
5. Land Rover played an important role as a getaway vehicle
The Land Rover had a key role to play in the Great Train Robbery of 1963. A group of 15 robbers, including the notorious Ronnie Biggs, escaped with today’s equivalent of $7 million in cash after robbing a Post Office train. The thieves carried out the heist in two stolen Land Rovers, escaping to a farm in Buckinghamshire where the vehicles were later discovered.
6. The Range Rover was built exactly as the first prototype was designed
A rarity in the car industry, did you know that the 1966 Range Rover prototype was the design that led to production with no changes to the prototype?
This model was even cited as an ‘exemplary work of industrial design’ and it became the first vehicle to be displayed at the Louvre in Paris in 1971.
7. Land Rover has featured in hundreds of movies
Land Rover models have appeared in hundreds of different movies and TV shows, most notably in Tomb Raider, Shaun Of The Dead, The Italian Job and the timeless Christmas classic, Love Actually.
The 4×4 vehicles have also featured in some of the James Bond films, including 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre. Find out more about Land Rover’s most notable movie moments.
8. Land Rover is a popular vehicle among the Royal Family
If you drive a Land Rover Defender, you’re in distinguished company. The Queen and other members of the Royal Family are fellow Land Rover enthusiasts. Having reportedly owned more than 30 of these classic cars in her lifetime, Her Majesty had a custom-made Defender specially built in 2002, with green leather upholstery and a powerful 4.2 litre V8 engine.
9. Land Rover holds all three Royal Warrants
Did you know that alongside Jaguar, Land Rover is the only automaker to have been granted all three of the Royal Warrants? This is a mark of recognition to those who have supplied their goods or services to HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales, or their households.
10. Land Rover is favoured by celebrities
As well as being a firm favourite among the Royals, Land Rover is also popular among a selection of A-list celebrities. To name a few, Daniel Craig, Victoria Beckham and Reese Witherspoon are all famous Land Rover owners.
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