One of the first Land Rover vehicles produced from the assembly line has been hiding for decades until the past year where it was uncovered.
The rare Land Rover is one of three preproduction models first introduced to the public in 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show. After touring for brand publicity in the late 1940s, the vehicle managed to stay out of the public eye for quite some time.
What happened to the historic Land Rover model? After being sold to a private individual, it was kept on a Welsh farm. It sat for many years before being purchased for a restoration project, which didn’t end up going very far, so it ended up resting in a garden for decades.
The Land Rover was located in 2016, not far from the manufacturing plant where it was built in Solihull.
The vehicle was mostly intact and Land Rover’s Classic Works team put time into preserving the historical gem instead of completely restoring it. They wanted to leave it closest to its natural state instead of polishing the artifact to look brand new.
As an important part of Land Rover’s history and automotive history in general, the preproduction Rover is irreplaceable. The Classic Works team is putting the model through a careful restoration process just in time for Land Rover’s 70th-anniversary celebration.
If you think about what was happening 70 years ago, it is fascinating to imagine when the world first glimpsed at the unique body style that is now immediately distinguished as a Land Rover. The launch at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show was a memorable time for the brand, only to be recognized again after the vehicle was located in a garden.
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The Defender has been off of the Land Rover lineup for a few years now and the brand has kept quiet on any news of a replacement.
It has been announced that there are plans to unveil the 2019 model near the end of this year. It is also expected to enter into production this year, although Land Rover is still keeping many aspects of the release secret and consumers are anxiously awaiting the updated 4×4.
The reason JLR is keeping the information under wraps is that when they leaked news on the Evoque, a Chinese automobile manufacturer released a very similar model. Instead of giving the competitors an edge on the newest release and risking them duplicating the inspiration, they are delaying the details about the new Defender. A smart strategy on their part, but many are dying to see the new SUV’s exterior and new specs.
Luckily, Autocar was able to absorb several details on the new Defender, the few things that the brand execs were willing to share with fans.
The new model will likely be nicknamed L663 and brought out at the company’s 70th-anniversary event. It will come in two different body styles, sticking with the existing 90 and 110 models used in the previous Defender.
The aluminum frame known as the D7u which is also featured in the Discovery and arrange rover models will also be used for the new Defender. The ability to choose from soft and hard top models will be another plus with new variants to be released in the future. It is also clear that the lineup will be using the JLR Ingenium engines.
Many people were speculating that the DC100 concept would closely resemble the new Defender but instead, design head Jerry McGovern indicated that they went in a completely different direction.
We don’t quite know yet what that will look like but one thing is for sure, it will be a much more refined model and likely the “most high-tech Land Rover vehicle”. McGovern also noted that the brand may not advertise the typical off-road features like the snorkels or retro spotlights.
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