A unique look at the development of the Land Rover, this is the story of the simple four-wheel drive vehicle born out of post-war austerity that became a global byword for toughness and rugged style
Launched in 1948, the Land Rover owed its low-key existence to shoestring British ingenuity and—literally—odds and ends left over from World War II. Rover thought it could keep its factory ticking over as the company’s post-war fortunes slowly revived. They also thought that farmers might appreciate it as a handy cross between a pick-up and a tractor. But it was soon obvious that the company had created, in the Land Rover, a world-beating product. Giles Chapman tells the story of how Land Rovers have tamed the planet’s toughest terrain with their unstoppable off-road capability. It also charts how the Land Rover legend allowed the marque to gradually expand its range with the Range Rover, Discovery, Freelander, and the latest Range Rover Evoque. They’re all cars as familiar in cities and suburbs as they are at home in the countryside. Land Rover has been controversial, its fortunes tied to Britain’s economic ups and downs. Today it’s on a roll, leading a renaissance in British design and manufacturing, yet the continued presence of the Defender helps keep the Land Rover Story absolutely genuine.