Thursday 4th September 1947
The Rover Board sanctioned the production of an ‘all-purpose vehicle on the lines of the Wills-Overland Jeep’ – the Land Rover. It was agreed to build 25 vehicles for evaluation, although this was later extended to 50. The Land Rover’s body was made of more expensive aluminium because steel was still in short supply after the end of WWII. Announced abroad, at the Amsterdam Motor Show of 1948 and initially priced at £450, the vehicle’s functional design, sound engineering and go-anywhere specifications, coupled with optional four-wheel drive, meant that it was in immediate demand the world over and since then over 70% of output has been exported. Originally a 1.6-litre overhead-inlet, side exhaust 4 cylinder engine was employed, as used in the Rover 60 car, but from 1951 this was enlarged to a 2-litre and from 1957 there was a diesel option, the first of many options. Output soared. The 100,000th Land Rover was built in 1954 and the millionth in 1976.