Did you miss it too? We didn’t even send a card! On June 17th, the Range Rover celebrated its 50th birthday. In case the significance of that is lost, if the Land Rover is credited with being the world’s first SUV, the Range Rover is arguably the world’s first luxury SUV. As the Range Rover turns 50, there’s much history to celebrate!
The genesis of the Range Rover dates back to the early popularity of the Land Rover Series I, which splashed through it’s first mud pit in 1948. By 1951, based on the polarity of the Series I, Land Rover saw an opportunity to capture more of the market with a larger, better appointed, less utilitarian version.
But early plans, including for a two-wheel-drive “Road Rover”, were shelved by 1958 without bearing any new models. Eight years later, Land Rover resuscitated the idea of an entirely new model. Early prototypes carried the code-named “Velar” to throw industry spies off the scent.
The Range Rover was delivered to its first customers in September, 1970. An early brochure touts it as a “vehicle that is really four vehicles in one”, including, according to the brochure:
“It is a robust, seven-days-a-week motor car for all business, social and domestic purposes.”
“It is a leisure vehicle that will range far and wide…”
“It is a high-performance car for long-distance travel in the grand manner.”
”It is a working cross-country vehicle with an impressive payload capacity.”
The Range Rover 50
To celebrate the milestone birthday, Land Rover is building 1,970 Range Rover 50s. You can order a “50” in one of four current colours, or try for an “extremely limited number” that will be finished in original Range Rover solid colours, including “Baham Gold” and “Tuscan Blue”.
Things that the “50” has that were not around in 1970? Among the many, the 50 comes with 22” wheels, which are 6 inches larger than the originals, and two back doors (the original was only available as a two-door).
Be sure to schedule your complimentary vehicle pick-up and drop-off service with us here at Westminster Motors. We offer dealer-equivalent Jaguar Land Rover parts and service.
If you’d like to find out more about the Land Rover history, check out our post “The Latest Chapter in Westminster Motors’ History of the Defender”.