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7 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Land Rover

Posted by Phil Marshall on June 13th, 2023

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Welcome back to the Famous Four Blog. We at Famous Four are independent Land Rover Specialists, supplying parts, advice, and servicing. But we also love to share our knowledge of Land Rovers with others. So today, we are going to share with you 7 interesting facts you may not know about Land Rover.

Now, we could tell you that the steering wheel was first placed in the centre of the car or that the first Land Rover was built years before Land Rover was even a company, but those are the facts that most Land Rover fans already know, so let’s try some more interesting ones…

#1 – A Revolutionary Monster

The Land Rover Monster Truck

Land Rover built the first ever Monster Truck in the 1950’s. The British Forestry Commission demanded that Land Rover make a vehicle that could manage deep puddles, so what they did was attach 4 tractor tires to a Land Rover creating what is considered the first example of a monster truck, somewhat 30 years before they became popular.

#2 – Going Strong In 2139

Judge Dredd (1995)

The first Land Rover was built in 1947 and Land Rover will still be going strong in 2139. That is according to the 1995 film Judge Dredd. And the car they will be making is the 2139 City Cab. The only way to get around Mega City One, formerly New York, this futuristic spin on the New York taxicab was based on a Land Rover 101 Forward Control but constructed to be a fortress on wheels. These cars were actually made for the film and occasionally pop up for sale now and then.

The Land Rover 2139 CityCab

#3 – Jet Engine Roots

Charles Spencer King

The Range Rover was built by the nephew of Maurice and Spencer Wilks, who ran the company. Charles Spencer King, of whom the CSK model would be named after, would first work for Rolls Royce after WWII helping to build jet engines. What put him on the map though and got people noticing him, was his work on the Rover JET1, which in 1952 set the land speed record for a gas turbine vehicle with 152mph.

The JET1

#4 – An Earlier Range Rover??

The Road Rover

You may think that you know what year it was first made, 1970 right? Wrong, the first ever Range Rover was actually called the Road Rover and was made nearly 20 years prior in 1952. Okay, so perhaps it wasn’t the Range Rover, but it was the same project. Land Rover wanted to create a bigger more luxurious version of the Series in the early 1950’s and they came up with the Road Rover. This project would however be shelved and then picked up in the mid 60’s where King and Gordon Bashford would create the prototype of the first Range Rover Classic.

(L-R) David Bache, Charles Spencer King, Gordon Bashford

#5 – “Would You Like The Tank Version?”

The Series II Cuthbertson

This one, you might know about, but it’s too cool not to mention. The Series II Cuthbertson! Originally designed by a Scotsman to manoeuvre around the Scottish Highlands, without sinking into the ground, this was a Series II, equipped with not wheels, but rather rubber tracks. This was later offered as a factory option, you know, just in case you wanted a half car, half tank to roam around your town.

#6 – Mona Lisa and the Range

The Louvre, Paris

Another cool, but potentially well-known fact, is that the Range Rover is considered to be a work of art, and that is not an opinion. A ¾ scale model of the 1970 Range Rover was actually a featured exhibit in the Louvre. It was described as an “exemplary work of industrial design”. Since then, many other cars have been displayed, but know that it all started with our beloved British car the Range Rover.

The Range Rover Exhibit

#7 – The Pink Panther

The Pink Panther in Dhofar, Oman

Finally, did you know that there is only one military vehicle which is pink? Well,   there is, and it’s a Land Rover. A modified Series IIA was given the nickname “Pink Panther” and was used by the Special Air Service (SAS)in the Persian Gulf area. The hue of the car was thought to have been just right to blend in with the sand in the area at certain times of the day. Pretty cool, right?

The Pink Panther in Oman

So, did we teach you anything? Or are you just too much of a Land Rover whizz? Let us know in the comments which ones you knew and which you didn’t and also what is your favourite Land Rover fact?