Solihull car maker Land Rover is celebrating its 65th birthday with a week-long programme of events at the country estate where the company’s first pioneering prototypes were put through their paces.
April 30 marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the firm and to celebrate a run of events is being held at the Packington Estate in Meriden
The celebrations include a display of 150 heritage vehicles and the debut of a special edition all-new Land Rover, as well as the delivery of a special birthday cake flown in via helicopter by a member of the ‘Black Cats’ Royal Navy display team.
Since the company’s birth in 1948 Land Rover vehicles have transported dignitaries such as Winston Churchill and the Royal family.
The very first Land Rover ‘HUE 166’, affectionately know as Huey, came into being following a sketch in the sand by Maruice Wilks.
Around 150 heritage Land Rovers are on show at the celebratory event at Packington Estate, which was the testing ground for the original 1947-48 Land Rover prototypes through to the Range Rover development vehicles of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The occasion also sets the scene for the debut of a special edition Defender – the LXV (65 in roman numerals).
The Defender evolved from the original Land Rover in 1990 and this family of 4x4s – Land Rover Series I, II, III and Defender – has now notched up sales of more than two million vehicles.
Vehicles on display will demonstrate Land Rover’s breadth of capability, with ploughing, emergency service, military, expedition, royal and concept vehicles sitting alongside Land Rover’s current model line-up – the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque.
John Edwards, Land Rover’s global brand director, said: “Land Rover is celebrating 65 years of proud heritage.
“Since 1948, every component in our vehicles has been designed and engineered with intent and Land Rover continues to this day, to build the world’s most capable all-purpose vehicles.
“A blend of refinement, performance and unmatched all-terrain capability make Land Rover vehicles distinctive and unique, ready to tackle the world’s most challenging and inhospitable terrain.”