A little over seventy years ago, in the summer of 1947, Maurice and Spencer Wilks sketched the outline of a new utility vehicle on the beach near the family estate at Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey, Wales. It set in motion the development of the Land Rover, an instant global icon, which is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its launch on April 30, 2018, in what has been dubbed “World Land Rover Day.”
The anniversary has already been marked in a few ways: the acquisition and impending restoration of one of the first Series I 80” trucks shown at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show, the Defender Works V8 resto-mod, and the limited-edition two-door Range Rover SV Coupe. But the elephant in the room in these announcements is the inevitable reveal of the all-new Defender replacement, supposedly due for the 2019 model year.
That announcement may be coming very soon, or at the least a serious tease of it. Land Rover’s official celebration of World Land Rover Day will be a digitally streamed webcast, paying tribute to origins of the Land-Rover/Defender, Range Rover, and Discovery product families. It will include the (living) personalities who shaped those vehicles and will commemorate their contributions to global motoring, exploration, and culture.
The World Land Rover Day celebration was announced in much the same way the vehicle was conceived in the first place in 1947: a line in the snow. In the vein of their 2015 tribute to the end of original Defender production upon the sands of Red Wharf Bay, Land Rover hired snow artist Simon Beck to snowshoe the silhouette of a Defender across a French Alp, 250 meters across. After 20,894 steps and 10.2 miles of snow walking, he had carved the next iteration of the iconic drawing into the mountain.
Of course, the new Defender reveal is only months away no matter what. It’s not a huge leap to think that a gathering of the Land Rover minds on the 70th anniversary of the company’s launch, announced by a tribute to their origin story, would possibly result in the surprise reveal of the all-new version of the legend. Even if it doesn't result in the Defender launch, it should be a fascinating roundtable discussion of Land Rover history.
I guess you’ll have to see for yourself. You can tune into the official World Land Rover Day live stream on Monday, April 30, 2018, at 8 PM UK time, 3 PM Eastern Time, Noon Pacific Time. At that time, go to www.youtube.com/user/landrover and the stream will be available.
In the meantime, why not turn World Land Rover Day into World Land Rover Weekend? It’s on a Monday, and late April should be the beginning of the off-roading and exploring season in much of the United States. A live stream is great, but there’s no better way to celebrate the Wilks brothers’ creation than taking one of the many capable vehicles they wrought on an adventure of some sort, even if it’s close to home.
SIGN UP for Exclusive Offers & Latest Deals
Please wait while we calculate your shipping cost.....