Land Rover celebrates 70th birthday with latest (and greatest) models

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Land Rover brings out oldest-surviving model and newest SUVs for 70th birthday

The year is 1948 and the first ever Land Rover, the Series One, made its debut at the Amsterdam Motor Show. Fast forward 70 years and the British marque now has a range of six models in total, ranging from the Discovery Sport to the Range Rover. To celebrate this milestone, Land Rover has brought out their SUVs from the past and present.

Among the vehicles displayed during the celebrations is the HUE and one of the prototypes. These two models are known as the oldest surviving Land Rover Series One models with the prototype bearing a chassis number of 003. Chassis 003 is also claimed to be the exact same car that was displayed in Amsterdam 70 years ago. Also part of the show were a variety of Series Two and Series Three models, models that took part in expeditions, service Defenders and Range Rovers, a couple of Discovery models and even the 70th Anniversary Defender packing supercharged V8 power. Joining the historic models are the current offerings of Land Rover.

Throughout its history, the company has undergone a series of ownership changes. It was first under the Rover Company from 1948 to 1967, and was then run by the Leyland Motor Corporation for one year. By the end of the 60's, Land Rover was managed by British Leyland, right up until 1986. Land Rover went back to the Rover Group from 1986 to 1994 until it was snatched up by BMW that same year. By 2000, BMW had sold the lot to Ford under the Premier Auto Group until it was eventually rescued by Tata in 2008. To this day, the Indian conglomerate owns Land Rover, along with Jaguar.

Since the launch of the original Land Rover, the company has sold over 7 million units across the globe. Primarily offering just one car with the Series One, the Land Rover range was extended in 1970 with the introduction of what is now called the Range Rover Classic. Initially available as a three-door, the five door came about in 1981. By 1989, the Range Rover and Land Rover Series had a new sibling in the form of the Discovery and, a year later, the Series Land Rovers were renamed as the Defender.

Land Rover's first compact crossover was the Freelander in 1997, which eventually paved the way for the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport. In the mid-2000's the Range Rover gained a smaller sibling with the Discovery-based Range Rover Sport. Now, the newest addition to the lineup is the Range Rover Velar, the first 'coupe' from Land Rover. For the future, the British automaker is exploring semi-autonomous driving tech, as well as plug-in hybrid technologies.

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