Exactly 70 years ago this past Friday, a new brand was introduced to the automotive world with a showcase of three all-terrain vehicles that would be known as Land Rovers. And the rest, as they say, is history. A key component of that history, one of the three Land Rover prototype vehicles – L03 – will be shown at Land Rover Legends later this month. L03 was driven from London to Amsterdam by a young Ernie Bacon (son of Mr. Bacon – the then manager of Rover Company’s London depot at Seagrave Road in Fulham). L03 was ‘despatched out’ of Seagrave Road by Mr. Bacon on Tuesday 27 April 1948, and driven to Amsterdam by a young Ernie to join the Rover Company showcase, launching what was to become among the most iconic automotive brands in the world.
Land Rover will mark its 70th anniversary with a series of events and celebrations in 2018, beginning with the restoration of the vehicle that started it all – one of the three pre-production Land Rovers shown at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show launch. This gave the world its first glimpse of the shape that would become instantly recognizable as a Land Rover. For years the whereabouts of this launch Land Rover was a mystery. The demonstration vehicle from the Amsterdam show was last on the road in the 1960s, after which it spent 20 years in a Welsh field before being bought as a restoration project; it then lay languishing unfinished in a garden. Following its surprise discovery just a few miles outside of Solihull, UK – where the car was first built – the experts at Jaguar Land Rover Classic […]