Land Rover; The Quintessential Off-Roader
The quintessential off-roader celebrates its 70th anniversary. But to the question “When did the Land Rover appear?” Many of us would have a blank mind. It has existed for a lifetime, there it was, circulating on the roads, towns and cities of our rural Spain many decades ago.
The creation of the Land Rover dates back to the years following the end of World War II. It was Maurice Wilks, a Rover engineer, who had a simple and successful idea, to build a British Jeep…
The Land Rover was conceived in 1948 as a utility vehicle, in the strict sense of “useful”, that is, a work vehicle that included a hitch to carry trailers and even a power take-off for agricultural tools.
Undermotorized at first, the Land, originally four permanent drive wheels, would come to have a disconnectable front end, but always with a gearbox equipped with a reduction gear and overdrive (Syncromesh), so it had four short ratios, four normal and four long, while the front differential lock was manual directly on the wheel hubs.
Efficient, tough and utterly indifferent to the comfort of the humans aboard it, the Land Rover soon became indispensable and took the world by storm.
After 68 years of existence, the Defender’s resemblance to its ancestor was clear when production came to an end in 2016, after more than two million units had been produced.
Santana Motor SA began producing the Land Rover under license in Spain in 1958. This copy is equipped with a 2.86-litre, 67-CV gasoline engine, and moves at the leisurely pace imposed by its appearance and its more than 1,400 kilos, with a lot of noise and, of course, with the air currents typical of a convertible. Its handling is not complex, but it needs a certain physical delivery, the suspension resembles a stake, although the smooth direction is surprising, without hard points.