Tuesday 1 May 2018


After 70 years of all-terrain adventures and global expeditions, Land Rover has once again taken the Defender to new heights.

  • Spectacular 250m wide Defender outline drawn in the snow at 2,700m in the French Alps to mark Land Rover’s 70th anniversary
  • Defender outline created by snow artist Simon Beck who walked out 20,894 steps in sub-zero temperatures
  • Land Rover announces World Land Rover Day: 30 April 2018 marks 70 years since its debut at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show
  • Drawing was a tribute to the Wilks brothers’ first sketch of the original Land Rover shape in the sand of Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey, UK
  • Celebration broadcast on World Land Rover Day will pay tribute to the original Land Rover, as well as the luxurious Range Rover and versatile Discovery families
Stretching over 250 metres, the spectacular Defender outline was imprinted on the side of a mountain in the French Alps. The one-off snow art was created to announce World Land Rover Day on 30 April, exactly 70 years since the original Land Rover was first shown to the world at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.

The unique image is a tribute to the moment when the engineering director of Rover, Maurice Wilks, first sketched the shape for the original Land Rover in the sand of Red Wharf Bay and proposed the idea to his brother Spencer, Rover's managing director.  The forward-thinking design was eventually christened the 'Land Rover'; the outline of which we now recognise as the Defender. Those first sand sketches went on to create one of the most iconic vehicles in the world and ultimately led to the creation a company that has become the most famous 4x4 manufacturer on the planet.

Land Rover is an iconic brand around the world and the outline of the Defender is instantly recognisable. To reach the landmark of 70 years is truly special and we will mark it with a year of celebrations that represents Land Rover's ‘Above and Beyond’ spirit and honours the people behind the world’s favourite SUVs.
Land Rover is inviting fans to join the celebrations in a World Land Rover Day online broadcast. It stars the people who helped create the world’s most-loved 4x4s and Land Rover’s pioneering technologies, from its Series Land Rover and Defender origins, to the introduction of the Range Rover in 1970 and Discovery in 1989.

Snow artist Simon Beck, who specialises in creating geometric outlines on foot, braved sub-zero temperatures to start the celebrations by creating the Defender outline 2,700m up at La Plagne in the French Alps.
Driving a Defender to get close to the 2,700m to produce the high-altitude artwork, Beck then walked 20,894 steps and 16.5km (10.2 miles) through the French Alps. He said: “Making my snow art requires endurance, accuracy and strength – all attributes shared with the Defender. Its iconic shape is so simple and recognised across the world; this must be the most recognisable piece of art I’ve ever made.”

1948     Land Rover Series I launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show
1953     Long Wheelbase version of the Series I is introduced
1956     Oxford and Cambridge teams complete on London to Singapore expedition in Series I
1958     Land Rover Series II unveiled with more refined design
1970     Original two-door Range Rover (the Classic) goes on sale
1971     Land Rover Series III launched
1972     Range Rover crosses Darien Gap on 18,000-mile Trans-America expedition
1976     1,000,000th Land Rover built
1979     A Range Rover wins the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally (and again in 1981)
1981     Land Rover begins legendary partnership with Camel Trophy
1981     Four-door Range Rover released
1989     Land Rover Discovery, the third Land Rover model, goes on sale
1990     Original ‘Landie’ relaunched and renamed Defender
1994     Second generation Range Rover launched
1997     All-new Freelander is unveiled with innovative new technology: Hill Descent Control
2001     Third-generation Range Rover with all-round independent air suspension revealed
2003     Inaugural G4 challenge sees 16 teams traverse USA, South Africa and Australia
2004     Range Stormer Concept previews performance Range Rover and three-door body
2004     Discovery 3/LR3, the third-generation Discovery, launched at New York Motor Show
2005     All-new Range Rover Sport unveiled                  
2006     Freelander 2/LR2 launched. The first Land Rover to be manufactured at Halewood
2007     LRX concept car previews design language of a new luxury compact SUV
2009     Fourth generation of the Land Rover Discovery introduced
2010     Range Rover Evoque, the world’s first luxury compact SUV, makes global debut
2012     Fourth-generation Range Rover introduced – the first all-aluminium SUV
2013     New generation of Range Rover Sport unveiled at New York Motor Show
2014     Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division is officially launched
2014     Range Rover Sport SVR debuts, the fastest, most agile, most powerful Land Rover
2014     Discovery Vision Concept previews design vision for new family of Discovery vehicles
2014     Launch of Discovery Sport, a new premium compact SUV with 5+2 seating
2015     Trio of end-of-line Defender editions revealed with biggest sand drawing in UK
2015     Exclusive Range Rover SVAutobiography long wheelbase launched in New York
2015     Evoque Convertible becomes world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible
2015     One-of-a-kind Land Rover 'Defender 2,000,000' sells for £400,000 at charity auction
2016     Last Defender rolls off the production line
2016     All-new Discovery with world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology launched
2017     Land Rover launches the fourth Range Rover, the Velar
2018     Limited Edition Range Rover SV CoupĂ© debuts at Geneva Motor Show
In 2015, Land Rover re-created the outline in the sands of Red Wharf Bay, to mark the final year of current Defender production. More information is available here: https://media.landrover.com/en-gb/news/2015/01/land-rover-launches-year-defender-celebrations-giant-1km-sand-drawing-and-trio-limited