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Land Rover celebrates Defender with 1948 production line

Land Rover has gone back in time by building a piece for piece replica of the production line used to manufacture its first 4x4 in 1948.

The ‘Defender Celebration Line’ displays in great detail how the first Series I Land Rover was built at the Solihull manufacturing plant following the Second World War.

A new visitor attraction – which was officially opened to the public this week – the ‘Defender Celebration Line’ forms part of a new Defender tour and displays replica models at various stages of their production.

Each Land Rover has been painstakingly built using identical parts and in exactly the same way as the original Series I.

The special display gives a fascinating glimpse into a car production in the later 1940’s – using original tools and a draftsmen’s drawing board where visitors are required to don authentic overalls known as ‘cow gowns’.

Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Director, John Edwards, says the heritage line will take visitors back to the beginning of the world’s most famous 4x4 manufacturer.

“Land Rover has a rich heritage based around the Series I and Defender models, and we wanted to create something extra special that would give visitors and enthusiasts a unique insight into how it all started back in 1948”.

“It has been a huge task to recreate a production line from almost 70 years ago, from sourcing original parts for the Series I models, to authentically re-creating the working environment and uniform of employees who were here.

Adding, “The team involved has been meticulous in their research, planning and creation of what is a fitting tribute to the legendary heritage of Land Rover.”

JLR recruited one of the world’s biggest land Rover enthusiasts and restorers – curator of the famous Dunsfold Collection of historic Land Rovers, Phil Bashall, to help put together the vehicles for the production line.

Bashall built his first Series I Land Rover at the tender age of 13 but was still taken aback when Land Rover informed him of plans to build a full replica 1948 production line.

Phil remarked, “It’s been a struggle at times, but a real labour of love to source all of the original parts needed for vehicles that stopped production so many years ago.”

Tours cost £45 per person – to arrange a visit to the home of the Land Rover legend during its final year of UK production, click or call: +44 (0)121 700 4619.

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