10 June 2010
Land Rover Defender
They say necessity is the mother of invention. That was true when I wanted to make a bedside cabinet. I went into the garage to use up some MDF offcuts but found none of the preferred rectangular sized pieces. All I had was triangular shapes of varying sizes and also some long strips of said material. I then thought about how to use what I had and the result is as pictured. I think it looks better than what I first planned.
How does that have bearing with the Land Rover Defender? Well, in the post war Britain of 1948 the Rover car company was having trouble acquiring enough steel to make its cars while aluminium was more readily available. Thus using the Willy Jeep as a template, and working with a metal that doesn't shape as well as steel, necessity created the boxy Land Rover. Style didn't matter for a utilitarian vehicle such as this. Besides, it was only supposed to be made for a few short years as a stop gap vehicle until steel became more plentiful. The initial production was 200 a week and in the first year 3,000 were made. The following year 8,000 and 16,000 pa by 1950. It had proven more popular than ever thought possible. The few years of production has continued down to now.
The Defender was named 'the greatest car of all time' in 2003 by Top Gear, the BBC's automotive TV programme. What Car? UK readers voted the Land Rover Defender (named such since 1990) as their favourite car in the 2009 Reader Awards. It's heritage and off road ability has given it a loyalty unsurpassed in the automotive field. To understand the vehicle if you don't already, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ8jOmolSac
If you don't understand after that, don't worry, you never will.
Today the vehicle still sells well at about 25,000 units pa, although 2009 fell somewhat lower. What will end this incredible run of over sixty years is legislation. Its needs to be updated to meet crash safety etc. so a new model is being designed. It will surely pay homage to the iconic design but in a modern way.
The bottom line: Out of necessity came an amazing vehicle, sixty two years young and counting.