Land Rover is celebrating 68 years of history as the last of the current Defenders rolls off the assembly line.
To mark the special occasion, the British automaker invited over 700 current and former Solihull plant employees involved in the production of Series Land Rover and Defender vehicles to the event. Some of the most important vehicles from the plant’s history were also on hand including the first pre-production “Huey” Series I. Of course the last vehicle off the production line was present, a Defender 90 Heritage Soft Top.
Land Rover also used the event to announce a new Heritage Restoration Program that will be based on the site of the existing Solihull production line. A team of experts will oversee the restoration of a number of Series Land Rovers sourced from around the world. The first of the restored vehicles will go on sale in July 2016.
The automaker is now looking towards the future and is currently designing and engineering a new Defender model. Rumor has it that it will debut in 2018 and the next-generation model is expected to make a return to the U.S. The current Defender hasn’t been sold stateside since 1997.
“Today we celebrate what generations of men and women have done since the outline for the Land Rover was originally drawn in the sand,” said Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Dr. Ralf Speth. “The Series Land Rover, now Defender, is the origin of our legendary capability, a vehicle that makes the world a better place, often in some of the most extreme circumstances. There will always be a special place in our hearts for Defender, among all our employees, but this is not the end. We have a glorious past to champion, and a wonderful future to look forward to.”
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