The Celebration Line

Defender Line

Land Rover has recreated the 1948 production line used to manufacture its first four wheel drive vehicle, The Series I. The “Defender Celebration Line” details the history of the Wilks Bros., who were the founders of the Land Rover. The exhibition is located in one of the original buildings at the Solihull factory.

Series I production

Replica models are showcased at various stages of production, each one built using original parts and in the original method of production, which usually meant hand tools. Land Rover turned to the curator of the Dunsfold Collection, Phil Bashall, to oversee the creation of the “new” Series I’s. Dunsfold is home to the world’s largest collection of rare and unique Land Rovers and parts.

The Series I

Working alongside Bashall was Roger Crathorne, who is otherwise known as “Mr Land Rover”. Crathorne was born in Solihull, and started working as an apprentice at the Land Rover factory in 1963. He retired from Land Rover in 2013 after 50 years of service to the company.

Oxford
Is that Oxford?!

Despite the 8000 original Land Rover parts that Bashall had in his collection, it still took a period of months to collect the parts needed to recreate the assembly line. Then another 5 weeks for Bashall and Crathorne to assemble the five vehicles that appear in the “Celebration Line”.

Series I strutting its stuff

Tours are open to the public for 45 pounds. The display lasts through 2015, which is the Defender’s last year of production at Solihull. I am overdue for a visit to the UK.

All photos are courtesy of Land Rover

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: