Land Rover is one of the most iconic car brands in the world. The name is synonymous with four-wheel-drive off-road vehicles and has been a part of shows like Top Gear and The Grand Tour from the very beginning.
The automaker, however, has a unique history and is associated with some mind-blowing facts you would never expect.
How well do you know your Land Rovers? You’re about to find out!
Fact #1: The First Land Rover’s Steering Wheel Was In The Middle
List the names of cars with the steering wheel in the middle. If you know your supercar history, you’ll no doubt know about the McLaren F1. It famously lacked a passenger seat.
But many people are surprised to learn that Land Rover’s middle-positioned steering wheel predated the British supercar maker’s attempt by almost sixty years.
Back in the day, people saw Land Rovers as more like glorified tractors – primarily offroad vehicles that you could put on the road if you wanted. Like farm machinery, designers opted to put the steering column in the middle. After all, that provided the best off-road position. It was only later that the company began making left and right-hand drive vehicles.
Fact #2: Rover Made the First Land Rovers
If you thought that the first Land Rover contract hire offers came from Land Rover itself, you’d be wrong. British carmaker Rover actually made the first Land Rover models. Only thirty years into the production of Land Rovers did the new brand name pop into existence.
Fact #3: Land Rovers Used To Come With Tank Tracks
The vast majority of cars on public roads run on regular wheels with rubber inflated tyres. However, Land Rover had different ideas.
It used to be the case in the 1950s that you could actually buy a Land Rover with tank tracks. The vehicle was initially developed to be able to perform better in adverse conditions, like mud. The company first made them to order. But they became so popular that it eventually developed a full-scale production run of the vehicle.
From today’s vantage point, the car looks a bit strange. You needed a step ladder to get into it. But there’s no denying that people would probably still want it today.
Fact #4: Land Rover Are Responsible For Monster Trucks
Have you ever wondered where monster trucks come from? It turns out that Land Rover is to blame.
The company got the ball rolling on monster trucks in the 1950s with the release of the Series II Cuthbertson. This incredible vehicle featured massive tractor-like wheels and huge ground clearance. It looks surprisingly similar to the American monster trucks that would appear across racing venues in the US more than thirty years later.
Fact #5: Land Rover Was Bought By BMW
Land Rover has been bought and sold so many times, it makes your head spin. BMW purchased the brand in 1994. It then sold it to Ford in 2000 which then sold it on again to Jaguar Land Rover in 2008.