The Land Rover Story
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By Dave Phillips
This book is a rollercoaster ride through the life and times of Land Rover. Fast-paced and entertainingly written, it brings alive all aspects of Land Rover from its humble beginnings in 1948 to today’s world-wide renown, with the vehicles — successes and failures — and people at the centre of the story. The narrative progresses through the decades, dwelling on everything that its expert author, a true fan who has been passionate about Land Rovers since childhood, finds fascinating, informative, insightful and amusing — with the aim above all of being a damned good read. All Land Rover folk, and others besides, will love this treasure trove.
- The 1940s. How the Land Rover came about; the Wilks brothers; the Centre Steer enigma; development and production; launch and reaction.
- The 1950s. Rapid development and evolution of the original; successes and dead ends; worldwide reach; early expeditions; weird and wonderful modifications; the Series II.
- The 1960s. Consolidation and further developments; Series IIA; military models; initial development of the Range Rover; search for a V8 engine.
- The 1970s. The Series III; Range Rover’s popularity but lack of investment; Land Rover abandons US market; the British Leyland story; escape from BL and Michael Edwardes, saviour of Land Rover.
- The 1980s. British Aerospace ownership; Land Rover grows as most of Britain’s car industry self-destructs; emergence of the coil-sprung models; make or break time with launch of Discovery (Europe’s best-selling 4x4).
- The 1990s. Tdi engines; Defender and its development. BMW ownership; second-generation Range Rover P38; Freelander; second-generation Discovery; Td5 engine.
- The 2000s. Ford takeover, alliance with Jaguar, shift towards luxury; third-generation Range Rover L322; the G4 Challenge; Discovery 3, Range Rover Sport, TDCi Defender, Freelander 2, Discovery 4.
- The 2010s. Tata takeover, upsurge in sales and profits; Range Rover Evoque and Victoria Beckham; Range Rover 4; Range Rover Sport 2; Discovery Sport; Discovery 5; Range Rover Velar; DC100 concept; end of Defender production; rise of Defender as a fashion icon; and much more.
Publication date: May 2019
Page extent: 344pp (320 text plus 24 plate pages)
Illustration: 48 photographs
Dave Phillips is one of the world’s best-known Land Rover writers and is a former editor of both Land Rover Owner International and Land Rover Monthly, the best-selling magazines on the subject. He is also co-author of the Off-Road Driving Manual (Haynes). He grew up in rural west Norfolk in an era when every other vehicle on the country lanes was a hard-working Land Rover and has since driven these vehicles in most parts of the globe, including across deserts, up mountains and through tropical forests. These days he lives in Northamptonshire’s Nene valley, which he enjoys exploring in his 1984 Ninety and 1996 Discovery.
“Written by Dave Phillips… what he doesn’t know about Land Rover’s history can be written on a gnat’s kneecap… Amusing in parts, serious in others… a smashing book.”
The Mud Life Magazine
“An excellent read that all Land Rover lovers, and even those with just a passing interest, will enjoy.”
“A detailed, fascinating, entertaining story that is a most enjoyable read.”
Victory Lane (USA)
“Highly readable… Many myths are dismissed on the way and there’s a welcome honesty throughout… It manages the educational/entertaining balance with ease.”
Best of British
“Dave Phillips has been passionate about Land Rovers since he was a child and his fascination and insight drive the book along.”
“Entertaining anecdotes and opinions… refreshing.”
Classic & Sports Car
“A factual but highly readable romp.”
“You’ll get your money’s worth… and more.”
TX Garage (USA)
“The world of automotive literature could do well with more concise, easily managed works like this one.”
“I found that its content was pacey enough that it was hard to put down, once I had started to review it. There were innumerable details that I knew nothing about and I discovered that it was informative, insightful and written with so much gusto that I consider it to be one of the best single marque titles that I have read from cover-to-cover in recent times… this valuable trawl through Land Rover’s decades, from inception to current day, is a sheer delight.”
“Phillips writes well and clearly with an obvious enthusiasm for the company and its vehicles… a nicely presented book that includes some useful features; a well-done index, a multiple-page timeline, and bibliography — all reasonably priced to boot.”
speedreaders.info (Helen V. Hutchings)
“The clear writing and comprehensiveness of Phillips’ presentation of The Land Rover Story are precisely why this book is an historian’s dream.”
SAH Journal (Society of Automotive Historians)
“Dave Phillips does an exemplary job… If you have any interest in Land Rovers – any year, any model – this book should be at the top of your list.”