Date registered: Sep 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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RE: can i get a vin check
The first Land Rover was designed in 1947, in Wales in the United Kingdom, by Maurice Wilks, the chief designer at the British car company Rover, as a farm vehicle that could be used for everything from ploughing fields to driving in town. It is said that he was inspired by an American World War II Jeep that he used on his estate. The first Land Rover prototype 'centre steer' was built on a Jeep chassis. A distinctive feature has been their bodies, constructed of a lightweight rustproof proprietary alloy of aluminium and magnesium called Birmabright This material was used owing to post war steel shortages and a plentiful supply of post-war aircraft aluminium. This metal's resistance to corrosion was one of the factors that allowed the vehicle to build up a reputation for longevity in the toughest conditions. The early choice of colour was dictated by army surplus supplies of paint, so early vehicles only came in various shades of green; all models until recently feature sturdy box section ladder-frame chassis. Now the Freelander and the Range Rover use a more usual monocoque body construction.
The early vehicles, such as the Series 1, were designed to be field-serviced; advertisements for Rovers have bragged about vehicles driven thousands of miles on banana oil. Now with more complex service requirements this is less of an option. The British Army maintains the use of the 300TDi engined versions rather than the TD5 to retain some servicing simplicity. This engine also continued in use in some export markets.
A mired Land Rover of the 1st Armoured Division being extracted during the Gulf War.Land Rovers, particularly the commercial and military models, became ubiquitous throughout rural areas and in the developing World. The Land Rover featured in the South African movie The Gods Must Be Crazy illustrates the love-hate relationship many owners feel with the earlier Series 1, 2 and 3 vehicles.
Land Rovers have competed in the Paris Dakar Rally as well as being the vehicle used for the Camel Trophy as part of a sponsorship deal. The Land Rover Defender is also used by military forces throughout the world. In the UK armed forces, the very expensive Pinzgauer, now built in the UK, is increasingly common in roles previously the preserve of the Land Rover Defender such as ambulances, artillery tractor and weapons platform with 188 Pinzgauers in service and 15,000 Land Rovers.
Since the 1970s, in most remote areas of Africa, South America, Asia and in the Australian Outback the Toyota Land Cruiser has overtaken the Land Rover as the utility 4x4 of choice, probably because of the better parts network offered by Japanese competitors. In Australia at least, pricing is actually comparable or in favour of the Land Rover. Another reason seems to be the 'leadfoot' factor - the workhorse Toyota models tend to have larger engines than the comparable Land Rover models.
In Britain, the Land Rover fell from favour with the farming community with the arrival of less expensive Japanese alternatives, with Diahatsu Fourtracks and Isuzu Troopers becoming a common sight on farms around the country, until rust eventually ended their working lives. However, with subtle improvements to the Defender in the early 1990s, and with the introduction of better, more reliable engines in the form of the TDi (especially the 300TDi) and the new five-cylinder TD5, most farms once again have a Land Rover Defender in their yard.
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