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Vertu Motors

Land Rover celebrates legendary 4x4 by recreating 'Defender in the sand' in Anglesey

Land Rover celebrates legendary 4x4 by recreating 'Defender in the sand' in Anglesey

As UK production of the current Defender enters its final phase, Land Rover has gone back to the place where it all began in order to start a year-long celebration of the legendary vehicle.

As a result, a unique 1km drawing of the world's most iconic 4x4 has been embedded into the sand at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey, using a fleet of six Land Rovers  the same beach used to sketch the original design 68 years ago. The 'Defender in the Sand' is the largest sand drawing ever produced in the UK and marks the launch of three exclusive limited-edition models and the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the Defender story.

Land Rover vehicle line director, Nick Rogers, explains the significance of recreating one of the world's most iconic vehicles: "Passion and enthusiasm surround everything we do with Defender, and that will never change. With a history stretching back 68 years, this is a Land Rover that has thrived for decades on its unquestionable capability and iconic shape. I now have the honour of being one of the many enthusiasts at Land Rover committed to creating a fitting successor to the legendary Defender."

The Defender sand print is a tribute to the moment in 1947 when the engineering director of Rover, Maurice Wilks, first sketched the shape for the original Land Rover in the sand of Red Wharf Bay and proposed the idea to his brother Spencer, Rover's managing director. The Wilks family owned land on the Welsh island and Maurice wanted a versatile vehicle that could double as a light tractor and off-roader. His forward-thinking design was christened the 'Land Rover', the outline of which we now recognise as the Defender.

Creating the giant piece of temporary artwork required a fleet of six Land Rovers  a Land Rover Series I, II and III were joined on the beach by a Ninety from the Eighties, a Defender 90 Hard Top and a Defender 110 Station Wagon - each towing an agricultural 12-foot harrow to draw the unmistakable outline of the Defender in the sand. The vehicles chosen for the race against the Anglesey tides chart the evolution of the Defender from its introduction in 1948 to the present day.

The event also witnessed the debut of the Defender Celebration Series; three exciting new limited-edition models which celebrate a different element of Defender's unique history. The Heritage, Adventure and Autobiography Editions are all powered by Land Rover's proven 2.2-litre diesel engine and are available to order now.

"We wanted to mark the end of Defender production at Solihull with a special edition but coming up with a single identity was impossible, so we developed three very different interpretations of the Defender to reflect its strength and breadth of character," said Rogers. "Whether our customers want to celebrate Land Rover's unrivalled off-road heritage, demand the ultimate in terms of design and performance or have a genuine thirst for adventure, there will be a limited edition Defender that will be fit for purpose."

by: Sophie Williamson-Stothert