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RECREATION OF LAND ROVER’S 1948 PRODUCTION LINE

| 28/01/2015 | 0 Comments

Land Rover has re-created history by building an authentic replica of the production line used to manufacture its first 4×4 in 1948. The ‘Defender Celebration Line’ re-creates in detail how the first Series I Land Rover was built at the Solihull manufacturing plant just after the Second World War.

LR_Historic_Line_1The new visitor attraction, which opened to the public today, forms part of a new Defender tour and showcases replica models in various stages of production, each one meticulously built using identical parts and in precisely the same way as the original Series I. The company turned to one of the world’s leading Land Rover enthusiasts and restorers and curator of the famous Dunsfold Collection of historic Land Rovers, Phil Bashall, to help create the vehicles for the production line.

LR_Historic_Line_5He has amassed over 8,000 original parts but it was still a long and painstaking search to find all the brakes, clutches, gaskets and pedals required for the exhibit. He enlisted the help of skilled craftsmen and the Land Rover Series I Club to build a replica chassis for the Series I models, along with some of the aluminium bodywork for the vehicles.

LR_Historic_Line_4Once Phil had collected all of the parts over a period of months, it took him and his mechanic five weeks to build the five Series I models. His guiding light in the challenge and the man who co-ordinated the Celebration Line project is Roger Crathorne. Roger, known simply as ‘Mr Land Rover’, was born in Solihull and joined Land Rover as an apprentice in 1963. He retired last year having completed more than 50 years’ service.

LR_Historic_Line_3The display gives an insight into life on a car production line in the late 1940’s using original tools and a draftsmen’s drawing board where visitors are also asked to wear authentic overalls known as ‘cow gowns.’ The attraction boasts an area dedicated to telling the story of the creation of the original Series I by Land Rover founder Maurice Wilks using previously unseen video footage provided by his family.

LR_Historic_Line_2The Celebration Line is located in the heart of the Defender production line, which is housed inside one of the original production buildings at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull factory. The new Defender factory tour lasts approximately three hours and costs £45 per person.

 

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