Land Rover has kicked off a year’s worth of celebrations in honour of the iconic Defender model by returning to the place that started it all.
The marque is set to retire the current Defender line at the end of the year, but not before returning to Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey where the model was first dreamed up.
Rather than drawing the proverbial line in the sand, Jaguar Land Rover instead decided to go one step further and create a massive 1km sand drawing in honour of the venerable Defender.
Passion and enthusiasm
Land Rover vehicle line director Nick Rogers said: “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.”
The largest sand drawing ever produced was created using a fleet of six Land Rovers on the Welsh beach, who sketched out the image in honour of Maurice Wilks, the Defender’s original designer.
Wilks first drew out the shape of the original Land Rover nearly seven decades ago in the sand of Red Wharf Bay before proposing the idea to his brother Spencer, Rover’s managing director.
The start of it all
Over 68 years later, Maurice’s son Stephen said: “My father met his brother on the beach at Red Wharf Bay and made a drawing in the sand of how he thought the Land Rover could be made. That was the start of it all, the conception of Land Rover.”
According to the family, Wilks owned land on the island and wanted a versatile vehicle that could be used as a car, an off-roader or a light tractor, and the initial idea blossomed into the Defender.
Each of the six Land Rover models chosen to chisel out the drawings come from each of the Defender generations, charting its evolution from 1948 to the current day.
Land Rover Series I, II and III models were joined by a Ninety model from the 80s, plus a Defender 90 Hard Top and a Defender 110 Station Wagon.
Minutes to spare
In the end, the Land Rover fleet was able to complete the massive drawing with mere minutes to spare before the artwork was erased by the fast incoming tide.
The ongoing celebrations to honour the current-generation Defender will also include the release of three new limited edition models designed to celebrate different elements of the model’s history.
While the current model will be phased out, there’s rumours that a Defender replacement could surface soon, while Land Rover is also intending to continue production overseas.