JLR celebrates 50th anniversary of flagship Range Rover with new exhibit

One of the original Range Rovers on display at the new exhibition

Land Rover has opened a new visitor attraction at its Solihull manufacturing plant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its flagship Range Rover.

The Range Rover Story is an interactive exhibit created to celebrate the half century of the world’s most revered luxury SUV.

Range Rover has been manufactured at the Lode Lane plant – the traditional home of Land Rover – since 1970, but its history with the site goes back to 1967 when the first secret prototype was conceived, codenamed Velar.

The new exhibit takes visitors on a time-travelling voyage from the vehicle’s inception in the mid-1960s, through to the introduction of the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque. The exhibition culminates in an exciting unveil of the latest Range Rover vehicle, the Velar – specially chosen to evoke the heritage of the brand.

Roger Crathorne – known as ‘Mr Land Rover’ in recognition of his 50 years’ service to Land Rover – has been heavily involved in the creation of the exhibition.

He said: “The exhibit tells the incredible story of the Range Rover, from the original Velar prototype through to today’s new model. At the time I began my career in 1967 as a Technical Assistant on the Velar Team, the intention was never to build a luxury vehicle.

“Over the 50 years since, the Range Rover has come a long way. We wanted to develop a more comfortable on-road Land Rover that would combine the comfort of the Rover with the Land Rover 4×4 capability to support a growing leisure market.”

Nigel Blenkinsop, Operations Director at Solihull, said: “We are hugely proud to build the Range Rover Velar at Solihull, the birthplace of both the Land Rover and Range Rover. Here, we have invested over £2bn in recent years to enable us to triple production. Our business is now Britain’s number one car manufacturer.”