The Defender has certainly left its mark.
Land Rover has kicked off its 70th anniversary celebrations by taking its iconic Defender to the French Alps. But it didn't just take the Defender there, the old workhorse left its mark, literally.
A 250-meter (820-feet) Land Rover Defender outline was etched into the snow to announce World Land Rover Day on 30 April, which marks exactly 70 years since the original Land Rover was first unveiled at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.
The modern-day Defender – now discontinued, but set to be replaced soon – is a direct descendant of the car that Maurice Wilks, a former engineering director of Rover, drew in the sand at Red Wharf Bay, and then developed into the car then known as the Land Rover. Of course, Land Rover has since grown into a company in its own right and the original has adopted the Defender nameplate to single it out in the brand's ever-diversifying product protfolio.
"Land Rover is an iconic brand around the world and the outline of the Defender is instantly recognizable," said Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth. "To reach the landmark of 70 years is truly special and we will mark it with a year of celebrations that represents Land Rover's "Above and Beyond" spirit and honors the people behind the world’s favorite SUVs."
The artwork was created by snow artist Simon Beck, who specializes in creating geometric outlines on foot. He drove a Defender to a high altitude before walking 10.2 miles (16.4 kilometers), or 20,894 steps, to create the outline, braving sub-zero temperatures to start the celebrations by creating the Defender 2,700-meter (8,858-feet) up at La Plagne in the French Alps.
"Making my snow art requires endurance, accuracy and strength – all attributes shared with the Defender," Beck said. "Its iconic shape is so simple and recognized across the world. This must be the most recognizable piece of art I’ve ever made."
Land Rover will be broadcasting a series of videos online on World Land Rover Day, showing how the original car was created and who was involved.
Source: Land Rover
Gallery: Land Rover snow art
LAND ROVER ANNOUNCES 70TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS WITH WORLD’S MOST REMOTE DEFENDER OUTLINE
A 250 metre wide outline of the Defender in the snow marks 70 years of all-terrain adventure for Land Rover as it looks to celebrate World Land Rover Day on 30 April
- Giant 250m wide Defender outline drawn in the snow at 2,700m in the French Alps to mark Land Rover’s 70th anniversary
- Tribute to the Wilks brothers’ first sketch of the original Land Rover shape in the sand of Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey, UK
- Land Rover announces World Land Rover Day: 30 April 2018 marks 70 years since its debut at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show
- Celebration broadcast on World Land Rover Day will pay tribute to the original Land Rover, as well as the luxurious Range Rover and versatile Discovery families
After 70 years of all-terrain adventures and global expeditions, Land Rover has once again taken the Defender to new heights.
Stretching over 250 metres, the most remote Defender outline was imprinted on the side of a mountain in the French Alps. The unique snow art was created to announce World Land Rover Day on 30 April, exactly 70 years since the original Land Rover was first shown to the world at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.
The unique image is a tribute to the moment 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 forward-thinking design was christened the 'Land Rover', the outline of which we now recognise as the Defender.
"Land Rover is an iconic brand around the world and the outline of the Defender is instantly recognisable. To reach the landmark of 70 years is truly special and we will mark it with a year of celebrations that represents Land Rover's ‘Above and Beyond’ spirit and honours the people behind the world’s favourite SUVs."
PROF DR RALF SPETH, JAGUAR LAND ROVER CEO
Land Rover is inviting fans to join the celebrations in a World Land Rover Day online broadcast. It stars the people who helped create the world’s most-loved 4x4s and Land Rover’s pioneering technologies, from its Series Land Rover and Defender origins, to the introduction of the Range Rover in 1970 and Discovery in 1989.`
Snow artist Simon Beck, who specialises in creating geometric outlines on foot, braved sub-zero temperatures to start the celebrations by creating the Defender outline 2,700m up at La Plagne in the French Alps.
To produce the high-altitude Defender, Beck walked 20,894 steps and 16.5km (10.2 miles) through the French Alps. He said:
“Making my snow art requires endurance, accuracy and strength – all attributes shared with the Defender. Its iconic shape is so simple and recognised across the world; this must be the most recognisable piece of art I’ve ever made.”