Land Rover Celebrates 70 Years With Defender Outline

On April 30, Land Rover will be celebrating a huge milestone in their company history: its 70th anniversary. While most manufacturers would choose to throw a big party or rip around a racetrack, this British icon has opted to commemorate the occasion a little differently. They decided to drop world-renowned artist Simon Beck off at over 9,000 feet in the French Alps and put him to work creating an outline of a Land Rover Defender in the snow by trekking 10.2 miles across the side of a mountain. Now, we’re sure there’s a joke to be made about Land Rover commemorating its heritage by making someone trudge around in the snow, but we have to admit it’s a pretty cool tip of the hat. After all, the basic shape of the Defender is one of the most recognized and iconic outlines in history. While Jeeps, Land Cruisers, and Patrols changed over the years, the Defender remained the same, and largely thanks to that, it has now become synonymous with adventure. The outline created by Simon stretches more than 820 feet across and took 20,894 steps to complete—a serious hike at that elevation in the mountains. He was quoted afterward saying, “Making my snow art requires endurance, accuracy, and strength—all attributes shared with the Defender. Its iconic shape is so simple and recognized across the world; this must be the most recognizable piece of art I’ve ever made.”

In addition to this temporary monument to the brand, Land Rover will be hosting a special celebration at their Mahwah, New Jersey, campus with a gathering of people and products of historical significance for the brand in North America. Members of the winning 1993 American Camel Trophy U.S. team will be reunited with vehicles that competed in the rally that year in Malaysia. The company will also have an original 1987 North American Spec (NAS) Range Rover Classic from the first year Range Rover was sold in America, and several examples of the NAS Defender sold in America from 1992 to 1997. The entire presentation will be available on April 30 on YouTube HERE at 3:00 p.m.

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.