New tour celebrates Defender era

The new Land Rover Defender Celebration Line tour at the Solihull plant.

The new Land Rover Defender Celebration Line tour at the Solihull plant. - Credit: supplied

A new public tour has opened at Land Rover’s Solihull plant celebrating the company’s iconic Defender.

As part of the attraction, Land Rover has built an authentic replica of the production line used to manufacture its first 4x4 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.

The new visitor attraction forms part of a new Defender tour and showcases replica models in various stages of production, each one built using identical parts and in precisely the same way as the original Series I.

Jaguar Land Rover heritage director John Edwards said: “Land Rover has a rich heritage based around the Series I and Defender models, and we wanted to create something extra special that would give visitors and enthusiasts a unique insight into how it all started back in 1948.

“It has been a huge task to re-create a production line from almost 70 years ago, from sourcing original parts for the Series I models, to authentically re-creating the working environment and uniform of employees who were here. The team involved has been meticulous in their research, planning and creation of what is a fitting tribute to the legendary heritage of Land Rover.”

The display gives an insight into life on a car production line in the late 1940s using original tools and a draftsmen’s drawing board where visitors are also asked to wear authentic overalls known as cow gowns.

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It 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.

Land Rover’s Celebration Line is housed inside one of the original production buildings at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull factory. The opening of the attraction marks the start of a year of celebration as the Defender enters its final year of production in the UK.

To arrange a visit to the home of the Land Rover legend during its final year of UK production, visit or telephone 0121 7004619.

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