LAND ROVER FT2 REDWING FIRE ENGINE REVIEW

Maurice Wilks, head of design at Rover at the time, is credited with the original idea for the Land Rover immediately after the War. Mr Wilks needed a vehicle which would not only keep going over a iety of ground conditions but would tow, plough, do ious other agricultural tasks and drive other machinery. He tried an ex-WD half-track Ford truck and then a Willys Jeep which might have been more acceptable had it not been an imported product. He came to the conclusion that there was probably a world-wide market for a versatile, go anywhere, Jeep-like vehicle at the same time his brother Spencer Wilks - managing director of Rover - was looking for a stop-gap project to utilize spare factory capacity until such a time as the planned post-war Rover model programme could be put into effect. Various special models were offered from early on by the factory, including mobile compressor and welding vehicles, a fire engine, and an estate car. Rover soon abandoned these models, delegating these projects to outside firms so that they could concentrate on the manufacture of station wagons, pick-ups, double cabs, and hard and soft tops. The rest is history, with a iety of wheelbases offered from 80'', 86'', 88'', 107'', 109'', followed by 90'' and 110'' from 1985, these being known as the Defender Ninety and One Ten.

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