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Land Rover turns 60

New meets old: The compact LRX concept with an original LR Series 1.

Land Rover celebrates six decades in style before its 60th birthday passed last week

Land Rover logo6 May 2008

HOLDEN is not the only vehicle brand that celebrates its 60th birthday this year, with April 30 marking the six-decade anniversary of the first Land Rover’s world public debut at the 1948 Amsterdam motor show.

To mark the occasion, more than 2000 Land Rover enthusiasts from as far afield as the UK, US and Denmark – as well as every Australian state and territory – converged on the Snowy Mountains town of Cooma at Easter.

Cooma has been described as the soul of LR in Australia because more than 250 Land Rovers were imported between 1949 and 1974 to help realise what is billed as the nation’s largest engineering feat - the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, which took 25 years to complete and brought water and power to south eastern Australia via 16 dams, seven power stations and 225 km of tunnels.

The original Land Rover was instrumental in its construction and was used to survey tracks and, once roads were cut, to ferry workers between sites. One was stripped and converted for rail use on underground tunnels and a further four were converted to fire engines.

The Australian, Victorian, NSW and ACT Land Rover clubs took more than two years to organise the historic event, which comprised motorkhana trials, a swap meet, Land Rover trivia contest and a presentation dinner.

The highlight was a parade of 767 Land Rovers – including everything from the 1948 Series 1 to the 2008 Range Rover Vogue - from the airstrip through the streets of Cooma to the showground.

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