• May 9th 2007 at 9:33AM
  • 10

Over the past half century Land Rovers have become synonymous with naturalists and peacekeepers the world over. The Land Rover factory in Solihull, England turned out the first of those famous off-road vehicles 59 years ago and yesterday, the four millionth example of the breed rolled out the plant and into the hands of the Born Free Foundation. Since these vehicles have so often been used explore and film nature, the historic model will be used to help preserve it.

The Land Rover LR3 was accepted Born Free's Founder patron Joanna Lumley and will be used by the Foundation as a Rapid Response Rescue vehicle starting this summer in England, rescuing and releasing stranded marine animals. Lumley is the actress best known for her portrayal of past-her-expiry-date party girl Patsy on the BBC series Absolutely Fabulous.

[Source: Ford]


May 8, 2007 Irvine, Calif. - Land Rover today passed a historic milestone when the four millionth vehicle rolled off the production line, 59 years after production began at the company's factory in Solihull.

The vehicle, a Land Rover LR3, was donated to the Born Free Foundation, a charity dedicated to wildlife conservation and animal welfare. It was collected by the actress Joanna Lumley, Born Free's Founder patron, and will become a 'Rapid Response Rescue' vehicle for deployment across the UK and Europe.

Will Travers, Born Free chief executive, said, "This important vehicle will enable us to carry out important frontline conservation and animal welfare missions at will. Without Land Rover's support we simply would not be able to reach some of the off-road remote destinations or tackle some of the rescues that are a vital part of our work. "

This summer is likely to see the Born Free Rapid Response Rescue Discovery 3 extensively used by Born Free's partner, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, rescuing, treating and releasing stranded or abandoned marine mammals, especially Common and Grey seals, who frequently get into trouble along Britain's shores during the breeding season.

Born Free has been one of Land Rover's Global Sponsorship Partners since 2002. The sponsorship includes financial and vehicle support in the UK, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. In 2006 Land Rover's support contributed to the rescue and relocation of three lions from a circus in France to Shamwari in South Africa.

Land Rover has pioneered responsible off-roading through its 'Fragile Earth' policy globally and Tread Lightly support in North America for many years and currently works with Earthwatch, Royal Geographical Society (RGS), China Exploration and Research Society(CERS), and Biosphere Expeditions.

Land Rover helps sustain over 50,000 jobs and exports 78 percent of all production, generating substantial wealth for Britain. Since the production of the 3 millionth Land Rover in 2001, an average of 700 cars have rolled off the production lines per day.

Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover, said, "We are delighted to hand this car over to Born Free. The production of the four millionth Land Rover is a major milestone and it is only fitting that it goes to such a worthy cause. I'm proud of our support for the charity and the company's contribution to both the local and national economy over the past 59 years."

Editor's Note:

Land Rover North America is part of Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group with headquarters in Irvine, California. Land Rover established operations in the U.S. in 1986, and now imports and distributes Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, LR3 and LR2 vehicles manufactured by Land Rover in Solihull and Halewood, England. Land Rover's worldwide operations are wholly owned by Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan. For information about the Land Rover retailer nearest you, call 800-FIND-4WD or log on to www.LandRoverusa.com.

The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.

Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and much more in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide.

Joanna, Born Free's Founder Patron, was born in Srinagar, India and is one of Britain's best-loved actresses.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow. Joanna Lumley is a true inspiration. Thanks for turning us on her charity.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How 'bout that class action lawsuit over the front tires wearing out in a few thousand miles...DID YOU KNOW? The alignment settings do not work correctly after the vehicle height adjustment is used. You will not see the wear on the tires, as it is only the inside inch or two. Example, I have full tread on tires, 12,000 miles on them, take it in for tire rotation, learn the CORDS ARE SHOWING!! POP! Great middle of nowhere vehicle! Thanks for not bringing this to owners attention LAND ROVER!
      • 8 Years Ago
      So how long until they get the ZF 8 speed automatic. Look how slow the LR3 was and in the C&D comparo. Since the 8 speed is still a while away, how about a 10% shorter axle ratio (4.1 from 3.73) to move all that 5700+ lbs

      and in Automobile, the super explorer (land rover range rover sport supercharged) 5800+ lbs, still not fast enough. (good tires/brakes though)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Land Rover use their own platforms so it's not an explorer, so your name is right, you are indeed a prat.

      Also, they're actually quite reliable in my experience (Devonshire lad so spent planty of time with them)
      • 8 Years Ago
      They didn't mention that it got about 4 miles down the road and then promptly broke down...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Awww eat $h1t you LR haters. The new LR line is great, test drive a fully loaded LR3 and or super-charged LR Sport and you'll see. Reliability is improving too, the new trucks are super complicated that is all.

      Although I agree with #1 that the 4M mark truck should have been a Defender 110, but then again they are probably trying to promote the new LR3 to Americans and us Yanks don't get the Defender due to asinine government restrictions.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Patsy won a Land Rover!
      • 8 Years Ago

      They wear because the bushings that Land Rover used were faulty. It's been fixed. End of story.
      • 8 Years Ago

      "Go as slow as possible and as fast as necessary"

      This is a land rover... not an M3 you idiot.

      P.S. the LR3 is faster to 60 than most econoboxes too... roughly 8-9 seconds i believe... but thats not the point.

      If you think it needs to be faster than youre an idiot... the kind of idiot who buys a range rover sport. go waste some money.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I was totally rooting for the Range Rover Sport here

      and the axle ratio is 3.54 not the 3.73 that the Range Rover SC have. That is to compensate for the 5% smaller tires.
      Getting that 5% would put the RR Sport back in the fight.
      Also the Jeep doesn't have a center differential, neither does the X5.

      The Mountaineer still has optional four wheel drive (not the center differential-less Control Trac)

      The LR3 makes it to ~55mph in 2nd gear. If the ZF 8 speed auto was exchanged, 2nd gear would go to only 40mph. 1st only 25mph, 3rd an even 60, 4th 80, 5th 105, 6th peak power@130mph, then 7/8th for crusing,
      The tow rating of the LR3, 7700 lbs is in low range, and that can't be used on the highway. So if you were trying to move a combined vehicle weight of 10,000lbs, you are going to want as much help as possible.
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