Charles Spencer King meets with Prince Charles at Land Rover's 60th anniversary.

We've got sad news for the auto world – Autocar reports that Charles Spencer King, the father of the modern Land Rover, has passed away. The 85 year-old King died as a result of injuries he sustained during a traffic collision between his bicycle and a van almost two weeks ago. The man is most known for heading up the team that brought the iconic 1970 Land Rover to life, sparking a movement that would have the world clamoring for high-riding, comfortable off-road cable vehicles that continues on today.

King was so instrumental in Land Rover's development that the company honored him with a special edition model in 1990 called the Range Rover CSK, limited to 200 individually-numbered units. But over his career, King also spent plenty of time working on a number of other interesting projects, including the Rover JET1 prototype and the wildly successful (if not reliable) Triumph TR6.

Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

[Source: Autocar | Image: Michael Dunlea/AFP/Getty]

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