Blog: Dave LeggettHappy Birthday Disco...

Dave Leggett | 16 November 2009

Land Rover's Discovery was launched twenty years ago today. So, just after the Berlin Wall had come down enabling half of Europe to stretch its legs in unfamiliar territory, us Brits could tackle the tricky terrain of the Tesco car park in a Land Rover that wasn't designed for ease of mucking out (Defender) or as an accessory for the affluent county set (Range Rover). And it did indeed help to define a rapidly expanding mid-range SUV segment.

Here are a few lesser known Disco factoids with which to impress your friends:

  • The first Discoverys shared their headlights with the Freight Rover van, and shared their rear lights with the Austin Maestro van. Very early examples were built with tail-lights carrying the Austin-Rover logo.
  • Among the options of the first Discoverys was a shoulder bag trimmed to match the seats of your vehicle which could be attached to the centre console. These bags now command quite a high premium with Land Rover enthusiasts, Land Rover says. Nice.
  • The original project code name for Discovery was Project Jay.  This was because of the naming policy put in place by Alan Edis to enhance prototype secrecy – projects were named in alphabetical order, following bird and animal themes.
  • Discovery was the first Land Rover programme to fully utilise CAD technology. The exterior of the Discovery was fully surfaced in CAD to enable prove out models and tooling to be created. The interior was created in a wire frame format in CAD.



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