Land Rover is known for the rich heritage that has enabled them to develop award winning vehicles with outstanding performance.
Maurice Wilks (1904 – 1963) and his brother created the first Land Rover over 60 years ago. Maurice was married and had three children. Stephen Wilks, the youngest son of Maurice Wilks, remembers growing up with the Land Rover years ago.
“An early memory I have is going up to Anglesey where we had a sort of holiday cottage and a farm up there. I remember those years, the Land Rover was always a part of our holiday, and that’s a very strong memory for me,” Stephen says.
“We’d take picnics with it. We’d go sometimes through the dunes. The Land Rover was persuaded to negotiate this stream at one point, which was always very bumpy, and my father used to have to make it charge into it. So, we all hung on tight and the Land Rover went whooshing through. All the mud would splay up everywhere.”
Stephen also spoke about how his father would have been so proud and excited about the advancements in technology in vehicle design, especially in the Land Rover.
“He loved innovation. He was always looking ahead at the latest things that were coming out, and to see the modern Land Rover with its onboard computers and the changes that have been made from the Series 1 to what you get now, that would have been a great interest to him, and he’d always be really at the forefront of that trying to develop it further. He was always a man that looked to the future.”
Maurice Wilks started working at the Rover Company in 1930 as chief engineer. In 1946, he was made technical director, and in 1960 he was given the job of managing director. Finally in 1962, just a year before passing away, he was made chairman.
Maurice Wilks is just one part of Land Rover’s rich heritage. His contributions to the Rover Company, and the production of the Land Rover, continue to live on through the legacy he has left.