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Land Rover celebrates 70 years with snow drawing of Series I

by Ben Hsu

It sits 8,860 feet above sea level on the side of a mountain in the French Alps.

If you flew over the French Alps this week, you might have noticed a large drawing of a Land Rover Series I in the snow, perched 8,860 feet above sea level on the side of a mountain. The company commissioned the "snow art" to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

The snow drawing is located at near the ski resort town of La Plagne, France. Now, it wasn't drawn by Land Rovers, mind you, but by snow artist Simon Beck. Beck walked 20,894 steps and covered a distance of 10.25 miles to create the illustration. It measures over 820 feet in width.

The drawing harkens back to the original Land Rover, which was conceived in 1947 as a line drawing on the Red Wharf Bay beach in Wales by Rover chief engineer Maurice Wilkes. Maurice had worked in the US and owned a Willys Jeep, and wanted to explain the concept of a simple, off-road vehicle to his brother Spencer, managing director of Rover at the time.

At the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948, the Land Rover Series I was unveiled, and the rest is history. The snow drawing is meant to promote World Land Rover Day on April 30.