Many people think of Land Rovers as just luxury vehicles. They're not totally wrong: The least-expensive Land Rover offered in the United States starts at $36,000, and prices of fully-loaded models can easily top $100,000 [source: Land Rover Consumer]. Though Land Rovers may be the vehicle of choice for the royal family of Great Britain and the second wives of American investment bankers, for many owners, Land Rover's appeal goes beyond real-wood trim, decadent leather, cooled drink consoles and 500 horsepower engines. First and foremost, Land Rovers are built to be off-roading machines. The coddling seats (with optional massage) are just the icing on the cake.
The first Land Rover was built in 1948 by the Rover Company. Back then, Land Rover wasn't an entire vehicle brand; it was just one model of car that the company made. Created by Maurice Wilks to be as useful as a tractor, but as capable on-road as it was off, the Land Rover was inspired by the original Willys Jeep. In fact, early iterations of the Land Rover used a Willys Jeep with a Rover engine and gearbox. Wanting something more rugged than the Jeep (which, by the way, had just proved itself supremely capable in WWII, so it's not like Wilks was trying to build a better off-road car than a VW Beetle), Wilks decided to build a new off-road model from the ground up [source: Hackett].
The original Land Rover was bare bones. It had little sound-deadening material, no power steering, no power brakes and full-time four-wheel drive. It could even run farm equipment from a power take-off on its rear. Now, take a moment and try to imagine a wealthy blonde woman in yoga pants using her Land Rover Range Rover Sport to plow a field. Tough to picture, right? Nevertheless, that's the ancestor of one of the most luxurious cars on the road today.
Before you start researching which Land Rover you want to use to run your farm, you'll probably want to learn more about the Land Rover invisible hood feature. After all, if you're actually going to use a $100,000 SUV to pull a manure spreader, you'll want to know what the terrain in front of you is like.