Here at Oxford we fill another gap in the Land Rover line-up with the newly tooled Land Rover Discovery Series 1. Appearing in 1:43 scale the model is based on the vehicle which Land Rover produced at the Solihull plant between 1989 and 1998. Registered F981 ENV from 1998, ours is representative of the last year of manufacture.
In real life, the Discovery 1 followed some of the finer features of the Range Rover with the same chassis, suspension and 4 wheel drive system. It was designed, however, at a more affordable price point so it came with smaller engine sizes and initially a three door option. It was also the first Land Rover aimed at the daily driving family market whilst still maintaining the off road facility. In addition, it provided more luggage space and was the only model with a 4 cylinder petrol engine option as well as the diesel alternative. The Discovery 1 came with either a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual gearbox
Another innovative feature was the interior for which Land Rover engaged the help of the Conran Design Group. The result was a uniform interior colour scheme regardless of exterior paintwork, comprising a signature Sonar Blue to seats and carpet. The car also featured magazine holders above the windscreen, hand-holds for rear passengers built into the front seat head rests, new radio controls on the instrument cluster, two removable sunroof panels and a Land Rover branded cloth fabric holdall in the front centre console for storage. This unique ‘bag’ could be removed and with a detachable shoulder strap could be used as a fashion accessory. A collector’s item in itself!
The remainder of the interior and dashboard features of the Discovery 1 were taken from the existing Rover Group stable, including the instrument panel, digital clock, heater and air conditioning controls. A nod to nostalgia comprised the distinctive Morris Marina door handles.
Our 1:43 scale model incorporates all the fine visual features of the original. The interior replicates the authentic Sonar Blue, enhanced with a Sonar Grey dashboard, steering wheel and door panels. Additional interior features include black floor mats, grey interior door handles, gearstick and hand brake.
The exterior bodywork is a metallic red colour scheme with black and silver trim. Side body and rear window flashes are finished in grey, silver and a fine blue stripe. Detailed roof bars, rear mud flaps, wheel centres and bolts are all black. The spare wheel appears fixed off centre on the rear full width door to the right of the number plate.
The Discovery 1 retained the chunky utility vehicle function for which Land Rover was historically renowned, while incorporating many refinements aimed at comfort and economy in an ever competitive automotive world.
Also shown here are some original catalogue images.