Mr Land Rover Roger CrathorneLand Rover legend Roger Crathorne retires from the company today after serving for more than 50 years – and deservedly becoming known as ‘Mr Land Rover’.

Roger joined Land Rover in 1963 as an apprentice and worked for 15 years in engineering – with projects including the original Range Rover. He became head of the Land Rover vehicle experience team (now called Land Rover Experience) in 1978 and later moved to the global PR team.

For decades, Roger has been THE Land Rover expert and historian journalists turn to.

Technically though, Roger has been associated with Land Rover all his life – he was born in Solihull’s Lode Lane, less than a mile from the factory situated on the same road. Indeed, the original Land Rover was being conceived around the time of Roger’s birth…

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr. Ralf Speth paid tribute: “Roger has been instrumental in the development and promotion of Land Rover’s breadth of capabilities for over half a century.

“His enthusiasm, vehicle knowledge and his deep understanding of the philosophy of the company, right back to the beginning, is unsurpassed.

“Roger has been an outstanding advocate for Land Rover, and his contribution has undoubtedly played a part in the global success we are enjoying today. He will be missed and I wish him all the best for the future.”

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A proud Roger said: “I have worked on some great projects in product development, marketing and PR. I have visited some fascinating places with some great people and many have become good friends.

“I thank everyone for their great support, friendship and camaraderie, and I will be taking away some wonderful memories.”

So what next for Roger? “In my new life, I will be taking the ignition key of my old Land Rover off the hook and re-educating myself with choke pulls and double de-clutching.”

Everyone at Motoring Research wishes Roger every happiness in his future endeavours, as it’s been an honour and absolute delight to work with him. And, given as he genuinely is Mr Land Rover, we’re sure it’s not the last we’ll be seeing of the Lode Lane hero…