The Velar

Velar was the code-name of the first Range Rovers when they hit the road in the late 60's. The Velar name was previously used on Alvis prototypes to confuse occasionally observers and they used it on the Range with the same intention. Velar was a small and little-known company owned by the British Leyland Group. All of the seven prototypes and the pre-production units were named "Velars". Some of these still exist as Land Rover never really caught the "scrap-em" bug on pre-production units and prototypes. The blue one is pictured at the 1997 LRO Billing Aquadrome show. It belongs for the last 26 years to Geof Miller, former principal engineer on the Range Rover project.

The picture of the red one is straight from the LRO magazine 2/99 and I "borrowed" it for the historical interest of the vehicle. (If anyone at LRO objects, I'll remove it). It's the prototype #6 out of 7. 1-5 do no longer exist which makes this car the oldest Range Rover still on (and off) the road. It belongs to Mark Lockley, UK who rebuilt it from a pile of cardboxes scattered over 3 separate farms. Rebuilt was done in only 6 months once Mark got started. Read the above LRO for further details.

What's the difference between "Prototypes" and "Pre-Production"?

Prototypes are usually hand-built to work out the small faults that exist in every design and to set up the tooling for production. Pre-production cars are than built by these tools and tested before real production begins. Very few companies keep those prototypes as they are usually a heap of faults and differ considerably from the design sketches. Pre-productions are usually scrapped or used in crash tests. However LR never really caught this.