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Often, manufacturers will pull elaborate stunts to celebrate their icons. Land Rover loves a good publicity stunt, but its latest Defender celebration takes things to new heights, drawing the “world’s most remote Defender outline” in the French Alps.

So, why go to the effort of sketching a giant Defender in the snow? To start with, it’s 70 years since the car debuted at the Amsterdam motor show.

The fact it’s a big, snowy outline isn’t an accident. Famously, the Defender started life as a sketch in the sand, when Maurice Wilks – design director of Rover – laid out his plan for a rugged, simple off-roader in the sand at Red Wharf Bay.

Measuring 250m long, the ‘sketch’ was carried out by ‘snow artist’ Simon Beck, who walked 20,894 steps and 16.5km through the French Alps. At 2700m above sea level, that’ll take your breath away.

“Making my snow art requires endurance, accuracy and strength – all attributes shared with the Defender. Its iconic shape is so simple and recognised across the world; this must be the most recognisable piece of art I’ve ever made,” Beck said.

Along with the outline, Land Rover will celebrate the Defender’s anniversary with a live online broadcast covering its history, and the innovations it introduced.

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