Range Rover King dies
CHARLES Spencer 'Spen' King, creator of the Range Rover, has died aged 85. One of the motor engineering industry's biggest characters and the 'father' of the Range Rover, Charles Spencer King died last weekend from injuries sustained when his bicycle collided with a van a fortnight earlier.
King was head of new vehicle projects at Rover from 1959, a role in which he oversaw some of the most popular cars of the era including the Rover 2000 and SD1, as well as the Triumph Stag and TR7.
A hugely popular figure as well as a fierce engineering talent, King's career in automotive engineering began in 1942 when he became an apprentice at Rolls-Royce.
In 1945 King moved to Rover, which was being run by his uncles, Spencer and Maurice Wilks, and became head of new vehicle projects in 1959.
It was his work on the original Range Rover, however, for which King will be best remembered. .
Following British Leyland's takeover of Rover, King became chairman of BL Technology where he developed a new light and aerodynamic Energy Conservation Vehicle.