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'Spen' King, father of the Range Rover, dies

Mon, 28 Jun 2010

Charles Spencer "Spen" King, a British engineer and father of the original Range Rover, died on June 26 at age 85. King passed away as a result of injuries sustained when his bicycle collided with a van earlier this month.

King entered the auto business in 1942 as an apprentice for Rolls-Royce before going to work for his uncles, Spencer and Maurice Wilks, at Rover. After the company acquired Standard-Triumph, King helped develop the Triumph Stag, the Triumph TR6 and the TR7.

In 1979, King was appointed chairman of BL technology. He produced a series of Energy Conservation Vehicle concepts using sophisticated aerodynamics, low-weight materials and ultra-efficient engines.

Range Rover honored King in 1990 with the special edition two-door Range Rover CSK.

By Jake Lingeman