The Land Rover was initially produced in 1948. It was extensively tested and shortly thereafter introduced as Series I into the British Army. Series I and Series II vehicles (built from 1958) were gradually superseded by the Series III Land Rover built between 1971 and 1983. The Land Rover was also purchased for use by other armies throughout the world and very quickly acquired a legendary reputation as a robust and reliable vehicle that in addition to a permanent rear wheel drive also possessed a selectable four-wheel drive transmission. In addition to the short 88 inch (2235 mm) wheelbase a long 109 inch (2769 mm) wheelbase model was also available.