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Land Rover 60th Anniversary

Land Rover 60 Years Celebrations in South Africa

The Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa (LROC) organized a very successful event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Land Rovers over the Easter weekend at the Sandstone Estates near Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State Province of South Africa. Sandstone Estates houses the Sandstone Heritage Trust, which is a world renowned for its collection of old mechanical and farming equipment and its collection and renovation of steam engines.

Close to 100 Land Rovers started to descend on Sandstone early on the Thursday of the 4-day weekend from up to1000kms away. They ranged from the latest Defenders and Discoveries to the early Series I, the oldest being a 1949 belonging to Luke Douwes from Honeydew in Gauteng. The oldest vehicle that was driven to the event was the 1952 of Ian Simpson. There was much ragging and teasing when Ian was asked how long it had taken him and his wife, Amanda, to do the 300 odd kilometres to Sandstone.

There were numerous other vehicles of 30 to 40 year vintage that that were driven to the event. Most of these vehicles are still in regular use by their owners, many of who are about the same vintage as Land Rover. Some of these vehicles have been fitted with different engines and have been equipped as very comfortable campers.

By the evening of Thursday most of the Land Rover owners had arrived and had pitched camp turning the lush green lawns of Sandstone Estate into a vast tented village. Some of the owners opted to sleep in the old train carriages that are lined up along the camping ground. A wise choice for some as on Friday night the heavens opened and rain poured down for a few hours.

There were several day trips to nearby places of interest and also to Lesotho. The organisers had also arranged two 4x4 trails, which proved very popular. The Moolmanshoek trail went through some spectacular scenery with gullies, mountain streams and high passes that had to be negotiated. The Didiberg trail was not as challenging but did go through a game reserve which gave the drivers and their passengers the opportunity to see wild animals that are indigenous to this area. After the heavy rain on the Friday night both trails proved very challenging and quite a few vehicles required assistance.

Those that stayed behind had plenty to do. Old friendships were being renewed and there was a lot of reminiscing about trips done in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The oldest member present at the event was Ken Gordon in his early eighties. Wulf Haacke the member with the oldest membership joined the LROC in 1964 at the age of 28.

Sandstone Heritage Trust had laid on a steam engine (a puffing Billy) with passenger carriages to take passengers on a half hour ride on a track which wound through the Estate. The train ride took many a person back to the years when train trips from the highveld to the coast were common and going to sleep in a sleeper to the sound of the engine puffing up and down the passes of the Drakensberg mountains. All of this while the first Land Rovers were rolling of the production line.

If the fancy took you, there were numerous large sheds filled with all things mechanical, some dating back to the mid 1800s. The collection of steam engines for various applications was quite incredible. It was interesting to look at tractors, old cars and machines from the 1930s, 40s and 50s and compare them with the early Land Rovers. Other events included a dinner sponsored by Land Rover South Africa, a communal braai and photo shoot of all the Land Rovers present.

A memorable weekend of reminiscing with old and new friends.

Photos courtesy of www.lroc.org.za

Land Rover History - First Land Rover made in 1948 HUE 166 - Land Rover Series 1

 

Land Rover 60 Years Old Celebrations

Land Rover will be 60 years old in April 2008. The first Land Rover was launched at the Amsterdam motor show in April 1948. the Land Rover Series 1 was the beginning of the Land Rover story that has changed the lives of millions of people all over the world from everyday people to the military to rescue services to modern day explorers.

Land Rover has launched a special edition Land Rover Defender SVX to celebrate the 60 years of Land Rover. This special edition model resembles the svx concept revealed a few years ago and is based on the new 2007 model Defender.

The Land Rover Comapny recognizes the heritage of the vehicle and is getting involved with enthusiasts around the world to host 60th celebrations. There is an official Land Rover 60 years website.

Land Rover clubs and enthusiasts around the world are planning celebrations for the worlds best 4x4xfar.

In South Africa the Land Rover Owners Club of South Africa are co-ordinating a joint effort by local clubs and hosting a weekend of Land Rover Celebrations. The event is taking place from 21-24 March 2008 in Ficksburg in the Freestate. This convenient central location is well positioned for owners and enthusiasts from the Cape, KZN and Gauteng. Many activities are planned for the long weekend including:

  • 4x4 off-road routes the area and Lesotho
  • Display of Land Rovers through the years
  • Train rides behind restored Beyer-Garett narrow gauge steam locomotives
  • Regalia with special clothing to commemorate this event will be on sale.
  • Off-road suppliers will have flea market stalls
  • Land Rover plans a “Ride and Drive” with some of the new vehicles.
  • A “Country and Western” theme dinner dance is planned
  • Farm camping

The event is only open to members of the various Land Rover Clubs and organisations around the country. To find out more information visit LROCSA

In Australia the Land Rover 60th Cooma event is being jointly organised by local Land Rover Clubs. Cooma was selected as Land Rovers were one of the major vehicles used during the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme. Cooma also previously hosted the earlier Land Rover Anniversaries - the 40th Anniversary in 1988, and the 50th Anniversary in 1998. It is also located between the prominent major cities in eastern Australia, namely Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. The event will take place over the easter weekend 21-24 March 2008. A special website has been setup at http://www.landrover60.com.au

In the Uk the birth place of Land Rover an event is planned for 3-4 May 2008. The Heritage Land Rover Weekend 60th Celebrations. Sunday morning starts with the famous Heritage 60th Anniversary Classic Run - a cavalcade with over a hundred special classic Land Rovers from the Association of Land Rover Clubs, taking part in the annual Run from Land Rover in Solihull to the Centre at Gaydon. The Cavalcade will be led by the Heritage Motor Centre's oldest production Land Rover "Hue." See the Land Rover Heritage Weekend website for full details of the event.

 

SVX celebrates 60 years of Land Rover

Land Rover will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a special, limited SVX edition of the iconic Defender - The UK will get 200 and South Africa "a few".

They'll be available from late April or early May 2008.

The SVX was introduced by Zara Phillips, grand-daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, at a recent British Red Cross ball in London. The first unit off the production line was donated by Land Rover to be auctioned at the ball.

Ball committee chairman James Johnstone said: "Land Rover's ties with the Red Cross go back to 1954 when it supplied a vehicle for use as a mobile dispensary in Dubai - we're thrilled that the company continues to support our work Most of the 25 000 Defenders produced each year are working tools ."

Most of the 25 000 Defenders produced each year are working tools for everybody from farmers and foresters to aid agencies but the SVX is the most stylish version yet.

It will be available in a short-wheelbase 90 soft-top and 90 station-wagon versions with metallic black paintwork and subtle satin black graphic decals.

The exterior trim – including the special "Defender" and "SVX" badges, tubular side-steps and new, clear-cover headlights - will have a contrasting silver finish and the SVX has "diamond turned" five-spoked alloy rims, a reinforced aluminium front belly shield and clear LED tail lights.

The interior has custom-designed Recaro front seats, distinctive alloy gearshifter knobs, a new audio system with sub-woofer and USB socket, an iPod cradle and Garmin satellite navigation Each SVX will come with a numbered plaque .

The soft-top model has metallic-silver roll-cage that can support a special black fabric roof over the load bed and a spare wheel stowed behind the front seats, reminiscent of the first open Land Rovers.

Each SVX will have a numbered plaque.

Land Rover MD Phil Popham said: "The Defender SVX looks very different to a 1948 Series 1 but it's still an essentially practical vehicle that will get you almost anywhere.

"For those who want the ultimate Defender, we thought the SVX special edition would be an ideal way to mark Land Rover's 60th anniversary."

 

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