A new Land Rover show at Bicester Heritage will bring together a selection of the finest and most important examples from the company’s 70 year history.
It’s fair to say that 2018 is a big year for Land Rover. The company has just celebrated its 70th anniversary, and the interest around classic models – from Series 1 right through to classic Range Rovers – have been surging in popularity. Land Rover Legends is a new show, celebrating the history of this British marque at Bicester heritage on 26-27 May.
While there will be some very special vehicles on display – detailed below – but the show will also major on some of the great stories and characters associated with the company. Forums and presentations across the two days are set to provide entertainment for those looking to expand their knowledge.
Land Rovers of all ages will be welcome, and the show will focus on authenticity and originality. With this in mind, the static displays of important Land Rovers will be accompanied by a Land Rover concours.
The event sets out to showcase the very best examples, from original vehicles to renovated and restored cars, including prototype and pre-production vehicles, production models, rare conversions, military derivatives, bespoke conversions and much more. Here are some of the highlights:
Camel Trophy winners
Camel Trophy winners Bob and Joe Ives are confirmed, along with the very same Land Rover 110 that took them to victory on the gruelling trial in 1989. This 17-day epic at the height of the Amazon’s unforgiving rainy season is widely considered to be one of the most difficult, and was the first and only British victory in the Camel Trophy.
Land Rover Legends Content Director, Gary Pusey, said: ‘Bob and Joe Ives’ appearance at the show embodies what Land Rover Legends should be all about: people, their stories, and their vehicles. And what a story theirs is – legendary is an absolutely just description of Bob and Joe’s Camel Trophy victory and what they went on to thereafter as well. They are truly remarkable ambassadors for the lifestyle we are here to celebrate.’
Range Rover Turbo Diesel ‘Beaver Bullet’
Built to take on a number of diesel vehicle endurance records at MIRA in 1986, the ‘Beaver Bullet’ was an exercise in proving the capability of the new diesel Range Rover. The car, powered by a 2.4-litre VM diesel engine, had come in for a lot of criticism during its road test on the BBC’s Top Gear.
To meet safety requirements and allow for rapid pit-stops, the Beaver Bullet was subject to a number of modifications including two racing-spec fuel fillers on the rear tailgate, a full internal roll-cage, integrated radio communications, quick release bonnet catch and some other minor alterations, such as the removal of passenger and rear seats.
Range Rover firsts
Three key cars in the history of the Range Rover will be on display, starting with the 1981 Range Rover 2-door ‘In Vogue’, which capitalised on the model’s increasing popularity as a fashion accessory. Launched in partnership with Vogue magazine, the model was sold in the UK and overseas in a special Vogue Blue paint colour and with a luxurious specification. This included walnut door capping, a picnic hamper, radio cassette player and carpets.
The second car of this display will be the 1990 Range Rover CSK Limited Edition. Named after Charles Spencer King, father of the Range Rover, this special edition is today among the most treasured Classic Range Rovers. With the two-door body nearing the end of production, this special edition was painted black, fitted with a bespoke leather interior and American walnut trim. A 3.9-litre V8 engine provided adequate performance. Just 200 were built.
While a £100k+ Range Rover is not out of the ordinary today, the third classic in this line-up was the first. Built as the ultimate luxury-spec Range Rover in 1999, the ‘Linley’ was only available to special order, with just six ever being produced. Finished by hand at the Special Vehicles department in Solihull, it had a unique interior with a television and video player in the back, as well as custom paint and many other special details.
1955 expedition hero
One half of the heroic duo of Land Rover 86” Station Wagons to complete the first ever overland expedition from London to Singapore will appear, live and exclusively with its intrepid owner Adam Bennett.
Part of the famous Oxford & Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition from London to Singapore in 1955, the two Land Rovers were named ‘Oxford’ and ‘Cambridge’. ‘Cambridge’ was sold on its return to the Land Rover factory in Lode Lane, Solihull, and eventually lost when it ran off the road in a subsequent expedition to the Middle East. ‘Oxford’ continues to serve as a loyal and hugely capable 4x4.