The Eastnor Land Rover Show 2012, was the first time that I had been to such an event. Driving into the Dear Park from the Castle the size of the event became apparent. An awesome array of Defenders, Disco’s, Freelanders, Evokes, Range Rovers. Monster Trucks and the odd Ford Fiesta getting stuck in the mud.

We arrived on Saturday the 25 Aug 12 to be met by an horrendous rain storm, which quickly turned the into a quagmire making movement underfoot interesting to say the least. One of the most comical things we saw that questioned the sanity of buying £57,000 worth of 4 x 4 with state of the art traction control, when a mobility scooter managed to cope with all that Mother Nature could throw in our direction.

The Work Horse

The show was not all about the modern but about the historical aspects of Land Rover, with virtually every year and model represented. Models that evolved into support vehicles for the emergency services and the security industry.

The Pink Panther

One of the most famous military attack vehicles. In 1968 The Special Air Service SAS bought 72 long range desert patrol vehicles built on Series II 109-inch chassis and transformed by Marshalls of Cambridge for The Regiment. They were delivered in standard green but many were repainted in pink which was then believed to be the best camouflage paint in the desert. Notice the change in color as the angle of view changes.

The reason they were so tough was the combination of guns and equipment ant the guys driving them- the SAS. There were later similar equipped Series I and a lot later 110’s. In the Gulf War they proved invaluable as they even outperformed the specially equipped Hummers. The nickname of “Pinkies” stuck on them even if the new ones are no longer painted in that colour.

The Dunsfold Trust owns one and it can be seen at their Public Days. Another one belongs now to the Gaydon Heritage Museum. Info thanks to: http://www.landroverclub.net/Club/HTML/Pink_panther.htm

Camel Trophy

The Camel Trophy began in 1980 with a crossing of the Transamazonica highway, subsequent events have been called “the Olympics of 4×4”. They were all about adventure and exploration. Over the next eight years, the expeditions crossed Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, Zaire, Brazil, Borneo, Australia, Madagascar (the first north-south crossing) and Sulawesi  before returning to the Amazon. These grueling tests of human endurance brought together teams from around the world in the hope of triumphing in some of the most treacherous off-road conditions imaginable. Team work and camaraderie were crucial. The competitive element came in a series of “Special Tasks,” such as winching and timed driving routes, in which the national teams competed against each other. Info care of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camel_Trophy#The_Camel_Trophy.27s_successor:_.27The_G4_Challenge.27

The competition has long since died but the legacy lives on……

Monster Land Rovers

Not to be out done there was also a presence from the big boys, this one was for sale, I did ask if it came with a complimentary foot pump.

In April 1981, Bob Chandler made fame and notoriety with his BIGFOOT in what is often believed to be the first monster truck to crush cars. In 1982, he debuted a new version of Bigfoot with 66 inch (1.7 m) diameter tyres. Times have not changed, we are still big kids. Due to our diary commitments we never got to see the Monster Trucks at the show but it would have been great to observe  in action a renegade beast crushing the dinky toys that festooned the Deer Park.

Land Rover – The History Bit

The first Land Rover made its debut in 1948. It was designed with brilliant simplicity for extraordinary ability and unrivalled strength and durability. In fact, six decades on it is estimated that two-thirds of all these incredible vehicles are still at work – many of them in some of the most extreme conditions and inhospitable places on earth.

The line up from left to right. 1948, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55 and squeezed on the end a very rare 1972 Dormobile conversion.


The show was well worth a visit and some fantastic bargains to be had and a valuable source of networks.

Like Arnie……..I’ll be back.

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