Of Land Rovers, dam walls and four wheel drive

This week, in an e-mail group to which I belong, there was an interesting discussion of this advertisement from Land Rover in England, dating back to 1995.

That led (perhaps inevitably) to this episode of Top Gear.

I’ve driven many thousands of miles in Land Rovers (the tough, rugged Series 1, 2, 2A and 3 models, not the upmarket Range Rover variants).  The short-wheel-base early models in particular were ubiquitous in Africa, much as Jeeps are in the USA. Those of you who remember the movie ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy‘ will recall (with a giggle, I’m sure) the Land Rover that found itself winched up into a tree, and having adventures with gates while having no brakes.  I know that model particularly well;  in fact, my butt and lower back wince in sympathy whenever they see one, in movies or in real life!

Land Rover sponsored the Camel Trophy for most of its two-decade existence, showcasing its vehicles and their off-road capabilities.  Here’s a video of the ‘Land Rover Years’ of the trophy.  It’s long – about 1½ hours – but great viewing for off-road enthusiasts.

I must admit, I never drove a Land Rover in such tricky conditions.  I had more sense!



  1. The Gods Must Be Crazy was a very funny film! I seem to recall that the Land Rover in that one also had brake problems and was named the Anti-Christ, or something similar. I need to see that film again.

  2. I like how just before the top in the Top Gear video, when most terrified, he finds capitalist religion, namely PSST (Patterns of Sustainable Specialization and Trade) Or as he puts it "Oh God, I depending so much on things made by other people…" (2:25 in the video)

  3. *grin* At Redquarters, whenever someone in the family reads a news story that is being misinterpreted by the media, the proper response is "So that's how the LandRover (or Anti-Christ) got in the tree."


  4. I have a lot of respect for LR Defenders.
    Also 1st gen. Broncos, IHC Scout/Scout IIs, pre-'75 CJs and Chevy K trucks before '73.
    I recently sold my '71 K 20 Suburban, owned since 1991.
    My current camping vehicle is an '86 Vanagon Syncro 4WD. Over the last couple of years I have upgraded and restored it, and have replaced the original VW motor w/ a Subaru "Frankenmotor." This has been a challenging project, but I an very pleased with the results.

    I wouldn't mind getting my hands on an FJ 40 or maybe an FJ 60.


  5. Yup, the Gods Must Be Crazy was a hilarious movie, the 2nd not so much, but the original – comic genius !

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