Now that the Series Land Rover’s production is ‘done and dusted’, the vehicle that has always stirred the emotions of overland and would-be overland explorers, has become even more of an icon.
Like any company worth their salt, Land Rover have cunningly noted the marketing value attached to the nostalgia surrounding the Defender. So, in January, the company launched Defender Journey’s to coincide with the end of current Defender production.
This platform on the Land Rover website allows people to upload their Defender related photos and video. Although Land Rover continue to use the Defender spin off for brand awareness, it is a really wonderful way to digitally archive some of the most memorable journeys undertaken in a Series Land Rover or Defender, that would have been hidden in a personal collection of family albums.
“For 68 years, Series Land Rovers and Defenders have taken people to the far reaches of the globe. Whether for expeditions, exploration, conservation or just vacations, more than two-million vehicles have each clocked-up thousands of miles, creating unique memories along the way.
Until now, these accounts have been consigned to family photo albums, or simply passed down through generations.”
Almost 400 journeys have been uploaded to the site to date, from family ski trips through the French Alps, to intense expeditions through Africa covering thousands of kilometres.
Alec and Jan Forman from the UK have uploaded details of their 1977 journey in a Land Rover Series II from their home in Brentwood, Essex to Batkhela in Pakistan, covering 26 countries, navigated with only a map and compass.
John Lucas travelled more than ,000 miles through the great waterfalls in Zambia in a Series III when he was studying, after reading an intriguing email from a fellow student simply entitled ‘In Our Father’s Footsteps.’ After meeting, the duo travelled to the Zambezi River Lodge, where the Series III was built from the ground up with guidance from the other student’s father, after which they travelled to the Bangweulu Wetlands and Lake Tanganyika. In 2008, John undertook an even more special journey when he proposed to his girlfriend under the stars in the heart of the Kalahari in Namibia.
South African explorer Kingsley Holgate – who for decades has used his Land Rover as part of his humanitarian efforts in Africa – has also recorded his journeys, including an 18-month expedition from Durban, South Africa, to Tropic of Capricorn, Botswana.
These memories and many more are recorded on the online Defender Journeys platform. Users can either browse other people’s journeys or become a part of Land Rover’s official history by uploading their own.
Source: Land Rover
For Defender owners who are inspired to take little trip in their own classic vehicle, it may be worth noting that the Defender Trophy has returned, in it’s original format, as an overland drive, rather than a competition.