Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Early Land Rover Expeditions - the 1950s

When Land Rover introduced the Series I, advertised as the vehicle choice for all roles, expeditions started popping up.  A few were well funded and even sponsored by Land Rover.

Here are a few books and photos written about the expeditions:

Starting with the most famous of all the 1950's expeditions:

First Overland - Tim Slessor

Why not? After all, no-one had ever done it before. It would be one of the longest of all overland journeys, from the English Channel to Singapore. Several expeditions had already tried. Some had got as far as the deserts of Persia; a few had even reached the plains of India. But no-one had managed to go on from there: over the jungle-clad mountains of Assam and across northern Burma to Thailand and Malaya
Source: http://www.firstoverland.com/

A few additional photos from Google Images:
The Land Rovers are driving next to the Nairn Transport Co. truck.

The Impossible Takes a Little Longer - Eric Edis
Eric Edis, described as a real life Indiana Jones, set out from London on October 28 in 1957 with a team of 10 men and five women to attempt the overland journey across the world and back. Only one woman and one vehicle made it with him as far as Australia, as the harshness of the expedition took its toll. On the road for 18 months and five days, Edis finally arrived back on home ground 0n March 21, 1959, having endured and achieved more than the most intrepid Rider Haggard hero.
Source: http://www.pressdispensary.co.uk/feed/991900.php

A few photos from the above link:

Earth, My Friend - Peter Townsend

Over the thousands of miles I had driven alone across the plains and mountains, the dark forests and deserts of the world, in the great cities and mud-hut villages, I had seen not only humanity but all kinds of living things unfolded in their infinite diversity...

A few photos from the hardcover book:

Gipsy Doctor - Wendy Carnegie
"This story tells of my adventures whilst driving a Land Rover and a a twenty-two-foot caravan from England to India. I believe it was the first journey of its kind, and it covered two-an-a-half years of travel" - Wendy Carnegie
An extract from the book:
The desert, as well as producing great, great heat, produces a series of shocks as well, for until he or she actually saw it, who could envisage a desert full of stones like small dark eggs instead of sand? That was what I found in the Black Desert, where I also encountered mirages that had to be seen to be believed.

The First Overland - Four Wheels & Frontiers - Roy Follows
Not to be outdone by the Land Rovers, Roy Follows equips an old WWII Jeep found on a scrapheap in Singapore and drives it back to the UK.

In 2002, Roy Follows (the author), sent me the first chapter of his book Four Wheels & Frontiers.  On first glance, the book immediately inspires you to get reading as the photos in the book entice you into one of the first overland journeys from Singapore to England!
The book includes the authors journal and all planning letters, mileage and even GPS reference points for border crossings! Well worth buying a copy!

Additional links:

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