"There is often such an inverse ratio of roads to surroundings, and it must be one of the reasons that makes it worth while to visit out-of-the-way places; the harder the going, the more pleasant the achievement."

Tim Slessor

First Overland

The Rover Owners Association of Virginia (ROAV) is proud to announce the official kick-off in planning for the North American Tour of the Oxford Rover. We are hoping that each of you can reach back into your respective organization and discuss how you can be a part of this exciting adventure.

 

Oxford was one of the two Land Rovers that took part in the 1955-56 Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition, also known as the First Overland. Six students  teamed up in these two Land Rovers and drove from London to Singapore. The journey took six months and six days and covered over 18,000 miles. In addition to the legendary story of the trip, the adventure gave birth to books, television documentaries, and has inspired overland travelers for decades.

 

More about the journey can be found here on YouTube.

 

The Oxford Rover went on to continue to do “important things” long after the completion of its inaugural journey. Eventually, the Land Rover ended up on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic serving transportation duties for a bird watching and research expedition. It remained on this island where it was used until it fell into disrepair. The Rover was rediscovered in 2017 by Adam Bennett, a Land Rover enthusiast from York, England.

More about the return of Oxford can be found here on YouTube.

 

Adam purchased the truck and mechanically restored it with the intention of allowing this truck to continue its mission as a world explorer. His goal is to have the Oxford Rover tour all seven continents. Since its restoration, Oxford has made several trips to car shows across the continent of Europe. Most recently, Oxford completed an epic journey from Singapore back to London that was a reverse of its original journey dubbed “The Last Overland”. You can learn more about its adventures on Facebook by joining “The Last Overland: Singapore to London” Facebook group. 

 

For 2020, the ROAV is working with Adam to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the First Overland as well as the introduction of the new Land Rover Defender by continuing Oxford's travels around the globe. Our plan is to transport Oxford to the United States in January of 2020 and begin a North American tour. The Goal is to have it back in England by December of 2020.

 

This is where we need your help. Our current plan is to “crowd-source” the movement and sponsorship of this journey through the combined efforts of the various Land Rover clubs and dealer networks across North America. I am hoping we can have various dealers and clubs assist with the movement of the truck from event to event across the country this Spring and Summer. In late summer, Oxford would then make the return journey back east along the Trans-American-Trail (TAT). We are hoping to bookend this adventure between the ROAV’s Rovers at Wintergreen event in April and the Mid-Atlantic Rally in October.

 

If you and your organization is willing to dedicate some time and financial support to assist with this project, then please send us a note (admin@roav.org). Please reply with when you would like to display or share the Oxford Rover, where you would like to host it, and what transportation support you can offer. 

 

Once we have everyone’s reply, we will be able to patchwork up a final schedule of its movement. Please share this with any Land Rover club or enthusiast that you think would be interested and helpful to this mission. We also welcome commercial sponsorship and promotional partnership opportunities.

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