"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 North American Tour of the Oxford Rover. - our Sea to Shining Sea overland trek. We are hoping to share this historic vehicle and its global adventure with as many Land Rover enthusiasts as possible. 

 

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 ready for the next leg of its adventure (tentatively New Zealand) by January of 2021.

 

Oxford has made several appearances moving westward across the country, despite the impacts of COVID-19. You can see some of the details on our Facebook Group (Oxford In America) and by checking our YouTube channel (Oxford In America). Starting in September, 2020, Oxford will make the return journey back east along the Trans-American-Trail (TAT). This trip will end at our Mid-Atlantic Rally in Giles County, VA on October 1-4, 2020.

 

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). We also welcome commercial sponsorship and promotional partnership opportunities.

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