For 68 years, 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, but, as Land Rover continues to develop the New Defender, having just concluded production of the current Defender, it is embarking on an ambitious project: to digitally archive the most memorable journeys ever undertaken in a Series Land Rover or Defender.
Defender Journeys, which was launched in January to coincide with the end of current Defender production, has already had almost 400 journeys uploaded to the site, from family ski trips through the French Alps, to intense expeditions through Africa covering thousands of miles.
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 1,000 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 journeyed 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.
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