Famous Camel Trophy winners to appear at Land Rover Legends

1989 Camel Trophy victors Bob and Joe Ives and their winning Land Rover 110 will appear at the all-new Land Rover show at Bicester Heritage

Running for the best part of two decades, from 1980 until 1998, the automotive equivalent to the Olympic games – the Camel Trophy – charged across the globe and into every petrolhead’s fantasy, with partnership from Land Rover.

The Sandglow-liveried tribe of 4x4 vehicles would venture through the sort of terrain found only in nightmares, navigating the likes of Congo’s dense rainforest and Mongolia’s Gobi desert where no roads existed. This was a fierce competition pitching country against country; although camaraderie remained a huge undercurrent to proceedings with teamwork and amity heavily rewarded.

The 90 and 110, Defender, Discovery, Range Rover and Freelander all shouldered the responsibility of withholding Land Rover’s reputation and ensuring safe delivery of Camel Trophy participants through hostile places.

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Yet, while the iconic Range Rover Classic and Land Rover Series III kicked off proceedings with vehicle sponsorship from Land Rover as of 1981 onwards, the original vehicles were a far cry from Solihull’s successful ventures. Mainly because none of them made it…

The original 1980 expedition, traversing the Trans-Amazonian Highway, utilised Ford U50s – licence-built Jeep CJ5s. Made up purely of three German teams, they had no indication of what their venture would lead to, captivating a spirit of adventure reverberated the world over. Although the 12-day trek ended with all three Jeeps out of action, they returned home to a hero’s welcome – inadvertently setting the foundations for what quickly became dubbed ‘the 4x4 Olympics’. The Camel Trophy.

At the height of the event’s popularity, up to 20 teams, each one representing their country and comprised of at least two individuals, competed for the likes of the Team Spirit, Special Tasks and Land Rover award alongside the crowning title – the Camel Trophy Award.

One million applications were submitted for the event every year by the time 1989’s submission process rolled around – but two names made the grade and went on to victory, claiming the winner’s title in the name of Blighty, the only time a British team took the coveted and respected decoration.

Brothers Bob and Joe Ives, together with their 1989 Land Rover 110, claimed the championship during what history has proclaimed as the toughest experience ever undertaken by Camel Trophy organisers. Seventeen days at the mercy of the Amazon’s relentless and unforgiving rainy season, the severity of conditions separated the men from the boys.

Catching headlines across the planet, the expedition victory earned the Ives brothers a prestigious Segrave Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club, for ‘victory in the off-road marathon with its 1062-mile route through the Brazilian rainforest from Alta Floresta to Manaus.’

Continuing this craving for adventure, Bob Ives has carved a fruitful career as consultant to various film and television productions, including Top Gear, The Grand Tour and both Discworld and Harry Potter franchises.

Now, Bob and Joe will be taking to the live stage and forum area of Bicester Heritage’s Land Rover Legends show to talk about their experiences and answer questions from the audience.
Land Rover Legends content director Gary Pusey said: ‘Bob and Joe Ives’ appearance at the show embodies what Land Rover Legends should be all about: people, their stories, and their vehicles. And what a story theirs is – legendary is an absolutely just description of Bob and Joe’s Camel Trophy victory and what they went on to thereafter as well.'  

‘They are truly remarkable ambassadors for the lifestyle we are here to celebrate.’
– Gary Pusey, event content director

Seldom found boasting of their time during the gruelling and now legendary 1989 Camel Trophy event, the reunion of Bob and Joe with their triumphant Land Rover 110 will prove to be unmissable. You can purchase tickets and find out more information on the official Land Rover Legends website.

Revisit 1989 – Camel Trophy style!

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