Overland hero ‘Oxford’ to star at Bicester Land Rover Legends

A famous Land Rover Series I that undertook an expedition from London to Singapore and featured in the accompanying TV documentary is to appear at the new Bicester show on May 26-27

One of the two heroic Land Rover 86in Station Wagons that completed the first Overland London to Singapore expedition will appear at Bicester Heritage’s inaugural Land Rover Legends show on May 26-27.

Named ‘Cambridge’ and ‘Oxford’ during the Far Eastern expedition undertaken by six Cambridge and Oxford university students in 1955-’56, the two Series Is acquired fame through BBC footage filmed at the behest of renowned broadcaster David Attenborough.

Both of the Overland Land Rovers differed from the previous wooden-framed Tickford model, and came with aluminium panels and bolt-together construction, as well as basic interior trim, roof vents, interior lights and a ‘Safari Roof’ to reduce interior temperatures.

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After driving 18,000 miles over six months and six days, the Overland team successfully arrived in Singapore on March 6, 1956. The expedition has since become a source of inspiration to Land Rover owners the world over.

Cambridge was sold upon its return to the Land Rover factory, and eventually lost in a subsequent expedition to the Middle East. Meanwhile, after the Overland adventures, Oxford was loaned to a British Ornithologists’ Union expedition to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. It was later left to a support worker on the island, who used the vehicle for many years before eventually utilising it for parts for a later 88in.

Land Rover enthusiast Adam Bennett met the retired owner after he tracked down the legendary vehicle on the island of Saint Helena, some 2500 miles east of Brazil. With the help of journalist Peter Galilee, he convinced the islander to return both vehicles to the UK in exchange for a newer 300Tdi Defender. Bennett gave Oxford a full restoration before the Land Rover responded with a first-time MoT pass, and the repatriation process was completed when the DVLA granted the vehicle its original registration, SNX 891.

Oxford continues to serve Adam as a hugely capable 4x4, and now this well travelled vehicle is set to star at Land Rover Legends as Bicester Heritage pays homage to the globally adored utilitarian icon.

Further event information and tickets are available from the Land Rover Legends website.

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