Thursday 29 June 2017

Review: Land Rover: The Story of the Car that Conquered the World

Land Rover: The Story of the Car that Conquered the World Land Rover: The Story of the Car that Conquered the World by Ben Fogle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Production started in 1948 and ran for 67 years; over 2 million were produced and around three-quarters of those are still going. They are not particularly quick, have the aerodynamics of a garden shed, frequently leak, you cannot always hear the radio or the passengers and if you can fit in one, you will probably be quite uncomfortable. It makes you wonder who would buy a Land Rover, but this is a vehicle that people love with a passion. No make that an obsession.

Fogle is a fan too, having owned several, but he wants to see what others find so appealing about this eccentric British truck. His journey will take him across Britain, meeting with those who own one, two or in some cases many Land Rovers. He cruises the streets of Belfast in the armoured Defenders, talk with those who have crossed continents in them, partake in a coffee served by a barista from the back of a conversion. He takes his own Series 1 onto the beach where Wills sketched the initial design out in the sand and drives an eye-wateringly expensive Kahn around Islay. There is even a trip to see the one that has become a piece of art.

I have always loved Land Rovers, in fact, it was the first thing that I ever drove. The passion that people have for these agricultural vehicles is quite something, in some cases, it has become a generational thing with grandfathers, fathers and daughters all owning one. Prose can occasional be a bit laboured, but there is enough in here for someone with a general interest, but if you are looking for more detail on the vast history, or know these cars inside out then this may not be the books for you. 2.5 stars.

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