Modern SUVs are pretty common place in New Zealand these days but, frankly, they are silly looking Remuera tractors used in totally inappropriate environments, and are a menace in suburban supermarket car parks..
It wasn’t always like this though. The old-fashioned Land Rover, which tended to be used for what such vehicles were meant to be used for, was something else. A thing of pragmatic beauty, and a means by which to explore parts of New Zealand that normal vehicles could not. An off-roader that went … off road.
Take the 1957 version. Built at a time when the Cold War was setting in, it fitted the times. Cold, mysterious and nostalgic.
Even Land Rover itself realises that they don’t build them like this anymore. This video traces the story of reuniting a group of mates with the former glory of their prize possession. They even go so far as to package it as a Love Story.
A group of university students pooled their student loans to buy this masterpiece, and used it for what it was built for. But over time, as other priorities kicked in, it gradually got itself into a state of disrepair; serious disrepair. It was in the vehicular equivalent of intensive care. With heavy hearts they put it up for sale, and eventually it was sold.
However, there is a twist. Watch the video to find what it is and, yes, it is a true story. And what is the scenery in this video? Well, Central Otago of course. If there is any landscape that is the ideal backdrop for a restored Land Rover it’s Central.
(Article sponsored by Land Rover)