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A story for early Land Rover enthusiasts
on 1 December 2011
Enthusiasts of early Land Rovers remind me of train spotters of old. The main difference and benefit for LR enthusiasts is that they can get to buy, drive, restore and generally tinker with their product - unlike the train spotters. The author is just such an enthusiast. By a remarkable series of coincidences he discovered that Arthur Goddard, the engineer responsible for development of the first, 80", Land Rover operated a business near that of his friend in Australia. He arranged for Goddard to visit Land Rover and meet with fellow enthusiasts on one of his trips back to the UK.
This book is a description of that discovery and of the researches that the author undertook in his quest for the early history of the product. Unfortunately, as another reviewer has already commented, the book needs editing. There is a degree of repetition of events; the spelling needs correcting. This does detract somewhat from a revealing story and the obvious enthusiasm of the author. The author also features with Arthur Goddard in an excellent DVD, called Stop Gap published by Teeafit Sound and Vision. This follows that same Arthur Goddard visit to Land Rover and the several of the locations where development testing took place. It also explores some of the myths and legends behind the early Land Rover. It seems to me that it was, in fact, a carefully defined project squarely aimed at both the military and agricultural markets - Goddard himself remarks that he spent much of his development effort meeting the needs of the military. The book and the DVD complement each other very well.