The SLOws (Series Landy Owners Inc.) from Brisbane, Australia are lucky enough to have the original Land Rover project’s chief development engineer, Arthur Goddard, installed as patron.
A SLOw day out in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley saw Goddard re-familiarise himself with one of the Queen’s early Royal Review vehicles, saying, ‘It was the Land Rover that gave me more pleasure than any other.’ This rarity, restored by Keith Cree, is the sole survivor of a fleet commissioned for the 1954 Royal Tour of Australia (featured in LRO’s April 2015 issue).
Lunch followed at the historic Mulgowie Hotel where Arthur delighted those gathered, not only with his recollections of life at Lode Lane, but also some more recent happenings – apparently, Land Rover might not be ready to ditch the Defender after all. ‘I’m told,’ says Arthur, ‘from a reasonably, but not perfectly reliable source that they’re seriously considering carrying on with it.’
Any continuing Defender production is likely to be outside the UK, after Land Rover confirmed to us yesterday that Solihull is gearing down Defender manufacture and expects to produce it’s last example in January 2016 at the latest.