You might not know his name off the top of your head, but Arthur Goddard is a living Land Rover legend. The dawn of Land Rover may have become something shrouded in myth and mystery, but Arthur can take you back to birth of the Nation's most versatile 4x4 – because he was there.
Although he moved on to Rover collaborator, Lucas and Girling brakes, after finalising the design of the Series II, legend and myth don’t pay enough homage to the man at the heart of the real Land Rover story. Well, now is the chance to do so.
Goddard was the Rover Car Company’s Assistant Chief Engineer from 1949 through to 1957. Cutting his teeth on aero engine research for the 8th Army Air Force during WW2, Arthur then received a tip-off after the war ended that Rover were looking for an engineer. He made the phone call, and aged only 25, got the job.
Goddard’s story was rediscovered in 2009 and drawn together in a book, They Found Our Engineer. However, nothing can beat witnessing the man himself talk about his experiences first-hand and discuss the development of the first-ever Land Rovers, in person.
His recollections put a new spin on the Land Rover myth as you know it, and even raise a few eyebrows on differing views around the overall purpose of the original production run.
As part of the celebrations around the Defender's 67 years at Solihull, the Land Rover UK PR team are bringing Arthur back to the UK from Autralia for an exclusive evening. '67 Years of The Legend: An Engineer’s Perspective' will be broadcast on Thursday, September 10, at 7pm. To watch Arthur Goddard in action, download Periscope on Android or Apple devices and search for @LandRoverUKPR.
Alternatively, you can also download Periscope for your laptop. You can find out more about Periscope at periscope.tv.