In contrast to the appalling weather in the run up to last year’s Simply Land Rover event, this weekend’s clear blue skies and warm sunshine encouraged Land Rover owners to make the journey to Beaulieu for this year’s Simply Land Rover on Sunday 9th August, to display their vehicles in the grounds of the National Motor Museum.
Now in its third year the event saw a large increase in participating vehicles, up over one hundred on 2014 numbers at 270. It made for an impressive display of Land Rovers ranging from the classic Series I, II and III, to the rugged County and Defender, iconic Range Rover and capable Discovery. All Land Rover models and derivatives could be seen, from a battle-scarred workhorse to a pristine show-winner.
Also attending were the Solent & District Land Rover Club, which put on a good display of its vehicles and Westover Land Rover, Christchurch, displaying its latest Discovery model. There were also a number of stands selling Lands Rover parts and accessories.
Beaulieu also partnered with the Land Rover Experience, West Country, to offer Simply Land Rover entrants and attraction visitors the opportunity to try Beaulieu’s very own off-road Forest Drive either in their own Land Rovers or as a passenger in a Land Rover Experience vehicle. This proved to be a very popular activity with all time slots throughout the day, fully booked. There were 108 drives by participants driving in their own vehicles and a number of visitors either driving or having a passenger ride in Land Rover Experience vehicles.
Throughout the day Beaulieu’s visitors had the opportunity to vote for their favourite vehicle on display in the People’s Choice Awards. The winner, who received a Beaulieu Trophy from Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn was Chris Pendred with his 1964 Series 2a Land Rover. The car had been bought originally by Chris’s uncle, a fruit farmer from Biddenden in Kent, After buying the car from his uncle and putting it to general use for seven years it failed its MOT, prompting Chris to begin a ground-up rebuild, as close to the original specification as possible. Chris also restored the off-road Brockhouse trailer and was delighted that both the car and trailer completed the off-road course with comparative ease.
There were also two runners-up. One was a 1997 Land Rover Defender in an eye-catching Vesuvius Orange owned by Russell and Angela Maton from Alton. They have owned the car for five years and, with its 12 seats, find it the perfect everyday car to take out their children – with accompanying friends – and the family’s dog.
The second runner-up was Ian Marshall from Newbury with his 1952 Series 1, 80” which he has owned for a couple of years. However, it is just one of several Land Rovers that Ian owns, as he confessed that Land Rovers are his life!
Participants were also able to visit all the features of the Beaulieu visitor attraction during the day, including the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and the extensive grounds and gardens.
Simply Land Rover is one of the popular Simply rallies which has rapidly expanded to include a wide variety of themes covering many makes and models. The date for Simply Land Rover 2016 is the 7th August. For more information please visit www.beaulieuevents.co.uk
Note: This event report is courtesy the Beaulieu Press Office.