The Last Overland expedition team started their journey from Singapore to London today, in one of the most historic automotive events of the 21st Century.
The team aims to recreate the original 1955 route charted by The Oxford & Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition (The First Overland). The team of eight, including Nat George, grandson of Tim Slessor (a member of The First Overland), and Singaporean Larry Leong, will drive the original 1955 ‘Oxford’ Land Rover Series I used in The First Overland.
On an expedition to return ‘Oxford’ to its home in the UK, the team was flagged off from the start line at the Singapore F1 Pit Building in Marina Bay, a location fitting for the beginnings of all grand motoring adventures. In attendance were the Expedition’s key supporters – including Singapore Tourism Board, Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific, Opihr Gin and AKE Group – and members of the public.
As part of the fanfare to commemorate the flag off, a record-breaking convoy of 90 Land Rovers escorted ‘Oxford’ to Singapore’s border with Malaysia. Driven by local enthusiasts, including members of the Land Rover Owners Singapore, this momentous occasion is a celebration of a global love affair between Land Rover and the motoring world.
Tim Slessor, 87 – one of the three surviving First Overland team members – also joined the start of the journey alongside his grandson Nat. He was cheered on by Nigel Newbury and Patrick Murphy, his two surviving compatriots from The First Overland, who was also present at the F1 Pit Building. Now both in their late eighties, Nigel and Patrick were on hand to give some sound last-minute advice to the Last Overland team.
A crossover of generations
Between 1955 and 1956, a team of six young men embarked on The First Overland and made history by being the first to successfully drive 18,000 miles from London to Singapore in a Land Rover. In it, was a young man named Tim Slessor. Now, 64 years later, he returns to form the team of eight retracing the original route, in reverse. Alongside Tim are Alex Bescoby (age 31), award-winning filmmaker, and Nat George (age 21), Tim’s grandson.
The team will also be accompanied by a team of professional advisors, Land Rover enthusiasts and travel experts – all united in their passion for automotive history and adventure.
The Last Overland expedition a celebration of friendships
Travelling through multiple cities, this expedition not only marks the historical recreation of an iconic journey in motoring history but also celebrates friendships forged across borders. Along the way back to London, the Overland team will be welcomed by Land Rover enthusiasts from
across twenty countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bulgaria and Belgium in a line-up of various major press and marketing events.
Back in London, another gathering of classic Land Rovers of record-breaking numbers will mark the end of the journey on December 2019. Escorting ‘Oxford’ on her final leg of the trip, the final Land Rover convoy continues the celebration of the global love affair shared across the motoring world.