Friday, 3 May 2019


The finalists have been revealed for the National Land Rover Awards 2019, the winners of which will be chosen at Land Rover Legends, the ultimate show for Land Rover connoisseurs, preservationists, restorers and enthusiasts, taking place at Bicester Heritage on 25th and 26th May.
The shortlisted vehicles will be displayed as part of a dedicated indoor exhibition at the event where, on May 26th, a panel of expert judges will select the Winner and Highly Commended entry in each category.
The finalists are:
Most Original Vehicle
  • 1948 Series 1 80'' (owner Robert Sprason)
  • 1958 Series 2 109 (owner James Foster)
  • 1959 Series II (owner Martin Port)
  • 1989 Discovery (owner Charles Whitaker)
  • 1990 Discovery (owner Graham Rippon)
  • 1997 Freelander (owner Tom Porter)
Best Restored Vehicle
  • 1948 Land Rover 80 (owner Johan Rutgeerts)
  • 1958 Series II (owner Rupert Baron)
  • 1961 Series II 109 Tipper (owner Nigel Bishop)
  • 1975 101" Forward Control (owner Ray Adams)
  • 1987 Land Rover 90 V8 (owner James Clough)
  • 1990 Range Rover Vogue V8 EFI Auto (owner William Meacham)
Best Bespoke Vehicle
  • 1963 88" Forward Control Fire Appliance (owner Adrian Thompson)
  • 1965 Series 2A (owner Leif Cooper)
  • 1981 Range Rover Classic Convertible (owner David Barker)
  • 2010 Defender 110 DCPU (owner Aidan O’Callaghan)
Land Rover Legends focuses on originality and authenticity, something perfectly showcased in the Best Original Vehicle category. Robert Sprason’s 1948 Series 1 80” was sold new to Australia and, by late 2015, it had just 21,800 miles on the clock. It still has its original paint and runs on the original date-stamped coil, carburettor and distributor!  James Foster’s 1958 Series 2 109 served from new until 2006 as the game keeper’s vehicle on a Scottish hunting estate and is still running original electrics. Martin Port’s 1959 Series II has a fascinating history; from 1959-63 it was driven from Cape Town to London and was sign-written along the way, detailing the route taken. Much of the sign-writing survives. Charles Whitaker’s head-turning 1989 Discovery - the only surviving Discovery prototype in private hands - still has the original black-painted body camouflage. Graham Rippon’s 1990 Discovery is completely original and was used on the school run - the children said they could tell when their mother was approaching by the rumble of the V8 - while Tony Porter’s 1997 Freelander was the 4thFreelander to roll off the production line and is the oldest surviving production example on the road.
The candidates for Best Restoration demonstrate the devotion owners feel for their vehicles. James Clough has owned his 1987 90 V8 from new and had it rebuilt to commemorate Land Rover’s 70th anniversary in 2018. Rupert Baron only acquired his 1958 Series II late last year in a farm clearance sale; it had spent its entire 60-year life on the farm and was almost completely original, a quality Rupert has striven to maintain in a careful restoration. Nigel Bishop’s rare 1961 Series II 109 Tipper has been in his family since 1970, while Ray Adams bought his 1975 101" Forward Control in 1988, a few months after it retired from Army service. William Meacham bought his 1990 Range Rover Vogue V8 EFI Auto as a non-runner - it had been abandoned several years before by its previous owner, and he has lavished attention on it ever since. It even has service records for every 2,000 miles! Belgian Land Rover enthusiast Johan Rutgeerts is rightly hugely proud of his 1948 Land Rover 80, the oldest LHD production Land Rover still on the road and the first exported to Belgium.
The Best Bespoke Vehicle finalists represent a fascinating ‘snapshot’ of Land Rover’s versatility and history.  Adrian Thompson’s 1963 88” Forward Control Fire Appliance served with Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade and has covered just 8,300 miles from new, while David Barker’s 1981 Range Rover Classic Convertible was commissioned by Roger Taylor of Queen at a cost of more than double the list price of the standard model. Leif Cooper bought his 1965 Series 2A in 1989 when he was just 17 years old. His ambition in his youth was to own a modern Defender 90 and finally, in 2015, he started the project to convert his Series 2A to meet that dream. Aidan O’Callaghan has thoroughly enjoyed modifying his 2010 Defender 110 CPU, inspired by the Defenders in the James Bond film ‘Spectre’.
In addition to the fantastic range of very special vehicles on show, Land Rover lovers will find a host of other things to fascinate and tempt them, with top Land Rover restorers, specialists and associated suppliers, plus carefully-selected exhibitors and traders, all positioned in and around Bicester Heritage’s magnificent main exhibition hangar.
For more information or to book tickets please visit:

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