Anything Roger Crathorne doesn’t know about Land Rover probably isn’t worth knowing. With more than 50 years of service under his belt, the man who is affectionately known as ‘Mr Land Rover’ has finally called it a day when he announced his retirement last year. We take a trip down memory lane with Roger and look back at his illustrious career at Land Rover.
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Q: You’ve travelled to some interesting places in the world through Land Rover’s expeditions…
RC: The expeditions was something I really enjoyed doing, especially with the Trans-American expedition. We departed from Anchorage in Alaska in December 1971 and ended at the southern tip of Terra del Fuego in South America by June 1972. The vehicles weren’t perfect. We had many issues with them. But they eventually made it. It was a great tick-in-the-box experience for me.
Q: Perhaps you can highlight some of the more inhospitable areas you’ve driven in?
RC: We’ve had a few. Crossing the arduous terrain between Algeria and Morocco was a bit of a wake-up call. During the Trans-American expedition, we had to cross El Tapon (The Stopper), a severe and swamping rain forest jungle of 400km. It was almost impossible to cross with any vehicle. There are no roads, no bridges, no continuous tracks other than those the locals know. The whole area is jungle, swamp and rivers. Another difficult one was driving around Lake Melaka. The surface looks like sand, but is in actual fact volcanic ash, which proved to be one of the most difficult surfaces to drive on. Another tough one was the black cotton regions of Africa.
Catch the full story in #Issue17 of Land Rover AFRICA Magazine