Land Rover Journey Of Discovery Ends In Beijing
The biggest overland expedition undertaken by Land Rover in some time, the Land Rover Journey of Discovery has finally come to an end with the one millionth Discovery arriving safely in time for the Beijing Motor Show.
The Journey of Discovery began on February 29 and saw four Land Rover vehicles travel more than 10,000 miles overland. They set out from Birmingham with the intention of reaching Beijing and raising, in the process, £1million for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Having departed from the Solihull manufacturing plant, the vehicles received a ceremonial send-off at the Geneva Motor Show. Since then, the expedition has passed through 13 countries and faced such challenging terrain as the treacherous, icy Alps and the sun-baked sand dunes of the Taklimakan Desert.
Says Land Rover’s John Edwards: “This has been an epic journey between two of the biggest events on the automotive calendar and, as we expected, it has demonstrated virtually every condition a Land Rover is designed to cope with.
“This has been a very relevant journey for Land Rover, taking such a landmark vehicle from its birthplace to one of our fastest growing markets and showcasing it in all terrains.
“We are delighted to see the Journey reach its physical target in Beijing and we are equally delighted with the response to the fundraising cause. We will be continuing the push to reach or exceed our target right up to the end of May.”
Along their journey of discovery, the team met so many people and saw so many interesting things.
They assisted the Aosta Valley avalanche team in Italy, visited the Chernobyl reactor and drove through a secret Soviet submarine base in the Ukraine – which, presumably, isn’t so secret anymore.
They visited parts of the Kremlin usually out of bounds, tested some classic Soviet vehicles and undertook a tour of Moscow with a Bolshoi ballet dancer.
All told, it sounds like a more edifying, less obnoxious Top Gear Challenge, and I for one would have given anything to have been a part of it.
Having been on the road for more than 50 days, the team were obviously in need of a much-deserved shower by the time they reached Beijing.
Meanwhile, the one millionth Land Rover Discovery will return to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (Heritage Museum at Gaydon), from whence it will belong to the ages.
So, congratulations Land Rover. Have a drink. You’ve earned it.