87 Year Old Tim Slessor To Be Reunited with his old ‘Oxford’ Land Rover And “Going For It”.
Between the years 1955 and 1956, a team of six young men from the Oxford and Cambridge University in United Kingdom embarked on The Oxford Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition, an expedition known as The First Overland.
The First Overland expedition was inspired by the 1954 Oxford and Cambridge Trans-Africa expedition. This journey made history by being the first to successfully drive the 10,000 miles from London to Singapore, traversing the dusty deserts of Iran, passed through northern India (the previous limit of any overland journey from London heading east), forded jungles with treacherous streams and rivers through Burma (modern Myanmar) and down through what was then called the Federation of Malaya. Across three different continents and over 20 countries, their arrival into Singapore in 1956 made headlines around the world. The expedition was documented in three BBC films commissioned by Sir David Attenborough which showcased many remote corners of the world on film for the first time, as well as a book authored by Tim Slessor. Writing about the original expedition, Sir David Attenborough described it as “a madcap adventure” that would be “quite impossible today”.
The Oxford’s adventures did not end in 1956 as it was subsequently involved in an Ascension Island expedition, and would remain hidden and decaying on the tiny South Atlantic island for decades, before being rescued and restored by a man named Adam Bennett in 2017. Adam, who had grown up steeped in the First Overland sort, gifted the Land Rover to Tim Slessor (age 87), a member of The First Overland expedition and Alex Bescoby (age 31), an award-winning film-maker for this latest adventure.
Fast forward 64 years on from the First Overland, Tim and Alex will take the original 1955 Oxford Land Rover Series 1 on a road journey to retrace that first overland expedition. The journey this time will be in reverse, from Singapore to London. Their aim is to arrive in London within approximately 100 days of setting out from Singapore. Through the eyes of two different generation of travellers, and the people they meet along the way, The Last Overland will uncover how much the world has really changed sine the First Overland expedition.
The team will be accompanied by a team of professional advisors, Land Rover enthusiasts and travel experts – all united in their passion for automotive history and adventure. Supporting the team on the road with safety equipment, satellite tracking and risk advisory, will be security firm AKE International and their offices in London and Singapore.
The expedition will also involve major press and marketing events across over twenty countries that Tim and Alex will be passing through. For the finale, A record-breaking gathering of classic Land Rovers in London after Singapore to mark the end of the journey and to celebrate a global love affair between Land Rover and the motoring world.
The Last Overland expedition began on Sunday, 25th of August 2019, with the flag off from Singapore’s F1 pit straight in Marina Bay. The ‘Oxford” was given the perfect send off by being escorted through the streets of Singapore all the way to the country’s border with Malaysia by a parade of other Land Rovers driven by local enthusiasts, including members of the group, Land Rover Owners Singapore.
On the 26th of August 2019, the expedition arrived in the heart of Kuala Lumpur for another warm Malaysian flag off, before making their way to Cameron Highlands to visit the land of Land Rovers where Series I to III are still found.
More info available at www.lastoverland.com
Pic & Video credits: Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia & The Last Overland Team