Land Rover celebrates its anniversary on 30 April, 2021 – 73 years to the day since the world debut of the original Land Rover at the Amsterdam Motor Show on 30 April, 1948. Global Land Rover ambassadors and humanitarian adventurers Kingsley and Ross Holgate have commemorated World Land Rover Day by revealing the names of their two, already battle-hardened New Defenders 110s.
As per the decades-old Holgate tradition of naming their expedition vehicles, the two New Defenders have earned their titles, but only after nine months and many thousands of hard kilometres.
“We first gave them 30,000km of tough expedition work. Like all our previous expedition Land Rovers, they needed to prove themselves,” said Ross Holgate. “On the Mzansi Edge expedition to track the entire outline of South Africa, including land-locked Lesotho last year, they completed 16,000km of challenging conditions in just 80 days and started to show their ‘personalities’.”
Since Mzansi Edge, the Defenders have continued to work tirelessly on the ‘Feeding the Wildlife Community’ Covid-19 hunger relief campaign, distributing tonnes of nutritious Do More porridge packs to rural families and children at Early Childhood Development centres close to conservation areas, who are still affected by the loss of tourism-related jobs and income. More recently they’ve also done an emergency malaria prevention dash into Mozambique to help communities affected by cyclonic rains and flooding.
“They are now worthy of their titles,” said Kingsley Holgate. “My Defender 110 is proud to bear the name ‘Isibindi’, which means courage in Zulu. Ross has given his Defender the name ‘Moyo’, which in different languages can mean rejoice, life, or soul; but for our purposes, we’ve taken the Swahili meaning – heart, as we believe that the heart of Land Rover lies here in Africa.”
Like so many other Land Rover owners, the Holgates have a long history of naming their expedition vehicles. The two Defenders the team took around the world on the 2001 Tropic of Capricorn expedition were called ‘Chuma’ and ‘Susi’, after the two brave hearts who carried Dr David Livingstone’s salt-dried body 2,000km across Africa from the Bangweleu swamps in northern Zambia, to Bagamoyo on the East African coast opposite Zanzibar in Tanzania.
Other expedition Land Rovers that were part of journeys to every single country on the African continent were named after early explorers, like ‘Livingstone’, ‘Stanley’ and ‘Mary Kingsley’. A battered, old, green Defender td5 that simply refused to give up was called ‘uBhejane’ (black rhino) and a canvassed-backed, Ghanaian-registered Defender the Holgates took to Timbuktu in Niger and beyond was nicknamed ‘Sahara’. Another Land Rover, which survived a harrowing attack of mudbrick, window-smashing missiles during a political riot in central Africa, earned the unusual title of ‘Brick’.