do you Remember those off-road yellow crossing the most remote corners of the planet? Because that is the Camel Trophy. Rather, it was. This event, which in its time came to be successful in the media, was born in 1980 and could be compared without fear to the own Dakar in hardness. Land Rover took advantage of the occasion to promote its range, being the provider in the competition until its end. In fact, the Camel Trophy was nothing without Land Rover.
These unions sometimes fortuitous to get both items to work, this is what happened in this hard event that began in the 1980’s, and lasted for nearly two decades without interruption. Each year, up to 1998, the Camel Trophy was about to walk a path each time more complicated. Not only was this cross jungles or highlands, it was crossed in the worst possible conditions.
The first year of the Camel Trophy, so named by the sponsor, are not used Land Rover, but a team of three Jeep led by germans. It was in 1981, and since that year, when Land Rover will enter as the supplier of the cars that would lead participants and organization. Have passed various models, from a Range Rover, up to a Defender, without forgetting the Discovery or the little lucky Freelander in the last issue of 1998.
All started in Brazil, in the Amazon. There the participants had to overcome the challenge of finishing the test and withstand the conditions more complex. Little by little the test was gaining popularity and winning participants, with up to 20 teams of 2 people. Each one represented a country, and Spain was fixed for a good sum of years.
Brazil went to Indonesia, to Australia, Africa, Siberia, Mongolia… Almost 20 editions of the event engine of the world’s toughest, with the permission of the Dakar. The organization was looking for the dates more complicated to perform the event, in which participants faced cold, heat, rain, mud… All worth to test a few teams that would be how they could earn different trophies.
Little by little, the Camel Trophy was evolving and wanted to add more tests to the participants. Most purists believe that from that point on it killed the original spirit of the test. added tests on bicycle or in kayak, and was one of the reasons why Land Rover decided to paralyze the agreement. He considered, and so support some followers, that the suv was no longer the basis of the event.
The test was elitist, because of the thousands of requests issued, only two people could set up the team from each country, with one exception in which there were two teams. In the same way, the test rested on the physical strength and psychological, the resistance to the adversity, the driving skills and the knack to solve the problems that were emerging along routes that sometimes were in excess of 3,000 kilometers.
cars, which were prepared in series, not boasted of a modification to an excessively strong on the model that came out of the factory, which promoted the power of the Land Rover, affecting very positively to his image during those years in which was played the test Camel Trophy. It is used specifically the Range Rover, the Land Rover Series 3, Defender 90 and 110, Discovery with different mechanical diesel and even the Freelander in the latest edition of the test.
Painted yellow and decorated Camel, they set up protections in the low and in the lights, were installed suspensions reinforced, bumper trimmed, safety cage, snorkel, lights extra, winch, roof rack, roof carry spare parts or fuel, specialty tires, electrical installation, waterproof, navigation equipment, or a list of items for survival, such as shovels or ropes. According to the edition, the cars were modified according to some parameters or other, but there were never preparations extreme.
If it was on the test, which required that both cars always arrived completely shattered the goal after several days of odyssey. It was not the speed what is important. In fact, at some stages, only advancing a few meters due to the ground conditions. Between rival had communication and help, a perfect set to declare this event an event of authentic adventure.
The Camel Trophy ended desvirtuándose, probably the fault of your media success. Land Rover withdrew its sponsorship, and hence their cars, leaving the competition an orphan and forcing her to die. It has tried to recover that original spirit with other competitions similar and a different name.
In reality, the own Land Rover launched a similar event called the G4 Challenge that echoed in some way the adventure of the Camel Trophy, although interestingly it also included activities in addition to pure driving. However, also disappeared, this time to blame for a global crisis that I had completed the stage of the great adventures media. The current environmental awareness has also been influential in that they have gone a good part of these events, even without studies of their actual impact.
it should Be noted that adventures like the Camel Trophy have also carried a bit of help in places and times completely isolated. Finally, he has left us with some of the most impressive images of adventure, as those in which we see the cars uploaded in rudimentary canoes to cross rivers, the car completely sunk or being assisted by helicopters.
Land Rover Discovery
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