1991 Land Rover Discovery Camel Trophy: Sandglow – Petrolicious

I’m José María Rubio. I’m a journalist
and I cover the world of motorsports. I started with Camel Spain in 1987 and until ’98 I covered the Camel Trophy. I got hooked on the African adventures. Until ’98, I continued going
to the Dakar, Faraones. I’ve covered numerous rallies… I’ve always wanted to own
a Camel Trophy car but there was only one each year. And many of them ended up totaled. Most of them never
made their way back to Spain They were Land Rovers from England
that were used for the event and usually, they never returned. This car was originally
brought here by Víctor Muntané, Camel Trophy winner in ’87
with the Spanish team. They won the Spirit of Camel Trophy
together with Jaime Puig, who is the director of SEAT Sport. Víctor brought the car and then
he sold it to Estanis Soler, who wasn’t interested in reselling it. The car was abandoned. But I’m the president
of the Circuito de Navarra. Estanis, who organizes Enduro races, asked me to do the six Enduro days
using my circuit as the base so all the special trials
could start from here. So I sort of blackmailed him: either sell me the car
or we don’t have an agreement. I fully restored it under the hood. but I decided to keep
the bodywork as it was, the interior exactly as it was, with all the scratches and grazes even with the dirt and dust
of the African Camel Trophy. The restoration was expensive because we used
brand new, original parts. Even the shock absorbers
have the Camel Trophy label. The engine has few modifications,
virtually none. It’s a 2.5-liter diesel engine,
115 horsepower. Inside, it has the mechanism box
for the winch. It has two batteries, and on the sides
you’ll see two towropes so when branches hit it,
they don’t damage the windshield. It also has a rack
with a set of headlights, which is why it has two batteries. It has a “Terratrip” that tracks
distances for special trials. The interior is reinforced with
a rollover protection bar from front to back. It still has the stock seats. We even kept
the power rear windows. There is a roll cage on the back; it has a wooden section. It holds a spare tire underneath in addition to the one on the rear door. The air inlet on the left side
of the car, which is high, sometimes, when you were inside
the water would come up to your waist. That’s why there are
drainage holes along the car. It was reinforced underneath,
but everything else is standard. The car has been preserved as it was. Power was always somewhat limited,
even more so by today’s standards. 115 horsepower for this car, fully loaded,
was not enough power, but that’s what we had at the time. And the engine is unbreakable. It was recently restored, but not the inside,
only its outer elements. And it starts right up. Along the road,
which was 1,000 miles long, anything could happen. In Borneo I remember there was
heavy rain and we got stuck. We couldn’t get the car
out of the mud. We even tried building bridges
with tree trunks. A helicopter wound up rescuing us. We had to remove the doors so that the slings can pass through
but also to reduce its weight. It was the most extreme experience
I’ve ever lived through. Aside from that,
even if there was a river, you’d find a spot to cross,
you’d build a makeshift bridge, or do some engineering work
with the materials available. It was amazing. Another interesting thing about this car is that it has the signature
of Xavi Vila, the person who originally drove the car. He got very emotional
when he reunited with it. The car had brought him so much joy,
had helped to advance his career, because automobiles are his livelihood. I encourage people who go off-roading
to take detours and experience the reality of this country,
how the people live, how they get around, how they experience
the Camel Trophy every day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *