I note from the October issue of Motor Sport that Leyland are showing a Range-Rover in the Donington collection as “one of the Range-Rovers which made the first continuous journey from North to South America across the Isthmus of Panama”.
This old chestnut crops up at regular intervals and as the enclosed photostat from Automobile Quarterly Vol 1 No 3 will show, is not true. Three virtually standard 1961 Chevrolet Corvairs crossed Darien in January 1962 without the aid of the British Army, without a team of “129 men plus 5 women” which AP quotes as being in Major Blashford-Snell’s party, without 5 Colombian Soldiers dying, and without helicopter support to fly in new axles and transfer boxes or a LWB Land-Rover to tow the bogged and broken down Range-Rover through the tough bits.
I am the proud owner of a Range-Rover which despite the usual Leyland annoyance and lack of spares is a terrific vehicle for “Bush Bashing” and very popular in Venezuela and Leyland do not need untruth to promote its sale.
Perhaps you would like to correct the record.
Caracas, Venezuela STEPHEN C. GOSS
[The Automobile Quarterly story by Gordon Gould and Carl Turk makes fascinating reading. The team consisted of 12 men, three Corvairs (unsafe at jungle speeds, Mr. Nader?), two “carryalls”, and a further truck carrying 300 gallons of petrol. The journey took them through 244 miles of jungle across the Darien Gap, in 107 days. One “carryall” and the petrol truck had to be abandoned.—Ed.]