The Unimog 4×4 is quite easily one of the most iconic off-road vehicles ever made, it sits alongside the Land Rover Series I/II/III/Defender, the original military Humvee and the Land Cruiser FJ40/FJ60 as a “proper” 4×4, with no traction control, no air-conditioning and most certainly no LCD TV screens.
The world of 4x4s is considerably more staid when it comes to design than their smaller 2×4 road based counterparts. Boxy, solid designs tend to be favoured for serious, non-Soccer Mom off-road duties and when designers get all inspired and create something a little curvy, they can actually send the company out of business (a la Hummer).
Legacy Classic Trucks is a Jackson Hole, Wyoming based company that restores and customises classic American trucks. This is their tweaked version of the Dodge Power Wagon, it’s a veritable beast of a 4×4 and I’m not sure there’s any terrain on the planet it couldn’t handle with relative ease.
The Land Rover Defender 110 is the backbone of the British, Australian and New Zealand Armies, they’ve been deployed on every continent and used in battle from the tropics, to the deserts, to the snow covered mountain tops. They’re seriously tough trucks.
The Lamborghini Cheetah was a one-off prototype developed by Lamborghini in 1977, they were hoping for a US Military contract however their prototype was destroyed by the Americans during testing.
The Camel Trophy was an event that rivalled the Paris-Dakar in its fame and perhaps surpassed it in its difficulty. The event exclusively used Land Rovers between 1987 and 1998…
The Land Rover Defender 90″ is the short wheelbase version of the more common 110″ long wheelbase Defender, they’re tough, go anywhere 4x4s and although this may sound strange, I think they’re quite beautiful.
The Series 1 Land Rover is still one of the most capable 4x4s ever made, it may not have traction control, independent suspension or any fancy buttons but it did have extraordinary lightness. Although perhaps Kam’s Land Rover wouldn’t be so light with it’s driver onboard.
It isn’t every day that something as quintessentially British as this comes along, meet Winston Churchill’s 1954 Land Rover Series 1, a car that was specifically built for the man himself with an extra-wide driver’s seat and an arm rest in place of the passenger seat.
I love this photograph. It wasn’t perfectly executed, the Land Rover is a little out of focus and you can see the shadow of the photographer in the dune but none of this really matters. To me this is a picture that was clearly taken by a man out on his own with his 4×4 having an adventure. It’s the sort of thing we should all do a little more often.
The current generation Land Rover Defender is the direct result of 64 years of automotive evolution, the first, humble Series 1 rolled off the production line in 1948 and in much the same way that you can tell a Porsche 911 is a Porsche 911, you can tell immediately that the Land Rover is a Land Rover.
The classic Jeep Wagoneer is one of those unmistakably American cars, this example is fitted with a V8 and an automatic transmission, sadly the air-conditioning needs a little work…