Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

For the love of the brand

One life, live it. For many people, that saying is part their culture. For them, every trip, big or small, is an adventure. They are the living embodiment of the adventure lifestyle, and their beloved brand is the poster child for all things overlanding. Once a year, they all gather to celebrate all things Land Rover at the LandyFest. ANTON WILLEMSE JNR joined in the fun… and almost became the proud owner of a Landy in the process!

I have always had an immense love for Land Rovers. Most of our first encounters with overlanding and overlanding vehicles were with a humble Landies. The brand has long been the poster child for overlanding and adventure, so naturally, as a little boy, I fell in love with the culture. I felt that childlike sense of wonder emerging once again as we set up camp for the weekend, surrounded by people who carry their passion for their rigs and overlanding proudly on their sleeves (literally – I have never seen so much branded clothing at an event!).

The LandyFest is an annual yearly gathering at the well-known Rust De Winter 4×4 grounds (just outside Dinokeng), hosted by LR Classic and Land Rover lover André Verster. The goal of the event is to gather like-minded Landy lovers to have some family fun alongside their beloved vehicles.

This event can be a great introduction to the Land Rover brand and the culture, as well as overlanding and off-roading. It is usually jam-packed with activities, and this year my favourite was the ‘Rent a Landy’, organised by Land Rover Mega Centre. It gave visitors the opportunity to rent a built-up off-roader based on the chassis of a Land Rover Discovery 2 and tackle a few challenging obstacles. It also gave the uninitiated an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about – so naturally, we had to book one for the day.

Get that taste

They say you should never meet your heroes and never drive your favourite car or brand because if the experience isn’t truly unique, you might feel a little let down. However, once I climbed into that built-up Disco, I knew it was the right place to be. A Landy has such great character… it feels like an old friend, and people underestimate the off-roading prowess of these machines. As we went about the route, we came across some really awesome vehicles. My favourites were the classic Series Land Rovers. These old-timers still have plenty of grunt to them, and their off-roading capability surprised me. They get the job done and look bloody excellent while doing it.

I even had the chance to test-drive an 88 Series 2 while attending the festival. And it was, indeed, love at first sight! Driving these older Land Rovers is such a cathartic experience. There is nothing to distract you. No radio, no traction control, no ABS, just a steering wheel, three pedals and a massive grin. The vehicle I drove was for sale, and if I had the funds, I would definitely have bought it. It’s probably my dream car at the moment, and I’ll get my own soon enough because why wouldn’t I want to drive a Landy? You only have one life, so why not live it?

More about LR CLASSIC

The founder of LR Classic, André Verster, owns a fleet of classic Land Rover Defenders and authentic Series Land Rovers. His vision for LR Classic is to become the preferred specialist tour operator and distinctive 4×4 events host in Southern Africa. The core focus is on offering international and local tourists and guests exclusive events, as well as guided self-drive classic safaris with his fleet of Land Rovers or guests’ own vehicles. André qualified as a tour guide in 2009 and has been guiding off-road safaris, 4×4 overlanding expeditions and events ever since. He recently updated his tour guide qualification with new regulations, including first-aid level three.

CONTACT: +27 83 640 3057 | andre@lrclassic.com

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