Camel Trophy vehicles
Only the first and final Camel Trophy events didn't rely entirely on vehicles supplied by Land Rover. Land Rover's involvement with Trophy lasted for eighteen years from 1981 to 1998. Throughout the life of the Camel Trophy, the complete Land Rover vehicle range was used. Range Rover, Series III, Ninety, One Ten, Defender, Discovery and Freelander vehicles all appeared in the distinctive "sandglow" yellow colour scheme.
All Camel Trophy vehicles were produced in both left-hand and right-hand drive, depending on the vehicle's role, the event location and the country driving it. Camel Trophy vehicles are standard production-line Land Rovers, adapted and prepared by Land Rover’s Special Vehicles division to compete in what was arguably the world’s toughest off-road event.
Although Camel Trophy designs are often copied, it is easy to distinguish a genuine ex-Camel Trophy Land Rover. The easiest way is not to rely on the vehicle's paint scheme (some, very rare vehicles were produced in blue, red or silver for the 1998 prescout) but to look for unique and difficult to reproduce features. A genuine ex-Camel Trophy Defender will have been fitted with a unique internal/external roll cage and the Discovery roof rack bolts through the roof onto the roll cage, for example. It is rare for a non-Camel Trophy Freelander to be fitted with a roll cage at all!
The V5 logbook sometimes has "N/A" or "Not Stated" in the "Colour" box, which is unusual. It can also have "Yellow", "Gold", "Brown" or the rather unflattering "Beige". A batch of Freelanders were misregistered on their V5s as Land Rover 90s. Since 1990, all Camel vehicles were registered by Land Rover UK at their factory in Solihull, and are therefore registered with Birmingham-area registrations such as:
|-ON||e.g. H--- LON||Tanzania|
|-RW||e.g. H--- JRW||Tanzania|
|-OP||e.g. J--- ROP||Guyana|
|-KV||e.g. K--- YKV||Sabah-Malaysia|
|-AC||e.g. K--- BAC||Sabah-Malaysia/training|
|-VC||e.g. M---HVC, N--- PVC||Mundo Maya, Kalimantan|
|-DU||e.g. N---VDU, R--- CDU||Kalimantan, Tierra del Fuego|
|-AB||e.g. R--- HAB:||Tierra del Fuego/training|
|-XP||Tax-free, for eXPort. Rarely seen on UK-based vehicles, but sometimes seen on the vehicles in the Camel Trophy videos|
This list is not exhaustive as there are other suffixes but this covers the most common.
There are a few of the original Range Rover vehicles remaining in the hands of collectors. They are very rare and may be considered priceless. The archetypal Camel Trophy vehicles were the Defender and Discovery, which is reflected by the number owned by club members.
The Ninety/One Ten/Defender range was first used in 1984, right up until the last Land Rover-sponsored event in 1998. They continued to be used by the organisers as support vehicles for the final Camel Trophy 2000.
The Discovery was used on Camel Trophy from 1990, in the 3-door 200 Tdi form, right up to 1997 when the 5-door 300 Tdi vehicles were used for the Mongolia 1997 event and the Tierra del Fuego pre-scout.
Another very popular vehicle with club members is the Freelander, which was used on one event, Tierra Del Fuego 1998 in South America. They offer fewer sacrifices in everyday motoring than either the Defender or the Discovery, hence their popularity, although as they were only used on one event, they are amongst the scarcest of the Camel Trophy vehicles.
Interested in owning a ex-Camel Trophy Land Rover?
Follow this link to ex-Camel Trophy vehicles for sale. For advice and help acquiring a Camel Trophy Land Rover, you can join the Camel Trophy Owners Club to benefit from a huge amount of knowledge and years of combined experience!