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Onelife 25

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Look back at the birth of the original Land Rover | How Land Rover has driven adventure and scientific exploration | GQ Editor Dylan Jones talks inspiration with Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern | Exploring the potential impact of electrification and connected vehicles | Tackling the 999 steep steps up to Heaven’s Gate in China


ON A PERSONAL NOTE A lifetime of exploration: Sir Ranulph Fiennes knows better than most what it takes to truly go above and beyond IN SEARCH OF ADVENTURE Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the world’s greatest living explorer, reflects on his countless experiences with Land Rover vehicles, from his early days in the army, to his intrepid expeditions across the globe PHOTOGRAPHY: SAM BARKER/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES, PRIVATE I still remember the first time I sat behind the wheel of a Land Rover. It was 1963 and I was based in Germany with the British army. One night, during a night-time exercise, we had to make a rapid exit. I insisted on driving. However, the ride was bumpier than I had imagined, and at one point we just missed a tree trunk, meaning that this lovely long wheelbase Land Rover ended up in a ditch. Fortunately, both car and occupants were okay, but it did cost me more than a month’s salary. Ever since then, Land Rover vehicles have accompanied me on countless adventures around the globe, from the Bering Strait to the White Nile and the deserts of Oman. Together, we’ve broken world records, endured intense heat, bitter cold and traversed some of the world’s most aweinspiring, remote landscapes. The one that probably stands out the most was our quest to find the lost city of Ubar, the Atlantis of the Sands – a search that lasted almost 25 years. We first started in 1968 and, by the mid-80s, we had made five separate expeditions into the remote deserts of Oman. I wanted to give up, but my late wife Ginny was adamant: that wasn’t an option. Eventually, in 1992, we cracked it at the eighth attempt. After persevering for so long, it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment. People often ask what drives me to circumnavigate the globe, cross both poles or complete seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. The opportunity to raise money for charity is a huge motivator. There have been numerous occasions when I’ve really been suffering myself, and this has helped drive me on. I’ve also often found myself turning to the people I respect most: I imagine my father and grandfather are watching and I don’t want to let them down by giving in. Never let anything inhibit your sense of adventure, but being adventurous doesn’t mean being reckless. Entering the unknown can be a daunting prospect, but you have to be sensible. Over the years, we’ve aborted 40 percent of our record attempts, before taking stock and trying again. It took me five years and three attempts to make it up Everest. It’s a learning process and sometimes success after failure can be even more satisfying. Over the years, I’ve discovered that finding the right people to accompany you is incredibly important – not only to ensure the success of an expedition, but also because sharing these experiences can make them more memorable. And selecting the right equipment can be just as crucial. For me, Land Rover stands for the ultimate in reliability – during my five decades of exploration, it’s proven one of the most dependable ways of getting from almost any imaginable A to B, with a bit of help from a pickax. This special issue of Onelife is a celebration of 70 years of that special Land Rover spirit, an unbreakable desire to go above and beyond and explore the world’s many wonders. Sir Ranulph Fiennes 9


Land Rover

Land Rover Magazine 39


Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go above and beyond

Land Rover stands for not only the most capable premium vehicles, but a state of mind where a sense of curiosity, exploration and wonder informs all of life’s adventures. Encounter this throughout the latest issue of Land Rover Magazine, from meeting a herd of Ice Age survivors on the Dutch coast with the Land Rover Discovery, to the most innovative sustainable architecture on a Californian journey with the Range Rover Evoque

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