THE GREAT ADVENTURE
SQP (Lausanne, Switz.), 1993, 206 pages, $65.00.
The adventure in question is the Camel Trophy, the "Olympics of 4 wheel drive", and this very handsome book is a welcome (albeit pricey) addition to any Camel and Land Rover aficionado's library.
If you are looking for a comprehensive history of the event, this is not where you will find it. This officially sanctioned production (conceived by Eric Tschumi, directed by Claire Vauthier-Neyroud and Bruno Maumene, and produced by Michel Parvis) is a caption-free, large-format (24x35 cm.) photo book of stunning quality. A couple of paragraphs in English, French and German present a thumbnail sketch of each Camel Trophy from 1980 through 1993. An appendix lists all the teams and results. Completed in Dec. 1993, the book includes a section on the 1994 Andean event, including photos of vehicles scouting the route, but obviously no results.
The first Camel Trophy used Jeeps and consisted of only three German teams who would never have guessed that they would create a world-renowned annual event. Since then, up to twenty nations have participated, always using Land Rover products, from Range Rovers to 90s and 110s (and one instance of Series III 88s). The 1990 Siberian event introduced the Discovery which has been used ever since.
Among the stunning photos are a stupendous bridge- building feat in Brazil, a Zairian gorilla studying the Rover convoy as it enters the depths of the jungle, a driver up to his shoulders in water in Borneo, the Swiss team giggling atop their overturned 110 in Australia, and the Dutch Disco falling through a make-shift bridge in Sabah, not to mention scores of other seemingly unsolvable problems -- which were all solved by the team spirit, ingenuity and cooperation that is the Camel Trophy adventure.
The book can be special-ordered through progressive bookstores, or direct from the publisher: Camel Trophy-- SQP SA, P.O. Box 129, 1025 St. Sulpice, Switzerland; tel 41.21.691.05.95; fax 41.21.691.06. They accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Diners.
Review by T.F. Mills
Reprinted from the Solihull Society Newsletter, March/April 1995