The Dunsfold Collection Open Weekend 2015
Our Open Weekend on June 13/14th 2015 was a tremendous success and we would like to thank all of you who joined us at what was arguably our biggest and most successful show so far. Highlights of the show included what we think was the largest ever gathering of pre-production Series 1 Land Rovers – thirteen of these rare and desirable vehicles were on display.
We exhibited over 120 vehicles from the Dunsfold Collection and these, together with the vehicles on the many Land Rover club stands and those displayed by other exhibitors, ensured there was an extraordinary range of Land Rover vehicles to see and enjoy. Vehicles were exhibited by the Land Rover 1948-53 Register, the Land Rover Series One Club, the Land Rover Series Two Club, the 9 x 9 Group, Chiltern Vale Land Rover Club, the Land Rover 101 Forward Control Club & Register, the Land Rover Special Vehicles & Defender 130 Club, the British Military Vehicle Group, The CVC Register, the Camel Trophy Owners’ Club, the Barry Pocock Collection, Convoy for Heroes, One Ton Land Rover Register, The Mike Rivett Collection, Southern Rover Owners’ Club, the Rolling Thunder Vietnam War Display Group, South Coast Land Rover Owners’ Club and many private owners.
We were delighted to see Brian Bashall, who founded the Dunsfold Collection way back in 1968. Brian was able to tour the site and his many old friends were very pleased to welcome him. We were also honoured to welcome the many visitors from abroad, some of whom came from as far afield as Australia, and we were also pleased to meet the journalists from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and the UK who were invited by Jaguar Land Rover.
It was also a great pleasure to meet so many current and ex-Land Rover people and we would like to thank David Sneath, Dave Harlow, Graham Archer, Mike Gould and Charles Whittaker for their illuminating guided tours of the vehicles in the Collection that they have been associated with over the years. We were also pleased to welcome Nick Rogers, Group Engineering Director for JLR, and ‘Mr Land Rover’ himself, Roger Crathorne.
Roger was very busy all weekend searching out vehicles and their owners that might be invited to participate in an exciting event at this year’s Goodwood Revival on September 11-13th .To commemorate the first Land Rover in 1948, which was also the year that racing began at Goodwood, and to mark the end of Defender production (or at least, Defender as we currently know and love it!) JLR are planning to parade 50 vehicles around the circuit on each of the Revival’s three days. Roger had the happy task of drawing-up the long list by handing out Golden Tickets to the vehicles he considered appropriate for the parade and the Goodwood organisers will make the final selection in the coming weeks.
As well as allowing us to display the vehicles we have in our Collection, the event is primarily about fund-raising and we were gratified to receive a donation of £1,000 from the Land Rover Series One Club. One exhibitor committed to joining our ‘Wall of Fame’ as a Platinum Supporter and many other enthusiasts of the marque joined as Silver and Bronze supporters or became Friends of the Collection. Their generosity is much appreciated and will help us preserve our unique collection of vehicles for future generations.
As usual, Philip Bashall toured the display to decide which vehicles would receive awards and this year he confessed to having to make several inspections before making his final decisions, such was the breadth and quality of the vehicles brought by our visitors. The winners were:
Bashall’s Best: Dave Wickens for his Land Rover Series 1 80” military 2350 PK
Best Leaf-sprung vehicle: Nick Parr for his Series 1 107” Station Wagon) SYF 274
Best Non Leaf-sprung vehicle: Lee Haines for his early Range Rover P38a M606 CVC
Best factory development vehicle: Nigel Withers for his pre-production Series 1 GWD 501
Best display: the Land Rover Register 1948-53 for the superb line-up of pre-production Series 1 80” vehicles
Spirit of the Event: awarded to the Friends of the Collection
The trustees decided to make the final award to the Friends of the Collection. We rely heavily on volunteers from among the Friends of the Collection and the Social Section who work tirelessly throughout the weekend to ensure everything went well. The weekend takes a huge amount of planning and organising, and the task of retrieving over 120 Collection vehicles from storage, getting them running and delivering them to the site is not for the faint hearted! We could not hold the Open Weekend without their dedication and support and we are most grateful to them all and particularly to Colleen and Nick.
We will announce our plans for the next Open Weekend on the website in due course and we look forward to seeing you there, but in the meantime you can find out where Collection vehicles will be on display by clicking on the ‘News’ tab on the website.
Philip Bashall Richard Beddall Gary Pusey
Trustees, The Dunsfold Collection
What some of our visitors had to say about the Open Weekend:
“Just to say thanks for a great weekend at the Dunsfold Open Weekend. It was well worth the trip over from Belgium to see those beautiful Land Rovers”. JS, Belgium
“Just wanted to say, as a first time visitor to this year’s weekend, what a fantastic day my wife and I had. Perfect atmosphere, fantastic vehicles and a cracking day out. Thank you to EVERYONE that made this a fantastic day out for my wife and I”. G&KR, Dorset
“The best Dunsfold Open weekend ever! Congratulations to all involved!” JA
“Brilliant show. We had a great time camping!” DS
“Fantastic show and met lots of old friends. Thanks for all the organisation it must have taken”. MG