Land Rover gives back the best Valentine's day present

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This year Land Rover is showing what Valentine's Day can mean for a man, turning a heart-warming and heart-felt Trade Me listing into the ultimate Valentine's Day gift for four Kiwi blokes.

Christened The Landy by the four Otago University mates 15 years ago, the listing reluctantly offered their beaten up 1957 Series I Land Rover for sale.

It told the story of their many adventures and their sorrow at parting with their beloved vehicle.


While Will, Jeremy, Anthony and James thought they were closing a chapter with the sale, fate intervened, when the team at Land Rover NZ read the ad and a covert operation was hatched, complete with undercover transactions, secret meetings and a painstakingly thorough mechanical restoration.

Now the four mates, who created many memories together in the Land Rover during their years together as Scarfies, have been reunited with The Landy, restored beyond its former glory and ready for more adventures.

"When we came across the ad, we loved the story behind the truck," said Land Rover New Zealand Marketing Manager, James McKee.

"A heart-warming tale accompanied the listing, documenting the many journeys and stories this Land Rover has been part of and just how much the vehicle meant to the four mates."


The Land Rover mid restoration.

The Valentine's Day project helps celebrate the final year of production of the current Land Rover Defender model, the direct descendent of the Series 1 Land Rover.

With Land Rover Series I, II and III and Defenders tucked away in corners all over New Zealand, 2015 also marks the end of an era for thousands of Kiwis who have their own memories of adventures and journeys they've experienced in the Land Rover models.

"Sitting around with your mates and dreaming up adventures is something that most Kiwis will connect with and that's certainly true for these four lads. 


The Land Rover mid restoration.

One of the most exciting aspects of the project is just how excited they are to get back behind the wheel of The Landy and head off to together, and now with their own growing families, to tick off more adventures," added McKee. 

The Landy has been restored by Tony Katterns and his team at Custom Metal Shapers in East Tamaki, specialists in the restoration of classic vehicles.

The Landy was then taken on a whistle-stop tour of Central Otago to relive some of the original adventures Will showcased in his TradeMe ad before returning to Auckland just in time for Will's wife Claire to hide it in the shed, ready to unveil it to the four unsuspecting mates, as their ultimate Valentine's Day present.


The boys reunited with their long lost Land Rover.

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