As part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, Land Rover today launches 'Born in Lode Lane' – a book written by one of Britain's best known motoring journalists, Gavin Green – which brings together 'behind-the-scenes' recollections of Land Rover's history and anecdotes from long-serving employee, Roger Crathorne.
Roger Crathorne, a Land Rover employee of over 45 years was born in April 1947 in Solihull Hospital, one mile away from what was to become Land Rover's historic manufacturing plant on Lode Lane – the same month that the Wilks Brothers conceived the first ever Land Rover vehicle. Having served as an engineer for 15 years, he is now widely regarded as one of the best off-road Land Rover drivers and instructors and is expert in demonstrating the vehicles' all-terrain capabilities.
He has trained Royalty, was integrally involved in the development of the original Range Rover, turned off-road driving into a science and travelled all four corners of the globe – from the muddy tracks of Eastnor Castle, to central American volcanoes and the Sahara sand hills. Some of his amazing stories have been brought to life in 'Born in Lode Lane'.
"Although never in senior management, Roger is known to many – Royalty, senior military officers, explorers, customers, journalists and myself – as 'Mr Land Rover'. It therefore seemed fitting that his memories of life with Land Rover be documented to mark the Company’s anniversary year," said Phil Popham, managing director, Land Rover.
The book is interspersed with interviews undertaken by Roger with the likes of Phil Popham, Spen King, the Father of the Range Rover, and renowned explorer and adventurer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes – all of which provide a unique insight into Land Rover's past 60 years and into its future.
'Born in Lode Lane' is available to buy from Monday, April 28 from Land Rover Gear – www.landrovergearshop.com – priced at £12.50. Proceeds will go to the British Red Cross.Published 24 April 2008