Gaydon, 27 July 2001 - With the hit movie Tomb Raider pulling in the audiences, fans of the film's heroine, Lara Croft can see the actual Land Rover Defender driven by actress Angelina Jolie at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon.
The specially-modified Defender will be on display in a special exhibition from 28 July. The Tomb Raider vehicle is based on a Defender 110 High Capacity Pick Up and looks ready for action in its grey paintwork while aluminium chequer plate protects the vehicle from knocks and scrapes. Special features fitted to enable Lara Croft to fulfill her role include a full roll cage with storage for maps, first aid kit and other equipment. The roll cage also acts as a mounting for the spare wheel and four driving lights while two further driving lights, are fitted to the front nudge bar. A snorkel air intake is fitted to enable Lara's vehicle to operate in extreme terrain. Ultimate off-road capability is assured by heavy-duty under shields and side-mounted 'rock sliders'. The Defender is also fitted with a de-mountable self-recovery winch with 'plug in' locations around the vehicle. For Lara's comfort a pair of rally-style seats with full racing harnesses are fitted. The functional dashboard provides a mounting for Lara's computer and mobile phone.
Production of the Tomb Raider film commenced in mid 2000 and was based at Pinewood Studios in Hertfordshire, UK. As well as being used at Pinewood, the vehicle was filmed at other locations in the UK and also in Cambodia for the jungle scenes. Tomb Raider was directed by Simon West and also stars Iain Glen, veteran actor Leslie Phillips and Red Dwarf star Chris Barrie. In the film
Lara Croft, daughter of Lord Croft, played by Angelina's real-life father Jon Voight, is tasked with rescuing the two halves of an ancient artefact hidden in Siberia and in a Cambodian tomb.
Possession of the artefact at the time of a planetary alignment that occurs only every 9,000 years endows the holder with supernatural powers. Lara employs the Defender in a race against the forces of evil for possession of the artefact.
Audio-visual displays alongside the Tomb Raider Defender will include a demonstration of the Land Rover Tomb Raider website, showings of Tomb Raider cinematic trailers, and the video of the U2 hit Elevation – the Tomb Raider theme song. The Land Rover Tomb Raider limited edition TV advertisement will also be screened. Tomb Raider souvenirs will also be on sale in the Heritage Motor Centre shop.
The Heritage Motor Centre is the home of more than 300 vehicles charting the history of the British motor industry from the 1890s. Set in 65 acres of parkland and conveniently close to the M40 and major tourist areas of Stratford and Oxford the Heritage Motor Centre provides the visitor with all-round family entertainment with an off-road track, quad bikes and a roadway to give children their first experience in driving a car. The Heritage Motor Centre is also home to a growing number of conferences and special events.Published 28 July 2001