Land Rover owners make tracks for annual Mid-Atlantic Rally.
1 of 17
Range Rover Classic and Land Rover Series III 109 Safari.
All photos courtesy of David Short
2 of 17
The oldest Land Rover club in North America, ROAV was founded in 1975.
3 of 17
Sam Shiu (Highland Park, NJ) and his Land Rover LR3.
photo by Morgan Michelon
4 of 17
Justin Monin and the Lucky 8 Team conducting their vehicle roll over class. Land Rover Discovery II (White), Range Rover Classic (green).
5 of 17
Jeff Bang (Staunton, VA) looks on with his camera as the Lucky 8 team conducts their vehicle recovering class.
6 of 17
Jeff Aronson (Vinylhaven, ME) of Rovers North Magazine came down to cover the event but ended up doing a little trail maintenance to sort out this Range Rover Classic with a wet ignition system.
7 of 17
Vanessa Fagen (Willis, VA) takes her Land Rover Discovery 1 through some paces.
8 of 17
Anna Crowther (Lynchburg, VA) riding in Raub Robinson's (Stuart, FL) Land Rover Defender Tithonous Edition.
9 of 17
John Eversley (Winder, GA) standing next to his Range Rover P38 with Trey Crowther (Lynchburg, VA).
10 of 17
Stuart Moore's 1960's era Land Rover Series II parked next to Land Rover Richmond's demonstrator - a new Range rover Evoque.
11 of 17
Len Fagen (Willis, VA) drives his Land Rover Series II "Bug Eye".
12 of 17
13 of 17
The club’s two annual rallies—the fall event at Wheatland and a similar gathering in the spring at Wintergreen—draw Rover enthusiasts from all over the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
14 of 17
Butt Mountain Fire Tower.
15 of 17
Ray Gerber (Alexandria, VA) and his dog.
16 of 17
Jona Fagen, Vanessa Fagen, and Scout look on as Chuck Yarbourough (Lynchburg, VA) makes his way through the mud in his Land Rover Discovery II. (Also pictured is David Short's Land Rover Series II 109 Stage One).
17 of 17
Range Rover Classic - Hunter Edition.
After days of soaking rain, it was a mud bath Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at the 700-acre Wheatland Farm in Giles County during the Rovers Owners’ Association of Virginia’s (ROAV) annual Mid-Atlantic Rally (MAR). But that was a good thing.
More than 250 attendees driving 125 Rovers new and old—from the iconic marque’s newest and hottest model, the Range Rover Evoque, to a classic 1960 Series 1 Land Rover—converged on the rain-soaked campsite for four days of technical driving and fellowship with like-minded fans of the brand.
“It’s a simple pleasure, driving a truck through mud and fields,” says club president Bob Steele, principal at BOB Architecture in Richmond and owner of more than 30 Rovers over his 20-plus years in the club. “Life is too short, you’ve got to enjoy yourself.”
The oldest Land Rover club in North America, ROAV was founded in 1975. The club’s two annual rallies—the fall event at Wheatland and a similar gathering in the spring at Wintergreen—draw Rover enthusiasts from all over the U.S., Canada and the U.K. “In Land Rover circles everyone knows about ROAV,” says Steele. “We’ve been doing this for so long, we have a really wonderful and diverse group of people from CEOs and politicians to families with kids and dogs.”
One of the club’s longtime members, Sam Moore whose family has owned Wheatland for more than 100 years, has provided the venue for MAR for the last 10 years. In exchange, the club organizes a half dozen work weekends each year to maintain the property, including keeping the fire and service roads clear. “We do our best to be good stewards of the environment,” says Steele.
David Short, a firefighter in Sterling and the club’s treasurer, says, “The neat thing with this event is that it’s not just the old trucks that show up, it’s the new ones too, so it ties together all of the different models into the heritage of the brand.”
Driving activities include a recovery session put on by Lucky 8, a Rover parts vendor from New York, that teaches skills for when a vehicle rolls or turns over or has an emergency, and Road Taxed Vehicle Trials (RTV)—a competition popular in the U.K. in which drivers negotiate their vehicles through courses. Steele says the rally holds equal appeal for road warriors (not looking to mud it up) and those seeking more aggressive driving on the mountain.
Says Steele, “I don’t think there is ever a dull moment at this event.” Catch the next rally April 14-16, 2017 at Wintergreen. Oh, and bring a hose.
Membership in the Rover Owners Association of Virginia is open to all Rover enthusiasts and costs $20 per year. For more information about joining the club or participating in its events, go to ROAV.org