Just how long has the Land Rover Own­ers Club of South Africa been around?


Fifty five years is a long time for any­thing to be around, never mind a group of en­thu­si­asts for a sin­gle brand. The LROCSA is South­ern Africa’s old­est 4x4 club, and it also has the hon­our of be­ing one of the old­est Land Rover clubs in the world. At­tie Smit ex­plains that in 1960, when the club was of­fi­cially formed, the process of be­com­ing an of­fi­cially recog­nised club in­volved sub­mit­ting reg­is­tra­tion doc­u­ments to Land Rover’s head of­fice in Soli­hull. How­ever, he ad­mits that there is con­tention about the Scot­tish LROC be­ing older. Back then the Rover Com­pany Ltd started the of­fi­cial Land Rover Own­ers Club in the UK af­ter see­ing the large num­ber of proud Land Rover own­ers in the coun­try. It took this so se­ri­ously that the club was even as­signed a full-time rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the man­u­fac­turer. It also meant that for­eign clubs could register with the fac­tory and au­to­mat­i­cally gain af­fil­i­a­tion with the of­fi­cial and orig­i­nal Land Rover Own­ers Club. In the 50s, the Scot­tish mem­bers of the orig­i­nal LROC sought in­de­pen­dence, and their wish was even­tu­ally granted in 1958. A Scot­tish Sec­tor was formed, and given of­fi­cial recog­ni­tion. High-rank­ing mem­bers of the par­ent club at­tended Scot­tish Sec­tor an­nual gen­eral meet­ings and events, and the sale of of­fi­cial Land Rover para­pher­na­lia. How­ever, the in­ex­orable march of time saw Rover tak­ing things into its own hands. In 1966 the Bri­tish brand hosted a meet­ing with all ar­eas in which LROC UK had mem­bers. This re­sulted in the for­ma­tion of the Rover Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, of which the sep­a­rate ar­eas of the LROC would be­come af­fil­i­ated clubs. Scot­tish mem­bers un­suc­cess­fully voted against this change, and in the fol­low­ing year reg­is­tered with the Royal Au­to­mo­bile Club to be a sep­a­rate en­tity – the Scot­tish Land Rover Own­ers Club. On that tech­ni­cal­ity, then, the South African club could be the old­est. It has been around in its cur­rent form since 1960, while the Scots – de­spite be­ing an of­fi­cial off­shoot since 1958 – only reg­is­tered as an in­de­pen­dent club much later.

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