REWRIT­ING HIS­TORY

We re­veal im­por­tant ev­i­dence that sug­gests the Cen­tre Steer pro­to­type may still ex­ist

Land Rover Monthly - - Upfront - ED­I­TOR DAVE PHILLIPS

“It’s com­pelling ev­i­dence that the Holy Grail of Land Rovers is prob­a­bly still in ex­is­tence”

The star­tling Candy Ap­ple Green Ninety on this month’s front cover cer­tainly stands out from the crowd, but if you stood it along­side the orig­i­nal Cen­tre Steer pro­to­type of 1947 you’d still be able to spot the fam­ily re­sem­blance. Ev­ery Land Rover ever built can trace its DNA back to that near-myth­i­cal ma­chine.

Noth­ing di­vides opin­ions among Land Rover en­thu­si­asts more than the ex­is­tence, or oth­er­wise, of the Cen­tre Steer. Some say it was left in a cor­ner of the fac­tory be­fore be­ing scrapped, oth­ers say it was saved from the scrap yard by an em­ployee with a sense of his­tory (and that even to­day it is hid­den in a garage in the Mid­lands).

Well, this month we can state cat­e­gor­i­cally that it wasn’t scrapped at the Soli­hull fac­tory, be­cause we have the first-hand tes­ti­mony of a man who saw it af­ter it had left the fac­tory. Gra­ham Nash was only a lad when he was taken by his fa­ther and un­cle to see it, but he re­mem­bers it clearly. And he can also re­mem­ber where it was and who was tak­ing care of it on be­half of the se­nior Rover man­ager who had sanc­tioned its res­cue.

It’s com­pelling ev­i­dence that the Holy Grail of Land Rovers is prob­a­bly still in ex­is­tence. Af­ter all, hav­ing been saved, who would then de­cide to de­stroy it? That would be il­log­i­cal. Read all about it on page 94 and draw your own con­clu­sions.

Mean­while, en­joy sum­mer in your Land Rover. I’ve just re­turned from a bril­liant break in North Nor­folk with my 1984 Ninety and had a great time (page 54). As al­ways, happy Land Rover­ing.

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