In the classic scene we distinguish trailer queens and the work horses that tow them around. Sturdy work horses who often carry their own heritage. The noble Land Rover is a classic example.

Shortly after the second world war comes to an end, Britains agricultural community longs for a means of transport which is truly fit for multiple purposes. War time production left the Rover factories with a substantial over capacity. It is in these empty factory halls that brothers Maurice and Spencer Wilks strip down a left behind Willys Jeep, copy the blueprint and priggishly British improve on parts of the engineering. The result of their copy paste approach is the very first Land Rover. A denomination driven by the conviction the vehicle would be mainly used on the land. ‘For the farmen, the countryman’ the first brochure read. The rest is history. Two million cars produced turned it into an icon of the automotive world. The utmost example of versatility and endurance. No wonder the last example came of the line in 2016 at the same Solihull plant where it all started 70 years earlier. It’s large wheels, four wheel drive and cleverly engineered gear box turned it into a friend of all those who travel where roads aren’t available or need to tow heavy goods.

Daphny van den Ing’s LaRo doesn’t have to haul heavy goods. In daily life Daphny is a maritime painter and designer, which she performs in a very refined manner. It seems a bit odd that it is someone like her who truly loves a car as rowdy as the Land Rover. Actually it is all her dads fault. Working as a ship builder he takes to driving the almighty Rover at quite a young age. With a second child coming the first 88 inch vehicle is replaced by the longer wheel base version.

This is Land Rover that takes the family around the world. From the canal boat that is their home, to far away countries on one of their long travels. Even the rest of the family is bitten by the same bug, an uncle and aunt drive an 88 of their own. Sadly the engine blows a drive shaft on their way to Germany. On three remaining cilinders the car is driven back to their house, where it is put away. Later Daphny’s father buys the car and donates it to his then 16 year old girl. The car undergoes some thorough revision, new leaf springs, new dampers and of course a new four cilinder engine. A hard top finishes it all.

Daphny likes to thing her Series IIA, the Bug Eye, as this type is known in the scene, doesn’t have to be kept in factory spec. Land Rovers are cars made for heavy duty, those who perform duties like that carry the traces. So does this Land Rover. The outside clearly shows 50 years of hard labour. Every ent, every scratch has its own story, a heritage you don’t want to polish out. This car is very much alive! When necessary, Daphny repaints parts of the car by herself. With a brush obviously. That shows, it should show. This Land Rover ia like an old man with a well lived true face. Grooved and cracked but with an unmistakable charm. A piece of her own artwork on the hardtop recognises this car as being hers without a doubt. A great contrast, the artist with the fine brush and the rowdy four wheeler. This is true love. A love she of course captured on paper in a series of beautiful drawings. Normally it is nothing but ships she draws, but quietly the appeal of drawing beautiful cars has found her interested. She is open for commissions, just so you should know. By these beautiful drawing this noble work horse has turned into a bit of a nobleman itself. One to put in a frame.
Martin Philippo