Marley’s Land Rover restored for his 70th birthday
JUST in time for his 70th birthday, Marley’s iconic Land Rover is ready to ride again!
The matte-blue 1977 Series III Land Rover, which fell into a state of disrepair following the singer’s death over 30 years ago, has been completely restored from clutch to chassis thanks to the Caribbean’s leading resort company Sandals Resorts International, ATL Automotive, ITC — the regional distributors for Land Rover as well as the Marley clan.
Adam Stewart, Chief Executive Officer for Sandals Resorts International, said that he was immensely honoured and proud that his team could give something back to a man who had given so much, not just to the Jamaica, but the world.
“Bob really raised the profile of our nation, and we felt the greatest gift we could give to him was to restore his original Land Rover to its former glory. Marley’s Land Rover is one of the most famous vehicles in automotive history and we were delighted when the opportunity arose to be a part of its restoration. For us, it has been an unbelievable privilege working with the entire Marley family and to reunite them with the same vehicle they rode around in as children is something we were only too pleased to do,” said Stewart.
ATL Automotive Limited, the exclusive dealer for the Land Rover brand in Jamaica, worked intensely with ITC representatives on the two-year renovation project to source parts as far as Africa and England, locales where Marley himself had strong presence.
“Our journey to restoring this vehicle took us to some places where Marley himself had strong ties, making the project even more meaningful,” said Stewart.
“The engine came from Ethiopia whilst other parts were sourced from England, and those we couldn’t find were hand crafted and rebuilt by our own Jamaican team,” he added.
Stewart also added that whilst the ATL team handled all the muscle work, it was the contribution of Marley’s first-born daughter and internationally acclaimed fashion designer, Cedella, that gave the project its final authenticity.
“We stripped the vehicle down to its shell, rebuilding it piece by piece, but it was Cedella who gave it the Marley touch, designing and upholstering the interior in a modern Rasta aesthetic, a fashion we’re sure her dad would absolutely love,” said Stewart.
Cedella shared her honour in being involved in the restoration project citing it was the perfect gift for her dad’s birthday: “In this 70th year, the Defender’s return to its home is in perfect timing as we celebrate all aspects of our father Bob Marley on his birthday today. The Marley family thanks ATL, ITC and Sandals for this labour of love. I would also like to thank Bali and Rohan for their vision, which is now a reality,” she said.
Marley’s Land Rover will be returned to the legend’s home-turned-museum, located at 56 Hope Road in Kingston, where it will be unveiled in grand fashion at a reggae concert on the singer’s birthday today. The vehicle will also be a part of several celebrations around the Caribbean island.