6 April 2023

Land Rovers descend on Cooma for celebrations

| Gail Eastaway
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Bruce Wetton and his Land Rovers

Bruce Wetton, from Fraser Coast, Qld, attended the Land Rover 70th anniversary event in 2018. This year he has brought his 2002 extra cab, specially designed for him, as well as his 1954 Land Rover. Photo Gail Eastaway.

A team of volunteers, especially members of the Cooma Car Club, have been toiling away all week in preparation for the 75th anniversary celebrations of Land Rover in Australia, to be held this weekend.

Cooma Car Club has been the focus of the preparation, with literally thousands of welcome packs being assembled for the anniversary participants.

In something resembling a military operation, other volunteers have been busy erecting marquees and tents at the showgrounds for the vehicle displays.

More than 1100 people have registered for the weekend. Many will be camping at the Cooma Showground or Ti Tree Racecourse for the weekend, with an expected 5000 to 6000 people visiting Cooma and the region for either the whole Easter weekend or at least for the grand street parade on Sunday.

The town has been slowly filling with Land Rovers of many descriptions all week.

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Cooma Car Club president Rogan Corbett said this weekend’s event should match the 70th anniversary event.

He expected to have more than 600 vehicles in Sunday’s parade, which is tipped to take about three hours to complete.

He said with so many day trips organised, other towns and villages in the region would receive a welcome economic boost.

As of Tuesday (4 April), more than 100 participants had booked the day trip to Delegate, much to the delight of local caterers in the village.

The celebrations will begin today (Thursday 6 April), as participants are welcomed to town, and will continue until Monday 10 April.

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The weekend’s events will include club day trips, as well as the 75th Special Land Rover Mystery drive.

There will be a display of the vehicles at Cooma Showground on Saturday and Sunday, the street procession on Sunday and a farewell breakfast on Monday.

Land Rover 75th Cooma sets out to showcase the best examples of the Land Rover in all its guises – renovated, restored, rare conversions, military derivatives, bespoke conversions and more.

The star of the show will be Oxford, the Series 1 from the 1st Overland Expedition in 1955 which will be on the Classic Land Rover stand along with many other unique Land Rovers from around Australia and the world.

Special guests this year include Mike Bishop from Jaguar Land Rover Classic UK, Nick Dimbleby, worldwide motor sport photojournalist and Bob Ives, winner of the 1989 Camel Trophy Amazon Jungle event for the UK.

Two gala dinners will be held on Saturday and Sunday nights.

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