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Camel Trophy - The Definitive History | Media Reviews

book on the camel trophy

4X4 Magazine, January 2022

'Published by Porter Press International, this might 336-page hardback publication brooks no argument in its claim to be definitive. Lavishly illustrated and printed on high-quality paper (it weighs almost 2.5kg), you could 'read' it from cover to cover without taking in any words at all. But get into the text and it will quickly become apparent that this is no mere picture book - the breadth and depth of the author's knowledge and research is nothing short of formidable.

In addition to the year-by-year story of each edition of the Trophy, separate chapters go into detail about the people, the vehicles and even the trophies handed out to the winners. Intriguingly, the author also looks in great depth at the selections and infrastructure behind the scenes, as well as the pre-scouting required to create suitable routes for and event which, in its heyday, was a massive international undertaking. 

The Camel Trophy was regarded with scepticism in some quarters, as any event rooted in marketing, far less marketing cigarettes, inevitably will. Whatever your view, however, the off-roading was every bit as punishing on people and vehicles alike as the iconic pictures, many of which you'll find in this book suggest  and the sheer effort that went into making it happen yields no end of eye-opening stories.

Camel Trophy: The Definitive History is priced at £60, with a limited-run Collector's Edition at £120 and a Unique Edition at a price to be confirmed. An extraordinary price, perhaps, but this is an extraordinary book, one which means it's unlikely that anyone else will try to tell the story of the Camel Trophy again.'

Classic Cars, Issue 582, January 2022

'It's about time someone wrote in depth about the Camel Trophy, and Nick Dimbleby has excelled himself here. The Trophy was an iconic event that immediately conjures up images of Sandglow Yellow Land Rovers tested to their limits in remote areas of the globe but, as you read Dimbleby's absorbing tome, it's unlikely you'll be aware of the full story unless you're a committed off-roading enthusiast. 

And yet, every rallying fan deserves to know the Trophy's story because, as this book reveals, it's unique. It draws on as many sources as possible, from former competitors to the Land Rover organisers who made it all happen. Despite appearances, the event wasn't actually a Dakar-style rally, but rather an adventure open only to genuine amateurs - no professional drivers or armed forces personnel were allowed to take part. Which makes the ensuing feats of exploration and endurance - illustrated with period photos so dazzling clear they might as well have been taken yesterday - even more remarkable. The most surprising motor sport book you'll read this year.'

Book of the Month, Issue 223, Octane, January 2022

'...this is no mere picture book - enthralling though the hundreds of photographs are. Besides covering each event in detail, Dimbleby has interviewed dozens of personnel and participants, so there are chapters on people as well as vehicles, and on the reconnaissance missions, the trials held to select competitors, the background infrastructure, and the legacy that 'the Camel' has left behind - notably the G4 Challenge that superseded it but never quite captured the imagination like its predecessor, whose Sandglow-painted vehicles have spawned a thousand replicas. While it's not particularly cheap at £60, this is without doubt the definitive history of the definitive Land Rover event. Highly recommended.' MD

Classic Car Mart, January 2022

'Published by Porter Press, already well known for its definitive and lavishly produced automotive histories. Camel Trophy is written by journalist and photographer Nick Dimbleby, an official photographer on the last four events. The title includes over 950 unique photos, many not seen before and interviews with the key figures behind the event.'

Rovers Magazine, Holiday 2021

'The brilliant photographer and author has just published Camel Trophy: The Definitive History - a tribute that should appeal to every enthusiast.'

Land Rover Monthly, December 2021

'If YOU only buy one Land Rover thing for yourself this year then this should be it. Nick Dimbleby's lockdown labour of love is this incredible book packed with never seen before images and the result of many interviews and hours and hours of research. Plus experience too of course as Nick was one of the official event photographers.'

Best of British, November 2021

'Dimbleby's fabulous photography from his personal involvement offers some amazing insight into the people, machines, conditions, and laces he encountered. It's possible you will never complain about local potholes again.'

Auto Express, October 2021

'YOU probably won't find a more complete volume on the Camel Trophy expeditions, written by former event photographer and boasting extensive reports on each trip. It's beautifully produced and packed with great photos. The profiles on the competing cars and drivers make for welcome reading and the book's very well written.'

The Mud Life Magazine, Issue 31, October 2021

'Nick's new book contains chapters on selections, the infrastructure and pre-scouts, and provides a fascinating insight into how the Camel Trophy events were put together. There's also technical specifications and insights into the design and build of the Land Rovers Jeeps and RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) used.

'Nick's book is a must-have buy for every Land Rover and Camel Trophy enthusiast.'

Retro Speed

''Author Nick Dimbleby is passionate about Land Rovers, he works for the company and has been involved with Cael Trophy since forever. In this book he pays tribute to behind-the-scenes organising staff, past competitors, some sadly no longer with us, and those dedicated souls who travelled with the circus, whose purpose was to dig cars out of deep holes, build makeshift bridges and, in their spare time, make sure each event was faithfully recorded. They did well, as far as i can see, nothing has been left out.'