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Three Men in a Land Rover Book Reviews

Book on Land Rover adventure

Land Rover Monthly, March 2024

'This fascinating tale of adventure tells the story of 'Waxy' Wainwright, Mike Palmer and Chris Wall, three young men who set off through Europe, Asia and Africa on the trip of a lifetime in 'Ten', their 1964 Series IIA. The book's 208 pages are packed with 270 photos, press cuttings and documents from the epic trek, as the men battle rough terrain, navigate political unrest and even find themselves held at gunpoint.'

The Landy, February 2024

'This was overland travel at its most straightforward, with none of the comforts we consider essential today. Kohler's Land Rover was not modified or accessorised, and he carried little with him aside from the absolute essentials needed to survive and keep the vehicle running. 

He did, however, take a camera. And the result was a fabulous set of images documenting not just the expedition itself but his life before and afterwards. These appear liberally throughout the book, along with an astonishing collection of personal documents — letters, tickets, receipts, passports and more — illustrating a story whose richness of breadth and depth is hard to comprehend.'

'...this magnificent book is a superb testament to a man, and his Land Rover, whose lives should serve a true inspiration to all those who dream of seeing the world.'

CAR magazine

'Little can be said apart from this being one of the most eye-opening and fascinating publications I’ve ever come across. You are immersed in what places such as communist Prague, the Middle East, Afghanistan, India, Thailand, and the spine of Africa used to look like 50 years ago. Quite sadly, the closing chapter details that due to political unrest and turmoil, the same journey couldn’t be done again today.

'It’s a great book for car spotting as well. Images of cities flooded with cars and people reveals some great gems. From Renault Dauphines in Morocco to Chevrolet Bel Airs in Turkey, you get a gripping sense of what tourism used to be like. As for TEN, you can’t help but admire how much of an incredible journey that Landie faced. It became the moving symbol of the United Nations, and it’s a great shame TEN wasn’t preserved for the world to look back on today.' 

The Mud Life

'For those with a passion for travel, overlanding or Land Rovers, this tale of triumph in the face of adversity is certain to have you dreaming of exploration and adventure, even if just from the safety of your own armchair!'

Review by Will S.

'Dear Sirs, I have recently obtained a copy of this magnificent book and am genuinely pleased to go through it and to read it thoroughly in its final version.

'I am the Will Sykes who unfortunately did NOT make the epic journey (it was my final year in college as I recall), although I had known about its inception from quite early on. I did however accompany them to Monmouthshire and tried to help them test some of the equipment! And was the recipient of sundry bits of correspondence from the trip.

'Indeed I have known Chris Wall since we were both boarders at Ashfold School in 1955, where Waxy joined us soon after.  

'My late father, Dick Sykes was Headmaster there and the progress of the three (and 2 ex-pupils) adventurers was followed avidly by pupils courtesy of the School magazine (perhaps these reports could be obtained from the school: Ashfold School, Dorton Houses, Aylesbury, Bucks?).

'Not only were regular bulletins posted but the three brought TEN down to the school and gave an illustrated slide lecture on their return which caused huge interest (and tested TEN’s suspension!).

'I am delighted that their extraordinary journey is at last in print, and also that it has been so beautifully reproduced and wish the book every success.

'I guess the Overland trail was quite the ’thing’  in the late 60s but sadly it could not be done now! The nearest I ever came to emulating it was driving from my parent’s house in Elmley Castle, Worcs to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in the Arabian Gulf in a Mark 1 Range Rover in 1974!

'Wishing you every success (and luck in the hunt for TEN!).'

'No surprise, their experiences forged a forever bond such that, 50 years on, they were able to write this very much "in the moment" recounting of their journey and experiences. From that then-to-now perspective they also came to some conclusions that are sad and may surprise some. Then, many areas they passed through or visited were raw and unsettled. What's so sobering is Wainwright, Palmer, and Wall believe that, over half a century later, not much changed, for the better that is.'

'This recounting of their grand adventure is a grand and worthwhile read!'