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When Camel's American cigarette manufacturer introduced the Camel Trophy in the 1980 they were surprised by the public interest generated. What should only have been an one-year event aimed at the German consumers immediately took off as 10,000 of people rushed to participate in the punishing event.

The Camel Trophy perhaps logically started with Jeeps but from it's second year Land Rovers were the vehicles of choice.

All production models of the day were used in the competition with the exception of the P38 Range Rover.

Keep in mind however that these are only a small number of the vehicles used. The main burden of carrying journalists, equipment and spares fell to a fleet of 110's and 130's regardless of what vehicle was the "official" car that year.

YEAR LOCATION Distance travelled Participants vehicles Other Info
1980 Transamazonica Route: Belem to Santarem Distance: 1,600 km 3 Ford U50 (Jeep CJ5) 3 teams from West Germany
1981 Sumatra Route: Medan to Jambi 
Distance: 1,600 km
5 Range Rover, 2 door 3 teams from West Germany
1982 Papua New Guinea Route: Mont Hagen to Madang 
Distace: 1,600 km
8 Range Rover, 2 door First year when more than one nation participated: I, D, NL, USA
1983 Zaire Route: Kinshasa to Kinsangani 
Distance: 1,600 km
14 Series III 88 inch NL, P, HK, D, CH, I, E
1984 Brazil Route: Transamazonica Highway, Santarem to Manaus 12 Land Rover 110  
1985 Borneo Route: Samarinda to Balikpapan 16 Land Rover 90  
1986 Australia Route: Cooktown to Darwin
Distance: 3,218 km
14 Land Rover 90  
1987 Madagascar Route: Diego Suarez to Fort Dauphin 
Distance: 2,252 km
14 Range Rover TD  
1988 Sulawesi Route: Manado to Ujang Padang
Distance: 2,092 km

12 Land Rover 110

1989 Amazon Route: Alta Floresta to Manaus 14 Land Rover 110  
1990 Siberia Route: Bratsk to Irkutsk
Distance: 1500km
16 Discovery Tdi 3-door Vehicles: 19 Discovery 200 tdi (3-door), 4 Defender 110 Station Wagons, 5 Defender 127s (3 4-door crewcabs and 2 2-doors-all had a solid, enclosed load bed)
1991 Tanzania Route: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Bujumbura, Burundi 
Distance: 1,600 km
17 Discovery 200 tdi 5-door  
1992 Guyana Route: Manaus, Brazil to Georgetown, Guyana
Distance: 1,600 km
16 Discovery 200 tdi 5-door  
1993 Sabah -Malaysia


Route: Circumnavigation, Kota Kinabalu to Kota Kinabalu 
Distance: 1,500 km

16 Discovery 200 tdi 5-door  

South America



Route: Iguazu Falls, Argentina to Hornitos, Chile
Distance: 2,590 km

18 Discovery 200 tdi 5-door  

South America

Mundo Maya

Route: Lamanai, Belize through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras to Xunantunich, Belize
Distance: 1,700 km
20 Discovery 300 tdi 5-door  



Route: Balikpapan to Pontianak
Distance: 1850 km
20 Discovery 300 tdi 5-door  
1997 Mongolia   Land Rover Discovery  
1998 Chile to Argentinia   Land Rover Freelanders  

The Camel Trophy was discontinued after the 2000 water-based event in Tonga and Samoa, Land Rover having pulled their sponsorship after the 1998 Event in Argentina, noting that there was already a move away from 4x4 challenges to include sporting challenges as well. Land Rover went on to organize it's G4 Challenge event, which ran from 2003 to 2008.

Camel Trophy Vehicle pics:

If you have further info on the Camel trophy or it's vehicles, please get in touch.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There is a club which caters for ex-Camel Trophy vehicles -

their web is at