A retired Land Rover employee has realised her dream to go off-roading in the car she’d kept a photo of for seven decades. Dorothy Peters – now 87 – enjoyed a literal drive down memory lane when Land Rover reunited her with one of the earliest Series 1 models in existence.
In July 1946, at the age of 15, Solihull-born Dorothy joined the service department at the Lode Lane factory, working alongside the first Land Rovers built at the site. In June this year, she went to Land Rover’s 70th celebration event in Solihull with a photograph album of her time working at the plant. Little did she know that one particular picture would trigger a series of events that would reunite her with a very special early Land Rover – number 16 off the production line.
The reunion was made possible by Mike Bishop, Land Rover Classic’s Reborn Engineering Specialist and heritage expert, who spotted an old photograph of Dorothy posing next to a car he now owned.: “When I was approached by a very charming lady with some pictures of her time at Solihull, I had no idea we would share a special connection to ‘number 16’,” said Mike. “I knew instantly we needed to reunite them.”
Over the course of the following weeks the Land Rover team worked with Dorothy’s daughter to create a day full of surprises, bringing her back to Solihull and back to the car she posed next to in the treasured photo 70 years earlier. The results were captured in a heart-warming film to mark the end of Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year.
Dorothy said: “The opportunity to share this day with my daughter and granddaughters was a wonderful surprise and to see how different the factory is today was very special. It all felt like a dream and I won’t ever forget it.”
To complete the surprises, Dorothy and her friends were given a preview of the reunion film in a special screening at Dorothy’s retirement home.