1983 Zaire Camel Trophy Land Rover Series III
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I've always been a bit ambivalent about both Land Rover and overlanding. The Camel Trophy produced some nice photos
for sure, but... it was Land Rover man, and even though I owned a Series II once, Land Rover is just not my bag.
Then, in the summer of 2020 JS Scale hosted an RC event styled along the lines
of SuperScale and USTE. The highlight of that event was the Camel Trophy (Papua New Guinea) trail they laid out.
Jerome of JS Scale lent me his Defender 90 (thank you 😃) so I was able to participate.
2020 JS Scale Camel Trophy Papua Neu Guinea (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbwFQSzrxfw)
It was the best trail I've run in my life! And so I came home from that event wanting my own Camel Trophy truck for
next year's event (the 2021 event will be based on Mundo Maya).
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- Participants consist of three-vehicle teams.
- The event will consist of a mix of team challenges and convoy driving.
- Participating vehicles must be scale replicas of vehicles or support vehicles that participated in a real Camel Trophy event.
- Vehicle scale must be no more than 1:9 and no less than 1:10.
- Vehicle body must be a hard body made, manufactured or 3D printed in materials like ABS or styrene. Lexan/polycarbonate bodies are
- Vehicles must be painted in LR361 Sand Glow. LR361 Sand Glow is available from
JS Scale or
Zero Paint. Vehicles painted in Tamiya
TS34 are not allowed.
- Country flags on the fenders and rear of vehicles are recommended but not mandatory. Flags can be of participants of the JS Scale
Experience; or of actual teams that participated in a real Camel Trophy event.
- Roof racks are mandatory, and must be realistic replicas of the original. They must include four headlights (and possibly two
side-facing lights, depending on your vehicle’s year)
- Roof racks must contain two functioning sand ladders, and the appropriate number of Jerrycans for your vehicle.
- Bush bars are mandatory, and must be identical to, or close to the real one, according to the 1:1’s model and year of participation.
- A functioning winch, functional recovery points, and recovery straps are strongly recommended.
- Wheels must be 1.9 in size, and must be identical to the wheels on the 1:1 vehicle your scale vehicle is based on. Tyre diameter may
not exceed 97mm, although RC4WD mud pluggers will be accepted.
- Wheels and tyres must fit completely beneath the fender.
- Whilst a realistic chassis is recommended, you’re free to choose your own.
- One driver and one co-driver figure are mandatory.
- Lights (on both body and roof rack) are mandatory.
- Water-proofing all electronics is strongly recommended.
- A functioning spare wheel is mandatory.
- Several batteries that allow you to drive the whole day are strongly recommended.
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There are already many, many Camel Trophy Defenders, and almost as many Range Rovers. Some are starting to build Discoveries,
but to date I've seen only one Series III, and no Freelanders. So mine will be a scratch-built 88' Series III based on the
1983 event in Zaire (now the DRC), which was the only Camel Trophy event to see a Series Land Rover. Competitors drove 88"
Series III station wagons, and the support crew 109" station wagons.
The trucks were equipped with hot climate equipment packs which included an 8-blade fan, double fan belts, an oil cooler,
and fan shrouds. They also had the adventure kit, which included a roof rack, winch, auxiliary lights, bridging ladders,
steering guards, and jerry cans.
The journey began in Kinshasa, and tarversed most of the country to Kisangani, 1,600km away in the northeast. The trip
took 16 days. Famously one of the one 109" support trucks burnt out when an Italian journalist set it on fire by tipping
over an oil stove. Here are two videos of the event in Zaire -
1983 Camel Trophy Zaire - part 1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOZk7mDn74o
1983 Camel Trophy Zaire - part 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spo2xkHjfwo
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||164mm (middle of L tyre to middle of R tyre) / 190mm (outside of L tyre to outside of R tyre)
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