February 8, 2013 | 12:10 pm | Print
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Land Rover Defender once owned by Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley is getting a new lease on life, thanks to Sandals Resorts International.
The 1877 Series III Land Rover Defender has been handed over to ATL Automotive in Montego Bay, the sister company of Sandals.
ATL technicians are restoring the vehicle are reportedly restoring the car to “perfectly match its original condition.”
The project, as seen in Sandals’ video above, first saw the piece-by-piece dismantling of the car, followed by completely restoring the Defender’s chassis, drive and powertrains to full working condition.
The car will also have its body panels replaced or returned to their original condition, along with a complete rewiring and replacement of electrical components.
The car is also receiving a replacement engine from an Africa-based military vehicle.
The reupholstering of the interior will be led by Marley’s first-born daughter, Cedella Marley, who designed Jamaica’s Olympic Team uniforms in London.
“It is a tremendous honour to help return such an extraordinary automobile to its former glory,” said Sandals CEO Adam Stewart. “This project has been a long time in the planning and we can’t wait to play our part in history — there are few people in the world who Bob Marley hasn’t inspired through his music at some point, so it is only right that we ensure his legacy continues to inspire for many years to come.”
Marley, who would have turned 68 this week, used to regularly drive the car around the streets of Kingston, transporting The Wailers and their equipment to gigs throughout Jamaica.
Once the renovation is complete, the Land Rover will return to the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston.
“I have always loved my father’s Land Rover and I remember driving in it from where my family lived, to nearby Hope Road and from Kingston to Nine Miles, St Ann (in North Eastern Jamaica) where my father was born,” said Julian Marley, the son of the reggae legend and one of the leading reggae stars today. “I love what the team is doing and would love to take the refurbished Land Rover for a test drive when it returns home.”