Now its your turn to own a Hollywood Film Legend.
This vehicle has featured in the Hollywood Film and in the Leisure Wheels Magazine.
1971 Land Rover 109 – Deziree
This vehicle, in its pre-makeover form, was the hero vehicle in the Hollywood film “The Journey is the Destination”, which was filmed in South Africa and that was released in Canada in September 2016. It is based on the life of photojournalist Dan Eldon (www.daneldon.org), and the Land Rover called Deziree that he used for relief work in Africa.
Here’s a background video on Eldon: https://youtu.be/t0BZGZS6YMw
Note: the 109 we have is not the original one Eldon used on his travels, but the one used in the film about his life. The original apparently still lives in Kenya, but has been completely changed and modified since 1993.
Some direct info from the Restorer and Owner:
It has the R6 2,6-litre straight-six engine, and a four-speed ‘box (we tested the transfer case and that worked fine too). The engine is (now) one of its best qualities… really runs sweetly. We haven’t done any major overhauls or engine rebuilds, just a major service and replaced the obvious things such as coil and plugs. The carb is not original – the mechanic pointed out it’s a Toyota 1.3 12V carburetor. But it works like a charm.
The vehicle is not a chassis-up restoration. Instead we aimed to create a modern-classic version of the Land Rover as used in the film. So the Kenyan number plates are still there, as are some of the props and unique finishes that Eldon had used (like the colorful map of Africa on the doors). Everything has just been updated with a new lick of paint, but we did not mend all the small dings and dents – in keeping with the movie character.
For the film the production company had cut a crude hole in the Safari roof, through which the actor playing Dan Eldon took some photos. We fixed this crude hole thanks to Onca 4×4, who custom made an aluminum hatch that seals properly, and also has latches and rubber stoppers to you can drive with the hatch open without damaging anything.
The front spotlight, as per the original Deziree, will be a period Hella light – sourced the light that will still be fitted.
It has brand new Firestone Jeep Service tyres (that have done about 5km), brand new Old Man Emu shocks and steering damper (also about 5km), and the front seat has been completely refurbished.
Overall she is in pretty good shape, but it certainly is not a concours type restoration. Instead we aimed to give the old girl a more modern makeover but sticking to the character she played in the movie. Like if Dan Eldon still lived today, this would be what Deziree would be like.