Restoration work has begun on one of the world’s most iconic vehicles at ATL Automotive in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Leading Caribbean hotel group, Sandals Resorts International, announced the renovation project on musical legend Bob Marley’s famous Land Rover earlier this year.
Marley’s 1977 Series III Land Rover Defender had fallen into a state of disrepair following his death in 1981.
It had been on display for several years in his home-turned-museum located at 56 Hope Road in Kingston, which is dedicated to the Jamaican singer-songwriter.
Rohan Marley, son of the reggae legend, commented: “We are very happy with the work that has transpired so far in restoring our dad’s car to its original condition.
“It has been a very technical process to locate all the parts from various countries, including an original 1977 engine from Ethiopia.
“We look forward to completing this project with the ATL Group in early 2013.”
Marley was regularly seen driving his Land Rover around the streets of Kingston, the city that inspired such hits as ‘No Woman, No Cry’, ‘Three Little Birds’ and ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ using it to transport his famous band, The Wailers, and their equipment to gigs throughout Jamaica.
International musician Julian Marley, son of the reggae king recalled fond memories of the vehicle.
He recalled: “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.”
Julian Marley continued: “I love what the team is doing and would love to take the refurbished Land Rover for a test drive when it returns home.”
Expert Land Rover Master Technicians at ATL Automotive, Sandals Resorts’ Jamaica-based sister company who are overseeing the work, will kick start the two month long project by carefully dismantling the vehicle piece-by-piece before completely restoring the vehicle’s chassis, drive and power trains to full working condition.
The Land Rover’s body panels will be replaced or returned to their original condition as well as a complete electrical rewiring and replacing of electrical components throughout.
Marley’s Land Rover will also receive a replacement engine chosen from an Africa-based military vehicle that perfectly matched the engine of the original vehicle when the singer owned it.
Adam Stewart, chief executive of Sandals and ATL Automotive, commented: “It is a tremendous honour to help return such an extraordinary automobile to its former glory.
“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 continue to inspire for many years to come.”
The vehicle’s interior will undergo complete ‘family’ reupholstering, an element of the project, undertaken by Marley’s first born daughter and internationally acclaimed fashion designer and musician, Cedella Marley.
Miss Marley, was recently credited worldwide for designing the Jamaican Olympic Team uniform worn by record-breaking athletes Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake at the London Olympics earlier this year, will personally design and upholster the Land Rover’s three-seat bench.
The renovation project is expected to be completed by later this month.
Sandals is considered the World’s Leading All Inclusive Company by the World Travel Awards.