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'Pollyanna': Barbara Toy's 1950 Series I Land Rover SWB

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Ms Toy, actress, playwrite, author and adventurer, made some legendary travels and explorations in several Series Land Rovers, but her favourite vehicle was her soft-top Series I Land Rover 'Pollyanna'. She bought this vehicle new from showrooms in London and, over the course of the next 10 years, drove it extensively in the Middle East, North Africa and right around the globe.

Her first long distance journey in 'Pollyanna' was to visit a sick friend of hers in North Africa. She recounts the adventure in her book "A Fool on Wheels:Tangier to Baghdad by Land-Rover"

Needless to say Land Rover were appreciative of her promotion of the marque but, they persuaded her to exchange Pollyanna for the latest Series II model in 1960. Barbara recounts this sad moment in her book "In Search of Sheba". She regarded this Series II as being less reliable!

It was almost 30 years later, in 1989, that Barbara was finally able to buy back Pollyanna after her then owner died (she bought it back for 5 times what she originally paid). Pollyanna had been well looked after and had even been displayed at shows. The vehicle had become something of a legend already.

The following year 1990, the pair of them were off again, Barbara in her eighties, Pollyanna in her forties, - around the globe for the second time and incorporating Australia and the Far East.

Barbara commented in 1998 that if she were to drive a current Land Rover Defender overland she would want Pollyanna along as a support vehicle! Certainly, 'Pollyanna' is living testimony to the strength and endurance of the Series I.

Several travelogues recount Barbara Toy's overland adventures with and without her favourite Land Rover. All of them are, sadly, out of print, but a few are still readily available, whilst others can be traced through secondhand book dealers. You can get more details on the books by Barbara Toy, and where they may be found and purchased, by visiting the Barbara Toy page

 

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