18th Jul, 2019

Land Rover reunites former Solihull employee with the car she helped build – 72 years ago

Sarah Mason 10th Dec, 2018

Land Rover has reunited an old employee with one of the cars she worked on – the 16th ever built.

Dorothy Peters was given the chance after meeting the car’s current owner at Land Rover’s 70th birthday celebrations in Solihull during the summer.

The 87-year-old visited Land Rover Fest armed with a photo album of her time working at the Lode Lane plant, aged 15, and little did she know one of her pictures would trigger a series of events that would reunite her with a Series Land Rover.

Mike Bishop, Land Rover Classic’s Reborn Engineering Specialist and heritage expert, who spotted an old photograph of Dorothy posing next to a car he now owned.

It was at this point the Land Rover team decided to create an experience Dorothy would never forget.

Mike said: “Over the course of Land Rover Fest I was fortunate enough to talk to many enthusiasts and former employees.

“When I was approached by a very charming lady with some pictures of her time at Solihull, I had no idea we would share a special connection to ‘number 16’.

“Her enthusiasm for the company and this vehicle in particular was wonderful as was her surprise when she discovered I now owned the car.

“I knew instantly we needed to reunite them.”

Over the course of the following weeks the Land Rover team at Solihull worked with Dorothy’s daughter to create a day full of surprises, bringing her back to Solihull and back to the car she posed next to in the treasured photo 70 years earlier.

The results were captured in a heart-warming film to mark the end of the company’s anniversary year which was given a special screening at Dorothy’s retirement home.

Dorothy said: “I couldn’t believe the reaction to my pictures at the Festival in Solihull.

“I had no idea this one conversation would take me on a journey down memory lane and on the wonderful off-road track at Solihull.

The opportunity to share this day with my daughter and granddaughters was a wonderful surprise and to see how different the factory is today was very special. It all felt like a dream and I won’t ever forget it.”

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