Tuesday 19th September sees the REVS Restore Land Rover displayed in the famous rotunda of the distinguished Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall. The REVS Community highlights the value of projects that aim to raise awareness of issues pertaining to mental health and welfare, whilst also celebrating the skills of a group of volunteers who have been working on the 1975 Land Rover since January this year.
The REVS Restore project was designed to allow people to experience some restoration of their own mental health as they worked together to bring the Land Rover back to a presentable and driveable state. For one weekend a month, the team of volunteers has been working in the Heritage Skills Academy workshop based at Bicester Heritage.
These volunteers were made up of different ages, some with little experience of working on a vehicle and who have never taken on such a project with a vehicle that has been off the road for over 10 years. They have learnt new skills, found new confidence, as well as valued the sense of community and purpose being a part of the group has fostered.
Thanks to the generosity and support of organisations including Britpart UK, Luzzo Bespoke, Heritage Skills Academy, Michelin UK, Bicester Heritage, Howden Insurance and Autosparks, as well as donations from individuals, the project has been able to progress at a rapid rate. By July the engine was running for the first time in years, and in early September the vehicle was being test driven on the Bicester site.
The vehicle spent the first part of its life in the Falkland Islands as a Fire Tender with the Royal Navy, returning to the UK in 1999. The last owner, Tim Compson donated the vehicle to Revd Adam Gompertz who heads up REVS Community CIC, a non-for-profit organisation that seeks to work to promote mental and spiritual welfare in the wider car enthusiast community.
The association with the Royal Automobile Club dates back to 2021 when Revd Gompertz was awarded the Club’s Personality of the Year title, and the relationship has grown since then, with both parties wanting to promote how the motoring community can be a positive place for those who love cars but may struggle with challenges to their mental health.
Revd Gompertz said, ‘This is truly an incredible privilege for us; to be able to display the Land Rover in this historical and prestigious location, and with the support of so many people, it shows how the car community wants to engage with such an important subject. Thanks to the Royal Automobile Club we have a truly fantastic location to put Mental Health front and centre in the minds of so many people. Our thanks go to them for this opportunity. Indeed, there are so many people to thank; it really has been quite a journey.’
Jeremy Vaughan, Head of Motoring at the Royal Automobile Club, said: ‘It’s a pleasure to support such a worthwhile project and to see the Land Rover at the Club makes it even more special. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our relationship with Revd Adam Gompertz since we awarded him Personality of the Year in our 2021 Historic Awards. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the project and look forward to seeing the finished product.’
The REVS Community CIC, a non-for- profit Community Interest Company is headed up by Reverend Adam Gompertz, Pioneer Minister and Bicester Motion Chaplain.
Starting in 2014 as a small community car show, and now an online community of over 8300 members, REVS social media events have proved fantastically popular. Powered by the commitment of its contributors, the non-commercial project has established a vibrant online community solely to support others.
The CIC was established in 2022 to promote positive spiritual and mental welfare within the wider car community. It is also the organization behind the award winning REVS Limiter Social Media community that started during the COVID Lockdown, and now boasts over 8000 members on Facebook.
REVS has reached thousands of motoring enthusiasts around the world and has been recognised by the Historic Motoring Awards, the Classic & Sports Car Club Awards, the Guild of Motoring Writers Awards and the Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards.