The Story Behind America’s Biggest Land Rover Party
British classics with a Hollywood backdrop. How can you go wrong?
Jared Zaugg’s childhood was spent driving through remote locations in Central America and West Africa with his father Jerry, a veterinarian and entomologist. The elder Zaugg had a skill set that was much in demand in developing areas thanks to his expertise in being able to diagnose diseases that animals would receive from insects.
While working for various organizations and governments, Jerry traveled from place to place with his son in tow, sometimes, on rare occasions, in a Land Rover Series III. It was thanks to those experiences that the younger Zaugg, now 45, developed a bond with the iconic British vehicle that morphed into a full-blown obsession as he got older.
“I know that they have a reputation of not being the most reliable, and they’re not, but they are so full of character, and they really are the quintessential adventure vehicle,” Zaugg tells InsideHook. “I mean, they are iconic. They define the go anywhere vehicle and they just represent adventure and freedom and I love that.”
Last year, Zaugg celebrated that love with what he calls a “love-in for Land Rovers.”
At the inaugural Trans Terras event (from the Latin “across lands”) last November, Zaugg welcomed Land Rover lovers and their vehicles for free to Paramount Ranch at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains in California. A Western movie set with dusty streets and deserted wooden buildings, the location gave Zaugg a cinematic backdrop to showcase the fleet of Land Rovers from different eras in front of.
The movie feel was on purpose.
“I was going to find a canvas for them and put people’s Land Rover on that as if it were in a museum, or in a painting or something to that effect,” Zaugg says. “So there’s a really unique backdrop. There’s a real reason to go there, in addition to hanging out with cool people and cool trucks. And so what I did was I chose the Paramount Ranch. What was really great is we had all of these old British classics juxtaposed against this Old West movie set where people had gunfights in the street in the movies. And the saloon and the general store and all of this. So it was a lot of fun.”
Essentially a 3D exhibition showcasing Land Rovers, Trans Terras ended up attracting nearly 50 vehicles including Defenders, Series I, II and III models, Discoveries and Range Rovers.
“It was an opportunity for people, who may not have anything else in common, to get together and talk about Land Rovers, talk about life, adventure, freedom,” Zaugg says. “It’s a great connector. And so I wanted to create an event that did that. I wanted to do it in a special way. There are lots of Cars & Coffees out in the world and those are good things. But I wanted to do something that had an art component and felt a little bit different.”
Unfortunately, about a week after the event was held, Paramount Ranch burned to the ground in the Malibu wildfires that ravaged the area last year and no longer exists. Undeterred, Zaugg is already in the process of trying to plan a follow-up Trans Terras event for this year.
“I can say that it will be in southern California again, in the L.A. area, whether that’s L.A. or San Diego, it’ll be in the greater L.A. area. I’ve got to go scout some locations,” Zaugg says. “I’m thinking around that same time frame, early November. Because southern California gets … it gets really, really hot in October. So sometime in November before the holidays kick in. It gives people that live in the colder climates a reason to drive them before they put them away for the winter, or for them to worry about snow or anything like that. But I think that’s the idea right now.”