Trucks & SUVs

Sunken 1968 Land Rover Triumphantly Reemerges from Beach 31-Years Later

Getting stuck is just part of off-roading. There’s no shame in it. It happens to all of us at one time or another. When most of us get stuck, a buddy comes through with a bigger, better truck and snatches you out of the mire. However, that is not what happened with this Land Rover. Well, someone did pull it out; it just took 31 years. 

This Land Rover returns from Davey Jones’ Locker 

The Drive reports that this 1968 Land Rover sank into the beach 31-years ago. If anyone in Cornwall needed a reminder that leaving your truck on the beach for three decades was a bad idea, they need no further reminder than this. As the sands shifted, the green, swamp creature poked its wheel and frame out to see how the world has been carrying on since the last time it reared its head in 2017

Old Land Rover sunk into this Cornish Beach for 31 years
Old Land Rover sunk into this Cornish beach for 31 years | YouTube The Telegraph

Where did this Land Rover come from?

According to The Drive, Cornwall Live first reported it back in 1990. Owner Ronnie Hanney reportedly took his daughters to the beach in the Rover. The family has photos of the 1968 Series 11A Safari still above ground that day. 

This particular model weighs around 3,300 lbs. This isn’t a very heavy truck, all things considered, but if you imagine standing on the beach, every time that water comes up, and back you sink a little deeper. Now imagine that with 3,000lbs…

Things started going bad very quickly for the Hanney family. By the time the family had tried to leave, the tires were sunk, and the Landie was stuck. They made the very poor decision to leave it there and come back the next day and try again. When the family returned, they found their Land Rover upside down and buried, only showing the wheels above the sand. 

How did the Land Rover turn upside down? 

There are a few mysteries here. One is, how in the world did it flip over? According to The Drive, it typically takes about 14 ft of water for a vehicle to roll over. I doubt the tide rose to a depth of 14 ft. Although, reports say January of 1990 shows that there were heavy storms in this area. So maybe that explains it, but even still, that would have to be a pretty major storm. 

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One of the other mysteries is that even now, as the passenger side wheel protrudes from the sandy shallows, it seems to be still inflated. 31 years and the tire is still inflated? That is either the best tire of all time, or there is something else going on here. There is a possibility that the tire is more full of saltwater than it is air. Either way, it is a pretty impressive compound to hold up to those conditions for so long. 

This is not the first thing the Cornish beach has sucked up

During Covid lockdowns, the same stretch of beach uncovered an ancient road that seemingly leads to nowhere. The mystery road was uncovered by shifting sands. The road simply disappears into a 20-ft dune. Maybe this is the road verison of the River Styx for lost Land Rovers? 

But wait, there’s more. Although I don’t know all the details, there are also reports of several shipwrecks near the same stretch of beach. The wrecked vessels range back 128 years. Whatever is going on at this bit of Cornish beach, you might not want to leave your car parked there. It probably won’t go anywhere, but you’ll lose it forever.