Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations acquires Bowler

Founded by mud and screaming V-8 enthusiast Drew Bowler in 1985, the Derbyshire-based Bowler company quickly made a name for itself by winning the toughest races using the most capable Land Rover-based 4x4s, all designed and built in-house. Bowler needed fifteen years to make it to the Dakar Rally, but after 2000, it became a major force in the series. Following all that good publicity, Bowler left little doubt that if somebody required an extreme off-roader for desert racing, or just a road-legal, all-terrain mayhem machine in general, it was the company to call.

Here’s Richard Hammond, a decade younger, demonstrating Drew Bowler’s vision on Top Gear:

Bowler first teamed up with Land Rover in 2012, after which the Defender Challenge was launched to prepare teams for Dakar conditions.

With Bowlers like the Wildcat, the Tomcat, and the Nemesis making pleasant noises all over the world, sadly, company founder Drew Bowler passed away in November 2016. Now, the formerly-independent specialists will be placed under the umbrella of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, to sit alongside its Classic, SV, and various bespoke offerings.

And with all 26 Bowler employees kept onboard at the same location, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bowler name on Land Rover’s most extreme off-road models in the future. How does Land Rover Defender Bowler by SVO sound to you?

front three-quarter
Land Rover
driving through flying mud
Land Rover
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