STAFF at a company marked 60 years since the first Land Rover rolled off the production line by driving a lovingly-restored 1972 vehicle 2,000 miles to Poland.
Andel, of Brougham Road, Marsden, sent managing director Ian Pogson and three of its staff on an expedition through Holland, Germany and Poland to Ustka, near Gdansk on the Baltic coast.
Just a few months earlier the team’s 1972 Series 3 Land Rover Safari was being used as a chicken coop on the moors above Marsden.
Mr Pogson paid £500 for the vehicle before lavishing thousands of pounds on its restoration.
The Land Rover, which officially qualifies as an historic vehicle and is therefore road tax-exempt, was completely rebuilt – from new chassis upwards – by Andel employees Brian Roberts, Andrew Evans and Ataul Nadeem with support from Mr Pogson.
Mr Pogson was joined by his daughter, Rosie, Mr Roberts and Mr Nadeem on the trip to Poland. He said: “The vehicle gave us 2,000 miles of trouble-free motoring, but it was slow going.”
Mr Roberts owned the vehicle at one time, so is particularly attached to it. He said: “With all the new and better parts we have used it is in better condition now than it was when it left the factory 36 years ago.”
Back in 1972 the price for Land Rover’s top-of-the-range vehicle was £9,000. Mr Pogson said: “It has cost us much more than that to rebuild, but if we are still running it another 36 years it will have been a very good investment.”
The company, which designs and supplies flood alarm and leak detection equipment, is now running the Land Rover as a company vehicle – and using it as example of Andel’s engineering prowess.
Andel set up its Polish business, Andel Polska, three years ago. The company sells Andel’s products into the Polish market where the business is set to provide the springboard for Andel to expand into Ukraine and the Baltic States.
“Andel Polska is making good profits and is growing rapidly,” said Mr Pogson.
“We hope to be able to use the lessons we have learned in Poland to tackle the northern Baltic countries and other countries, such as Ukraine and Romania.
“All these emerging countries are adopting current best practice when in comes to asset and environmental protection. So being the first there gives us a strong position in our specialised field.”
Andel is the UK’s largest leak detection business.
It won the Green Award in the Examiner Business Awards 2006 for its work to develop electronic monitors and sensors to detect leaks from pipes, tanks and washrooms in places like libraries, art galleries, museums and banks.