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The ‘Bush Tucker Man’ hands over keys to famous vehicle

Outback Spirit's Les Hiddins handed over the keys from one of his most famous vehicles to the Darwin Museum in an official ceremony in the Northern Territory in July.

The Land Rover 110 4×4 was used by former Major Les Hiddins, AM, in the first Bush Tucker Man television series in 1987. It is one of the Australian Army’s most famous vehicles and has retired after 26 years of service.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon and the now retired Major Hiddins, presented the vehicle to the Darwin Military Museum, handing over the keys at a ceremony in Darwin.

Mr Snowdon said there were three co-stars in the Bush Tucker Man series – Les Hiddins, his hat and his Land Rover. Les Hiddins was the Army’s expert in survival techniques and had already spent several years researching bush tucker before starring in the ABC television series.

More than six years ago he recognised that Outback Spirit were as passionate about the outback as he was and forged a relationship with them to share his experience and love of the country with travellers.

The Land Rover vehicle used in the first Bush Tucker Man series – Army Registration Number 48 001 – made its first appearance in Episode One of the first series, in which it was filled up with fuel at the Borroloola Inn before heading north to the Roper River.

“As well as the vehicle’s cultural significance, it also happens to be the very first of some 2,500 Land Rover 4WDs that were delivered to the Army between 1987 and 1990 as part of Project Perentie,” Mr Snowdon said.

The Army is in the process of replacing its current fleet of Land Rovers with the Mercedes-Benz G Wagons. Outback Spirit also choose the Mercedes-Benz as their preferred vehicle and their touring fleet is the largest in Australia of the five star all terrain coaches well-known for their absolute comfort and safety.

Image: Major Les Hiddins AM 'Bush Tucker Man' and Luke Gosling, previous serving member of NORFORCE, pose with Land Rover Army Registration Number 48-001 made famous in the first season of Bush Tucker Man.


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