The concept of gathering like-minded people and their vehicles together at a specific time and place isn’t new. The basic functions of car shows have hardly changed in the last century, and at a fundamental level Pebble Beach and local parking lot meets offer the same things. The types of people and machines at one event compared to another varies greatly of course, but lately the biggest change on the general level seems to be coming from the way these shows are packaged.
Trans Terras, a new Land Rover-based gathering that the organizers describe as a “love in” rather than a “car show” is a perfect example of the trend of putting on events where scenery and selectivity are of greater importance than the number of people in attendance and other such metrics where bigger numbers equals a better show. There’s something to be said about filling a sports stadium-sized parking lot with cool cars, but for the same reason a greatest hits album is more appealing than an exhaustive discography to some people, there’s value in having an alternative to huge car meets, something that emphasizes quality over quantity.
In the last few years the series of air-cooled Porsche shows known as Luftgekühlt has been the most convincing proof that selecting the right environment for a focused, curated group of cars is paramount to putting on a memorable event, and Trans Terras adopted a similar approach for vintage Land Rovers. Hosted at Paramount Ranch in Calabasas, California, the old saloon-era aesthetic of the former movie set made for the perfect venue to host some 4x4s that were built to withstand far more than a light coating of dust.
This past Sunday marked the first such Trans Terras gathering (which is also open to rare off-road icons like the Mercedes-Benz Unimog and Volvo C303), but if you missed it you can catch it next year—as of now, the plan is to make this an annual celebration.