Classic Overland Founder and Owner, Stebin Horne, is interviewed about his love for vehicles, why travel is important for him and why you shouldn’t wait to go on an adventure.
What gets you out of bed?
A wet nose and a duck-loving retriever’s breath wake me up at 5:30 am sharp. Kruger’s stomach doesn’t seem to be affected by daylight savings either.
How did you come to love travelling so much?
I’m not sure, no one in my family travels much, but it’s something I am very passionate about. It is a weekly priority for me. I think people get stuck overthinking what it entails to travel. You don’t have to get on a jet and fly to Africa. There are so many places to explore and learn about within an hour’s drive of where you live, yet most people tend to stay put…not me.
What was your first car?
When I turned 16, I got a red Nissan Pathfinder and I thought it was the cat’s meow. I loved that car and drove it for over eight years and covered 200,000 miles. great memories.
Have you always loved cars?
Yes and no. Well, I’ve always loved cars but I’m not a grease monkey or “into cars” per se. I see vehicles as a means to an end. In other words, I’m completely focused on what vehicle adds the most value to my experience and getting the most out of every moment. For example, if I’m camping out next to the river with my kids who are trying to catch their first trout and we travelled there in a luxury sedan well, to me, that’s a buzz kill. However, if we were in a classic truck or SUV that rattled and hummed but caused my children to dream of exploring and pushing the limits then everything about those precious times together gets amplified and ingrained into who we are as a family.
What makes you choose Defenders over other cars?
There is a reason it’s called the “Best 4x4xFar”. People get all caught up in horsepower, torque, dependability, ground clearance, creature comforts and they totally miss the point. As someone once said, in the 140-year history of the automobile, only one can be associated with both queens and pig farmers. More, so, the Land Rover Defender’s no-nonsense style appeals to everyone. Steve McQueen owned one. Paul McCartney wrote a song about one. Hell, even James Bond has traded in his Aston Martin for one recently. Few will disagree that it’s among the greatest 4×4’s ever built, anywhere. Nothing screams adventure like a Land Rover Defender.
What did your first Defender look like? What was it called?
Ahh, “Billy Boy”. Billy was a fisherman’s vehicle before me that I tracked down in Gaansbaai, South Africa. Billy had almost as much to do with me falling in love with South Africa as Roos-Maryn. He took us along the coasts of the Western Cape to the deserts of the Karoo and Kalagadi, into the bushveld of the Kruger National Park. He was a quirky SOB, but he was all Defender. Nothing was keeping him from an adventure.
What keeps Classic Overland alive and kicking? (family spirit, customers?)
Life, or should I say, living. truly living. My dad has always said, “Life is not a dress rehearsal,” and that has stuck with me. I could have remained a lawyer and made a good living, but it simply wasn’t the right fit for me. I didn’t know what was right for me until I met Roos-Maryn and we lived in Africa. Through my own experiences, I want to create a reputable business and brand that helps others live life to the fullest.
What are the core values of Classic Overland?
At Classic Overland our motto is “Outfitted for Adventure”. My other company, KUDU Grills,, has the motto “Be Present”. To put it bluntly, life is over in a blink of an eye and I was inspired to create outdoor lifestyle brands that helped people get the very most out of life. More so, I want to help people live in the moment and at the same time, live on the edge.
What message do you want to send people?
Don’t wait, not another minute. Don’t plan, don’t think, don’t ask, just go! All of the answers you need are waiting on the other side of that door.
If Classic Overland were a person, how would you describe them?
That’s simple, it would be my wife, Roos-Maryn. Above all, a Defender is a classic masterpiece in design. It screams adventure and takes “cool” to the next level. A Defender isn’t in a hurry. It’s simple and practical, but it is also timeless and gets better with age. In other words, you can’t take your eyes off of it and every time you look you see something new that makes you fall in love with it even more. If you ever met her, you would absolutely agree.