Spirit of Adventure: 92 and still curious

‘Spirit of Adventure’ brings to life a three-generation, off-grid Land Rover expedition including Arksen founder, Jasper Smith, his two sons, and his father, Ron, across the remote Western Cape of South Africa.

While Arksen's Overland division was officially launched in 2023 with expedition grade of Land Rover’s and custom Mercedes Unimog overland campers, the roots of the brand extend far beyond this. The biographical film unveils a profound generational legacy spanning exploration and innovation, dating back almost six decades.

In 1965, Ron Smith and his wife took his two-month-old son Jasper, on an overland adventure to Calabria in Southern Italy, igniting a lifelong passion for exploration. During this time, he purchased a Mini Moke, a small, front-wheel-drive utility and recreational convertible. Inspired by his trip, Ron founded Runamoke shortly after. Once the world's largest dealer of Mini Mokes, Ron’s accidental success story cemented the family's path toward a life filled with adventure, unique challenges, and rewards.

Runamoke is still trading today, and at its peak, sold Mini Mokes and spares around the world, and offered repairs, routine servicing and renovations from its premises in Battersea and latterly in Maldon, Essex.They also provided vehicles to be used on film locations far and wide. Driven by Ron's unwavering spirit and fuelled by a thirst for adventure, Runamoke flourished, laying the groundwork for the creation of Arksen Overland.

Now, at the age of 92, Ron embarks on a new chapter following a remarkable recovery from a stroke. His journey has included learning to drive once again, which served as the impetus for this epic overlanding expedition across Africa.

Central to the expedition is a revelation echoed by Ron himself: "Curiosity leads to learning and benefits us so much." Through Arksen, Ron's legacy continues, with Jasper’s aim to instil curiosity in the next generation just as his father instilled in him, this philosophy can be seen throughout the extensive Arksen product portfolio. Engineered with adventure in mind, Arksen products embody a combination of minimalistic design, technological innovations, sustainable solutions, and a complete lack of compromise.

In many ways Arksen is a celebration of family – my aim with this very personal adventure was to embrace the risks, the joy, the thrill and the spirit of the landscape around us and to share its profound impact on us with the people I love the most. In some small way I hope that this film is a rally cry for all the dreamers amongst us – young and old – Life thrives for the curious. The time to go is now

Jasper Smith, Arksen founder

The other heroes of the film, accompanying the characters are Arksen Overland’s remarkable Arksen D110 Defenders. Arksen's commitment to innovation is epitomised by these reimagined Land Rovers, meticulously crafted by the Arksen Overland team to blend contemporary reliability with adventure, offering unparalleled comfort and performance in the most demanding environments.

‘Spirit of Adventure’ serves as a reminder that the legacy of great journeys endures beyond their culmination. It’s an invitation to embrace the unknown and embark on the next adventure, echoing Ron's timeless wisdom: "What's life without risk? It's nothing really."