Land Rovers in the Armies
Since the very early days Land Rovers served in the armed forces. It was mainly the UK who ordered them but many, many countries followed.
Initially intended as an stop-gap measure until a new generation of Jeeps was available . But after some time the Land Rover, for practical, economical and political reasons definitely took over. Civil production begun really in July 1948 and soon, in May 49' the Ministry of War placed an first order of 1878 vehicles, soon to be followed by more and more orders. The Navy also began to use them in 1950.
Those early vehicles were basically standard commercial vehicles with an price from 450-475 Pound Sterling (imagine that!). It's competitor, the Austin Champ cost over 1100 when delivered.
Series I for the Ministry of Supply (regrouping the armed forces) were delivered until 1958 for a total of 13.000 vehicles (out of a total production of 217.000)
|An 86" MK3 crossing a rope bridge|
|Many special models were made at the demand of the army, like this 100" wheelbase prototype, designed for the Swiss...|
|... or this floating Series I, owned today by the Dunsfold Trust.|
|The Minerva was built under license in Belgium, had a steel body and were mostly 4x2. More Info on Minervas...|
|This Santana Ligero was built for the spanish army...|
|Even experiments with tracked vehicles named Centaur were made. More Info on Centaurs...|
|No article on fighting Rovers can of course leave out the most famous of all, the Pink Panthers. Those were fast desert patrol vehicles covered in a special color that in fact let them melt with the background in deserts. More Info on Pink Panthers...|
|The Army Corps of Engineers had several Series Land Rovers on which they demonstrated their mechanical abilities. The group was so trained it only took some minutes to assemble the car from it's state shown here to the point it could be driven out of the arena.|
|The Portugese army also had a prototype made. This very rare car also belongs to the Dunsfold Trust, shown here at the open days in 1998.|
|A quite different story was the Shorlands, designed to be used in civil war or whatever you call situations like the one which terrorized Northern Ireland for so many years. More Info on Shorlands|
|The 101's were specially designed for the armies all over the world. Sadly only the british and the luxembourgish army ordered them. More 101's...|
|This is what the modern version of the Pink Panthers look like. Called the Hi-Cap Desert Patrol Vehicles these 110's have proven invaluable in the Gulf War where the american Hummers, although designed for this sort of terrain, died by hundreds. Only the Rovers kept going to the point a Special Division of the american army ordered them as assault cars. More Info on modern army Land Rovers...|
This cut view of a modern XD shows the details. Although very similar to the civil version to the point that they can be assembled on the same line it sports enough differences to make it a model of it's own.
At this moment (06/2000) however it seems unlikely that any of those will become available later for the civilian market. Single parts however can be obtained by standard orders so no one will prevent you from building your own XD- except your wife when she discovers the amount of money needed to do this.