Land Rover 101

Not the American synonym for a beginner’s class, the Land Rover 101 is far from an entry-level model.

Land Rover 101

Land Rover 101 (picture from Wikipedia)

Originally developed from the 109″ model chassis, Land Rover’s 1962 Series 2A was a cab-forward design aimed at the commercial market.

LAnd Rover Series 2A

Land Rover Series 2A Recovery Vehicle (picture from Wikipedia)

Cab-forward refers to the placement of the cabin area over the front wheels, and the Series 2A launched with a forward-engined layout.

Originally equipped with the under-powered 2.25l 4 cylinder petrol engine, later and export models received the 2.6l engine and a much-needed power boost. Less than 2500 were made, and few had an easy life.
To quote the boss;

Series 2 forward control? Rare as rocking horse [apples]

1966 saw an up-date, with the 2.6l engine becoming standard and the 2.25l Diesel engine available for export models.

Land Rover Series 2B Forward Control

Land Rover Series 2B Forward Control (picture from Wikipedia)

Discontinued for public sale in 1974, this design became the basis for the 101 military model. As the motor is placed centrally in the chassis, gains in weight distribution are off-set by the need to empty the load-bay for servicing and repair, but as the majority of vehicles were designed to be gun tractors for the L118 light field gun this was less of a compromise.

Land Rover 101 with Field Gun

Land Rover 101 with Field Gun

Land Rover’s modular design ethos lent itself to easily adapting one chassis for many military uses (MOD-ification if you will) and the 101 saw use as a Rapier Anti Aircraft Surface to Air Missile platform (not so popular for the UK, but a major use for the Australians), a radio body for field communications, a rare Vampire Electronic Warfare platform and the more numerous ambulance version.

Land Rover 101 Ambulance

Land Rover 101 Ambulance (picture from Tractor and Construction Wikia)

The ambulance models, whose conversion bodies were produced by the same Marshall’s of Cambridge responsible for outfitting the original 109″ Station Wagons, are really quite popular for extreme overland touring vehicles.

Land Rover 101 Camper

James Stephenson’s Tigger Land Rover 101 Camper (picture from

When we’ve got the time and the filthy lucre, we’ll probably do one too…

Decommissioned by the MOD in the early 1990s, the 101s were replaced in the main by Defenders and (previous Land Rover Proprietor) BAE Systems‘ Pinzgauer models. Familiar shape to them, don’t you think?

BAE Pinzgauer

BAE Systems Pinzgauer (picture from Wikipedia)

Land Rover had developed a small batch of prototype replacements for the 101, called the Llama, but the contract was unsuccessful and the Land Rover Llama failed to take off. Shame, as that cab looks a lot roomier and more comfortable!

Land Rover Llama

Land Rover Llama (picture from Wikipedia)

The 101 refused to roll over though, they even made it into film history!

Judge Dredd Land Rover 101

Judge Dredd’s Land Rover 101! (picture from Wikipedia)

Some thirty models were converted into the finished article, although only a handful remain in working condition. Ain’t she a beauty?

Further Reading;

You Tube 101 Off-road Video 1

You Tube 101 Off-road Video 2

You Tube War & Peace Video 3

Wikipedia: Land Rover Series

Wikipedia: Land Rover 101

Wikipedia: Land Rover Llama

Winwaed’s Land Rover Page

101 Forward Control Club Website or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury


How Many Land Rovers Are Left

McDonald LandRover Series 2B

Land Rover Series 2B. Reverse Parking Optional

Have you ever wondered if you are the proud custodian of the only Series 2B still running on the road?

Is Grampy‘s Austin Princess in company or going the way of the dodo?

Well look no further than

How Many Left is a database and search engine of statistics about car, motorcycle and commercial vehicle models registered with the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the United Kingdom.

…The database covers all vehicles that have a valid tax disc or a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). It doesn’t cover cars that were off the road prior to the introduction of SORN, or cars that have never been registered on the road since manufacture.

Here’s an example of the PowerPoint-tastic data tables available to show just how important it is that you keep both of your ‘projects’, the one that works once you can find a transfer box that won’t cost you a kidney, and the P38 that’s slowly bankrupting you whilst making you feel like a god.

How Many 109s  Graph

How Many 109s Are Left?


McD or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Dick Van Dyke’s Jaguar’s Really On Fire!

No, we’re not kidding.

The gazelle-like super-annuated super-sleuth and mate of Mary Poppins has had a bit of a low-point on the highway.

According to the BBC’s news website:

87-year-old actor Dick Van Dyke has escaped unscathed after his car burst into flames on a freeway in the Los Angeles area.

Passers-by saw him seemingly slumped over in the driver’s seat on the shoulder of the Ventura freeway, but actually trying to make a phone call, Van Dyke said.

They “yanked me out of the car” before it went up in flames.

He said he had not realised the Jaguar was on fire.

Dick Van Dyke's Car's On Fire

Video of Dick Van Dyke’s Cooked Carriage

We wish Mr Van Dyke all the best, and would like to extend our best wishes to all other very-expensive-Jaguar drivers. No, we’re not bitter at all.

Look on the bright side, the Ferrari 458 had a baptism of fire too… or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

What’s A Land Rover Then?

Land Rover, the Go Anywhere Vehicle

Land Rover The Go Anywhere Vehicle

The Landrover Series I – II – III Defined Its Iconic Place in Automobile History

Starting in 1948 when its design was penned by Maurice Wilks on the Welsh island of Anglesey, the Land Rover came to establish a firm hold on the British consciousness. As an icon, it is hard to beat. It is recognisable as a symbol of British car manufacturing around the world, and with its service as the workhorse of the Commonwealth’s Armed Forces it has seen action everywhere from snow-blasted escarpments to searing desert ranges.

The first model of Landrover is known by its utilitarian name, Series I or Series One. Two more major revisions (and one interim) were to come, and a tradition was established when they were called the Series II, Series IIA and Series III. Split mainly between the 88 inch SWB (short wheelbase) and 109 inch LWB (long wheelbase) there were also special vehicles made for Emergency Services and the Armed Forces, including the Army’s own 101 Forward Control development of the Series II.

At the end of November 2012, there were still almost thirty thousand 88 and 109 models in the DVLA’s system.

In 1990 the new Defender took on the mantle, and we had seen the last of the Series. The King is dead, long live the King!.

A Short History

After the Second World War, the British Army was on a lookout for a suitable replacement for its personal carrier vehicles that until then had been happily met by the Ford Willys Jeep that the US Army left after the war.

Maurice Wilks, head designer at the Rover Company based in Birmingham was said to have been inspired by the same Jeep and his Landrover prototype was actually built on its chassis. The first production grade Landrover made of aluminium was exhibited at the Amsterdam Motor Show of 1948. It took the colour from paint the British Army had immense surplus of – green. Hence, the first Landrover came in various shades of it and thanks to its non-corrosive all-aluminium body, the Series I Landrover, which lasted for 10 years before getting a model update in the Series II, built a reputation for durability under the toughest road conditions.

Over their 42 year reign as the first SUVs on the planet, the Series Landrovers have found their way onto the roll-call of many armies around the world. First used by the Brits using the simpler 2.25 litre Petrol engine, the Series saw action in the Korean War of the early 1950s as well as the Suez Crisis. The 1960s saw various versions on the same Series chassis that made into a multi-role personnel carrier, a long range desert patrol known in military circles as the “Pink Panther” and machine gun equipped versions.

Its versatility echoed much of the civilian after-market conversion kits that allowed the Series Landrovers to be an ambulance, an amphibious rescue craft, a pick-up truck, a closed delivery van, a farm hauler, a police patrol and a family car. Its hand-built construction made it the easier vehicle to overhaul and modify.

In 1976, the one millionth Series rolled off its factory at Solihull. By this time, the Rover Group had released a more upscale Range Rover model with the luxury appointments that predated the release of the Cherokee Jeep which is mistakenly credited with having created the SUV trend. The Army’s Series Landrovers would have seen action in the Falklands War of 1982 if not for the sinking of the “Atlantic Conveyor” – a merchant vessel requisitioned to transport Military equipment including Chinook Helicopters and several hundred Landrovers to the Falklands. The loss nearly wiped out the British Army’s land rover fleet. It was soon replaced by 200 Series III Landrovers.

Change of Hands

Landrover changed hands twice in the UK. First to government-owned Leyland Motors (later British Leyland) who acquired the Rover Company in 1967. The Ryder report of 1975 recommended separating the marque and it was included in the transfer of the now privatised Rover Group to British Aerospace.

The marque fell into German hands when BMW bought the Rover Group in 1994 to facilitate its move into fashion-orientated ‘soft-roaders’. The now profitable Landrover and Jaguar brands were then passed on to Ford, and eventually sold again to India’s Tata Motors.

Articles And Links

The official Land Rover History Page

Jalopnik’s Blog

Winwaed’s Series Website

Click here to buy Land Rover Series Parts and Accessories from our webshop or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

McDonald Land Rover Ltd

McDonald Land Rover Ltd

McDonald Landrover Limited is run by husband and wife team, Rupert and Joanne Astbury in Oswestry on the Welsh Border. We started in 2001 with a small parts counter serving the local people and quickly gained a reputation for being helpful, knowledgeable and cost effective.

In 2002 we outgrew our then premises and moved to our current 11,000 sqft unit. It was at that time that demand for workshop facilities to run alongside the parts operation was realised. Expansion has then taken place in the following years both in numbers and areas of expertise. Then, in line with our policy of providing the best possible service for our customers, 2008 saw the start of our online parts shop. There are currently 11 staff working at McDonald Landrover which we feel gives a good balance between being large enough to cater for anyone’s requirements but small enough to still bring that personal service which has built both the business and the reputation. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury