Making Tracks

Mcdonaldlandrover Automobilemag Trakced Land Rover

The north wind doth blow, and we shall have blocked roads.

Winter  is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a Land Rover on my driveway. Thanks.

We thought that as the weather has started to deteriorate, you’d like some suggestions as to what to drive to get to work/the airport/Casualty.

The first Land Rover models to feature tracks were modified by renowned Scottish engineers Cuthbertsons of Biggar, and didn’t their Series 1 look good.

From there, the Land Rover was mated, not unsuccessfully, with a Scorpion Light Tank and saw action in hot places.

Serious snow ploughing required dedicated machines, but for versatility you can’t beat a Land Rover.

Wiki guide to parking includes one called ‘the tank’.

Enjoy the pictures here on the interweb

Also try these two videos for kicks.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Dudes in a field.

We’re used to looking after more conventional models, but would love to hear from you if you need parts or servicing for your tracked Land Rover.

Come and visit us or shop on line at or see us on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury


Out With The Old

DC100 Defender Successor

DC100 Defender Successor

It’s taken a while to get used to the idea of losing an icon.

Your first drive in a Land Rover is something which, to the delight of marketing departments selling you something related to the green oval, will make a lasting impression.

The bumpy ride is to be expected of a car with that transmission whine, as is the fight to get the steering wheel to do what is says on the tin.

Later models of Defender took the Series mantle into new levels of power, but never refinement. Elbows and knees still had to be padded to be sure they’d avoid bruising. You could always spot a Defender-driver on an aeroplane; in conversations about how little room you get, their blank faces are a dead give-away.

Great for shifting recalcitrant rams and elusive ewes, even in County trim there was an unbreakable genetic marker, a Neanderthal eyebrow, a hairy top lip, which couldn’t be beaten. Even if you broke it and needed Land Rover Parts, chances are a small sapling could stand in for a leaf spring, or a railway girder for a chassis arm.

The Land Rover Serviced us, in its Series and Defender guises, as a working machine. You drive it somewhere and get it muddy, then you get muddy, then you drive back. Then you leave it in the rain, or else get it more muddy inside and out, as you need.

Washing could be done with a hose pipe inside or out (until computers and ‘entertainment centers’ wormed their way inside).

This may have been the root of why we love them; it’s like having a farm dog. Chase across a field, through a bog, into the yard and chuck some cold water over it. Job Done. It’ll sit there and (I may have been hallucinating) wag it’s tail at you.

But times change and the current owners need something else, something they can sell on a smartphone gel-cover. The i-Rover, innit bruv.

So some time in 2015, with 4 other soft-roaders in the line up, the DC100 will to follow the herd.

Round corners rather than rounding up the sheep.

Bluetooth rather than blue tongue.

Chelsea Tractor rather than chase-a-tractor.

It’ll still be technologically superb, still a ground-breaking,  mile-munching, Sierra-Striding (the mountains, not the repmobile) offroad behemoth. Probably.

So let the cry go out.



For Land Rover Parts, servicing or accessories, see our webshop at or see me on Google+

We don’t sell saplings or railroad girders, but we can order them in.

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

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

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