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Thread: Australian Army 101's and pre production vehicles

  1. #1
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    Australian Army 101's and pre production vehicles

    I've a flat out day, so I thought i'd post this information that I just got via e-mail to see what we can decypler and make of it!!

    Initial info I recieved about aus 101's


    G'day Richard,
    Having recently moved address I have now got my computer back on line and
    able to review your original mail to the club forum, also the REMLR website.
    As there are a number of inaccuracies, I have replied with the info' we know
    in the club to hopefully correct them.

    In your original mail your were enquiring whether BAC supplied the Rapier
    missile system to other recipients and how many they received? Land-Rover
    production ledgers show BAC, Stevenage, took delivery of 38 959 Series 12V
    LHD Export G/S vehicles - 6 in gloss bronze green finish and 32 in light
    matt stone finish also 58 962 Series 24V RHD Export G/S vehicles - 8 in
    gloss bronze green finish and 50 in olive drab semi gloss finish and finally
    40 964 Series 24V LHD Export vehicles - 2 in gloss bronze green and 38 in
    light matt stone finish. So in total BAC had 38 12V and 98 24V vehicles from
    Land-Rover and supplied these fitted with Beeswing, Blowfire and Rapier
    missile systems, etc.

    As BAC, Marshalls of Cambridge and Pilcher Greene did not keep an archive of
    the vehicles they used or converted, we have found it difficult to get
    precise information on the vehicles. The database we started has helped a
    lot but is only as good as the info' we can glean. With the 962 Series, 34
    vehicles, 96200001A - 96200034A, in gloss bronze green finish were
    dispatched to the Crown Agents Brunei! These were followed by 30 vehicles,
    96200035A - 96200064A, in olive drab semi gloss, then 8 vehicles,
    96200065A - 96200072A, in gloss bronze green and a final batch of 20
    vehicles, 96200073A - 96200092A, again in olive drab semi gloss were all
    delivered to BAC from 14/09/1977 to 09/08/1978! We were led to believe the
    BAC olive drab vehicles were originally used in Turkey by the USAF and RAF
    on peace keeping duties, also the 8 bronze green vehicles served with the
    RAF on 6 Wing, by people who worked at BAC?? However since then, one of the
    gloss bronze green vehicles, 96200065A, was found in the British Army
    wearing the VRN 03KA69 and is now in Kenya also, due to Rod Genn supplying
    chassis numbers, we learnt the 2 batches of olive drab vehicles served with
    the Australian Army as 50 Rapier launch vehicles. We are unable to find any
    other vehicles that would have been likely to serve with the Australian Army
    in this or other role, even though Rod and John Cummins are adamant there
    were more!

    Incidentally, all Rapier lanching vehicles (FUT's) were 24V! The British
    Army used the Blindfire radar rapier guidance system and also had 12V
    vehicles (TRT's), fitted with Rapier storage racks in the rear, for towing
    the radar tracking or missile reload trailers!

    The REMLR website quoted 2669 vehicles built from 1972 to 1978. This isn't
    true, as 3 vehicles (95600983A, 95900055A & 95900411A) weren't built also 1
    vehicle (96400395A) caught fire at the factory and was written off. So the
    true total built was 2665 between 1972 and 1978!!

    The question of prototypes and pre-production is even more confusing, as
    there are few surviving records and Land-Rover were being starved of money
    by British Leyland, so Norman Busby, the Project Engineer, had
    to fiddle things to get the design tested and completed. Luckily Norman
    saved some items, which formed the basis of the club archive, when he
    helped start the club in 1988 but unfortunately he died in 2005 so we can no
    longer count on his knowledge. However his info', together with archive
    photos, allowed us to piece together how the design evolved prior to the
    start of the 1972 production ledgers. The Land-Rover prototype, 101/1, build
    started at the beginning of February 1968 and finished in mid May 1968,
    followed by 5 others, 101/2 VRN 01SP13, 101/3 VRN 01SP14, 101/4 VRN 01SP15,
    101/5 VRN 01SP16 and 101/6 VRN 01SP17, for an MVEE contract! All these
    vehicles were RHD with 3 litre 6 cylinder engines. Finally in phase 1, a 7th
    prototype 101/7 was built for Rover Australia with a 3.6 litre Ford Falcon
    engine and completed in December 1968. This was followed in 1969 with the V8
    prototype, 101-FC-8, which also had an improved cab and was given the VRN
    HXC805H, also 101/1 was rebuilt with a V8 engine and improved cab. The
    design continued evolving by rebuiding and testing 101/1 and HXC805H, which
    became 101-FC-8a, then finally 101-FC-8b, similar to a pre-production
    vehicle. The final true prototype, 101-FC-8c, VRN VXC754K was built in
    August 1971 and was basically a pre-production vehicle!

    The total number of prototypes were 6 snub nosed 6 pots + 1 snub nosed
    Falcon powered + HXC805H + VXC754K = 9 vehicles!

    The pre-production vehicle build started 24/02/1972 with the completion of
    96400001A, VRN BXC676L for the Engineering Dept. A total of 37 vehicles were
    built, 25 for the MVEE to assess with various military units and 12 for
    Norman to test/fine tune the design. All of them had subtle differences,
    with the last few becoming closer to a production version and, as they
    weren't built in chassis number order, the final 37th pre-production vehicle
    96400007A, JWK748N, was completed for Government Sales (Norman) on
    13/04/1973.

    Officially prodution commenced on 25/11/1975 with the completion of 4
    vehicles, 95600021A - 24A, for the 1975 Joint Services Expedition! The last
    of the 2628 production vehicles, 96400467A, was completed on 14/06/1978 for
    B.L., Germany.

    As far as we know, there were no CKD versions of the 101FC built!

    Finally, I was intrigued by your website photos, some of which I haven't
    seen before. I suspect (1) shows 96400001A with a powered trailer, but I
    have seen this VRN, BXC676K, on other vehicles.Photo (2) shows 101/2, VRN
    01SP13, with its LH petrol tank! Photo (3) shows the 1st prototype, 101/1,
    with its RH petrol tank and circular bridge plate on the front bumper! Photo
    (4) shows the front of 101/1 with the bridge plate! Photo (5) is, I suspect,
    101/2 with LH tank? Photo (6) is, I suspect, 101/1 with RH tank?

    Hope this hasn't bored you to tears.

    Regards, Les Adams.
    G'day Richard,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I know Rod Genn tried to get info' from the Army Museum, also made a visit
    to Canberra and mentioned a guy called Mike Cecil, but was told all the
    relevant info' was held on computer, which was wiped out when the vehicles
    were cast. If you're able to obtain auction details any vehicles not in the
    two batches 96200035A - 96200064A and 96200073A -96200092A would be extra to
    what we know, but we have been given plenty of vehicle chassis numbers that
    weren't in the Austrlian Army, including 2 pre-production vehicles,
    96100002A and 96100010A. However 96100010A, owned by the camel breeder Noel
    Fullerton, has been aquired and returned to the UK by a club member!

    I'm sorry to admit I made a mistake in the info' I sent with regard to the
    start of production vehicles. The 1st four prodution vehicles were completed
    on the 25/11/1974 not 1975, as I quoted, and were the only 101's actually
    built in 1974, even though 101 production is normally expressed as
    1975-1978!

    With regard to the photos, I have seen the Land-Rover 8807/1 to 8807/5
    photos showing prototype gearboxes and 8807/6 to 8807/24 showing prototype
    vehicles. However I hadn't realised there were more photos in the 8807 group
    of pictures. Incidentally if you expand the 4th photo showing the front of
    101/1, at the foot of the REMLR website, you can just make out 101FC 1 on
    the circular label in the windscreen; its not a road tax licence but a
    Land-Rover label system used to identify their prototypes!

    Finally, I have attached a photo of 101/1 as it finished up, in Solihull,
    with the improved transitional cab, Salisbury axles, V8 engine, altered
    front wheel arches and front bumper moved forward for the Terra tyres to do
    the Malaysian trial. Also a photo of 101/7, the Rover Australia prototype,
    and the pre-production vehicle list in order of build.

    Regards, Les Adams.
    1994 Discovery TDi
    2004 Discovery 2 TD5
    2010 Discovery 4 TDV6
    1961, Series 2 Ambulance. 108-098 - Eden

    Registry of Ex Military Land Rovers Mem. 129
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  2. #2
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    Finalised numbers

    Hi Richard, Solved the problem concerning the number of 101s sent to Aust,
    I have spoken to an ex REAME supervisor who informs me that there were in fact a greater number of 101s bought by the army than I was lead to believe. The 50 odd number he informs, is correct.
    Where we have come unstuck is that 16 Air Defence Regt' were certainly the only unit to use the 101s and at any one time they had at least 28 operational vehicles on strength. As my original source of info came from the regiment CO, he obviously referred to this smaller number. In fact these vehicles were rotated through Moorebank workshops in a continuous and ongoing fashion and although 16 ADR used a given number at any one time, the vehicles themselves were changed out against the pool.
    So it there you are!!!
    The fellow who clarified this used to oversee the rotation and repair schedule on all aspects of "Rapier" so I have no doubt about his knowledge on the subject. cheers Dave.
    1994 Discovery TDi
    2004 Discovery 2 TD5
    2010 Discovery 4 TDV6
    1961, Series 2 Ambulance. 108-098 - Eden

    Registry of Ex Military Land Rovers Mem. 129
    Defence Transport Heritage Tasmania Member

  3. #3
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    and this e-mail this morning.

    Hi Richard, I own the Australian pre production 101 with the trailer drive and trailer chassis no 10. Do you have any info on it?

    Regards, Nick
    1994 Discovery TDi
    2004 Discovery 2 TD5
    2010 Discovery 4 TDV6
    1961, Series 2 Ambulance. 108-098 - Eden

    Registry of Ex Military Land Rovers Mem. 129
    Defence Transport Heritage Tasmania Member

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    wow !!

    You'd have to sit down with pen and paper to sort through all that.

    I would mostly concur with the ex-RAEME guy's take on the numbers (50+). However, a 50% ratio between vehicles held on unit charge and the repair pool is a tad high.

    If vehicle stocks were held in similar fashion to other fleets, then it was likely that the 28 held on unit charge were its 'peace time' holdings. Moorebank would have held a % for 'wartime' holdings (enough for an additional rappier squadron or troop ?) and then a % for repair pool.

    It's also likely that at least one would have been held at the Army proving grounds at Monegetta.

    Good info

    Pete

  5. #5
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    This is all very fascinating about the 101's

    Just a question on the powered trailer issue.

    Has anyone seen a Scottorn Bushmaster powered trailer in Australia in recent years?


    From LR FAQ site although from memory the one in question had 5 stud LR PCD rims.

    As kid there was one that came out in combination with a Rover Factory prototype 1 Ton vehicle. Years later I saw the Land Rover in Alice springs without the trailer and the owners had no idea about the whereabouts of the trailer. In fact they didn't know the vehicle was a prototype and they thought the powered trailer coupling was only a regular PTO.

    Would love to track down the vehicle and or it's trailer again.

    Diana
    Last edited by Lotz-A-Landies; 17th December 2007 at 02:10 PM.

    You won't find me on: faceplant; Scipe; Infragam; LumpedIn; ShapCnat or Twitting. I'm just not that interesting.

  6. #6
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    Thre was one on e-bay a couple of times of which pictures can be seen on a couple of australian websites Land Rover Army Forward Control 101 Prototype

    however it hasn't been spotted for some time. this one that has popped up may well be it!
    1994 Discovery TDi
    2004 Discovery 2 TD5
    2010 Discovery 4 TDV6
    1961, Series 2 Ambulance. 108-098 - Eden

    Registry of Ex Military Land Rovers Mem. 129
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  7. #7
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    G'day All, A proto-type 101 was sold in Victoria about 2 years back (maybe more) with a Rubery Owen powered trailer, from my recollections it went to FNQ (Cairns??) also a Series 2A Lightweight was purchased by the same buyer so my sources told me at the time cheers Dennis

  8. #8
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    G'day Phoenix

    There was at one stage a 101 & powered trailer,in use with a WA outback touring firm the Rover had been replaced with a 350 Chev, there was a feature in one of the Aust 4x4 mags 1986+ from memory definately before 92 (when I put Aggie on the road), it was then put up for sale in Just 4x4's @ 100K still with the Chev motor, lost track of it after that, the FNQld buyer could be Sid Beck (he has a museum in Marreba Qld) has aircraft as well, used to be open to the public, there was also one of the Army 101's a GS from Memory lost down a cave hole in WA in the early 80's and left there, was on an exercise I think somebody ex AFD or RAEME would remember, they salvaged the missiles and left the truck. from memory there were 52 vehicles, some were also at the school of Artillery at North Head in Sydney at some time as 25 pounder tractors.

    cheers
    68 2a GS 6028D 172-484
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  9. #9
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    The prototype; and 101s at School of Artillery

    John Ayre of ULR Motors owned the prototype with the Falcon engine. Someone should buttonhole him at Cooma for some details of it when original for REMLR - he's one of the Guest speakers.
    I think there were 13 101s at the School of Artillery, North Head. During that time I lived near Manly and often used to see them STRANDED by the roadside. Probably Lucas electrics. Are 24V Lucas electrics twice as unreliable as 12v? My father was a supplier to the School and I weaseled a run in one once and immediately thought - 5 or 6 litre transplant, 3.54 ratio diff change! camper body mods. I am sure I saw them with Rapier Launchers and from memory they did training at Jervis Bay. Great sight in a convoy through Manly.
    Bob
    Last edited by bobslandies; 25th December 2007 at 08:28 PM.

  10. #10
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    Sounds about right.

    I spoke to a bloke a week or so ago who also has an aus 101 and a mate with a 101 ambulance (both down in Hobart) and he said that he took photos of the aus prototype (It was converted to a camper bus thingo) when he saw it last. I believe he will be appearing on the forums here soon
    1994 Discovery TDi
    2004 Discovery 2 TD5
    2010 Discovery 4 TDV6
    1961, Series 2 Ambulance. 108-098 - Eden

    Registry of Ex Military Land Rovers Mem. 129
    Defence Transport Heritage Tasmania Member

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