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Thread: Series 1 Panel Van prototype

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Series 1 Panel Van prototype

    Did this post before and lost it somehow, so if it shows up somewhere please forgive me for repeating.

    A member of a FB group I belong to has recently bought what he describes as:

    "The latest project, a unique LWB Series 1 from 1957. Custom built at the factory in Australia, as a full length hardtop for the Australian Army. The army also fitted an S2 2.25 L motor."

    series1van.jpg series1van2.jpg series1van3.jpg series1van4.jpg series1van5.jpg series1van6.jpg

    the engine has a 1959 number, one of the same run as the S2's that were delivered the same year. Assume they fitted to have interchangeability with the S2's? The conversion includes an access hatch in the scuttle.

    She has no army type trailer plug and no sign one ever was fitted, no pintle hook but that might have been removed after sale, or maybe it never had one?

    a rear shot, of the Series 1 LWB 1957. This is it, one of the door (needs rehanging) and of the door opening. The door is the only part of the truck body not once painted cream, or bronze green. Only olive drab. So either a newer door or a different arrangement.

    Series 2 Panel Vans had a different tail gate configuration of top and bottom gates, as per the pic below


    I found a contact for a fellow by the name of John Bamford, who was part of the trials conducted on the original S2 Ambulances. I have asked if he could be of any help on this.

    After sending him the pics, he said,

    I am fairly sure there was no 109" Series one Panel Van used or trialed by the Australian Army. Apart from the Landrover Ambulance trials in 1960/61 and 1961/62, before I left Army Design Establishment in 1972 I had copies and details of previous trials reports going back to Centurian Tanks in the early 1950s.

    However, I have seen a picture taken at Pressed Metal Corporation (where Army Landrovers were assembled) of two earlier 109" Landrovers with bodies like the Ambulances.
    However, vehicles like this were not introduced into the Army, and I don't know whether they were for some other purpose or assembled as prototypes to show the Army what could be done.

    Maybe you have got one of those vehicles which would explain why there are no Army numbers on it.

    In the early 1960's, some of the "Army" prototypes being tested carried Commonwealth Government number plates i.e. numbers preceded by the Commonwealth designation of "C". I recall one of these being parked outside the Rover offices in Melbourne, which resulted in blast from the Department of Supply asking why one of "their vehicles" was parked there unattended. But I never knew of an ambulance with a "C" plate."

    I then contacted JRA for their help.

    "Thank you for your email regarding the Series 1 Land Rover Panel Van.

    We have asked internally for assistance regarding further information on this vehicle.

    From your information received, we can confirm the vehicle would have been manufactured at Press Metal Corporation, however as it was sold through Annand & Thompson in Queensland, it is highly unlikely considered to be a military vehicle, as the ambulances had much higher roofs installed.

    From our understanding of the photos you had provided, it is possible that military components were added to the vehicle after it was sold through Annand & Thompson in Queensland.

    Your query is still being investigated to obtain further information, and as soon as we receive any updates, we will be glad to let you know."

    From what we know and what we can only guess is that it was possibly offered as a prototype to a regional Ambulance service, as the cream paint was used by such services in that time period, and may have been repainted bronze green to show the Army before they went for the High Top "Blood boxes". The olive drab colour, if not accepted by the Army, is a mystery.

    Sorry for the long-winded post, but any help with identifying the history of this vehicle would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    In my D2a Ripping It Up
    cheers chris

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by rangieman View Post
    X 2 !!!!
    143901065 88" SII Basic " Madge" | 1988 RRC Portifino Red "LeeLoo" | 1995 Defender 130 Dualcab Ute

    "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it." -- a warning from Adolf Hitler
    "If you don't have a sense of humour, you probably don't have any sense at all!" -- a wise observation by someone else
    'If everyone colludes in believing that war is the norm, nobody will recognize the imperative of peace." -- Anne Deveson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Its a bit late but I wouldnt have minded swapping that for my'57 series 1 , 5 door station wagon ,It looks great with the full length low sides just looks fantastic .
    In the year this was produced I think this type of wagon would have sold in volumes, 4x4 and all.
    their has been attempts in the past with the long ute to try and "panelvan"the vehicle,and I have a mate up the road who has a lwb series1 ute who tried this and had a top fabricated at great expense and when it was completed ,he hated the result as the vehicle is in use every day.
    Guess what ? its back to ute status.
    But I am going to show him the photos of this lwb panel van and see what he thinks .
    This vehicle has hit the nail on the head.
    I hope the patina is preserved as it is in the photo ,it looks awesome.
    The major obstacle is the separate ute body/cab issue which Im also aware of .
    Great Story !!
    Jethro Bunbury WA.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Central West NSW
    I perhaps should point out that the supply date on the pictured plate is 1962, five years after the chassis was made. This raises the question as to what it was doing during those five years. Possibly used as some sort of demonstrator for Annand and Thompson, including this unique body. This would also explain the Series 2 motor. It may even have been acquired by the army, as, if I am remembering correctly, this would have been during the period when Landrovers were in very short supply and it may have filled an immediate local need.

    1986 110 County 3.9 diesel
    1970 2a 109 2.25 petrol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Sunshine Coast
    Quote Originally Posted by JDNSW View Post
    I perhaps should point out that the supply date on the pictured plate is 1962, five years after the chassis was made.
    That plate is for a workshop platform, either for a trailer or LR. Completely unrelated to the vehicle.

    I really like this vehicle but I don't believe it was made that way at a factory or used by the army.
    1983 Range Rover (gone)
    1997 Defender 300tdi (gone)
    1984 One Ten Hardtop (gone)
    1987 Perentie GS - 48-010
    1989 Perentie GS/Defender Station Wagon - 49-514
    1993 Discovery Tdi 5 dr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Central West NSW
    I suspect you are absolutely correct.

    One of the key features of proper Landrovers is that they are built like a meccano set. A few minutes reflection tells me that if someone gets hold of my 2a ten years after I am no longer around, they are likely to speculate whether it really came from the factory like that or was modified in service (started life as a FFR, now a cab ute with deluxe trim, high back seats, 3/4 canvas, painted cream, but almost all factory parts). The answer is - neither. All my own work, but looks pretty professional.

    1986 110 County 3.9 diesel
    1970 2a 109 2.25 petrol

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