Jump to content

SAS Dinky or Walt Dream?


soleil
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I was going to start this thread later but another thread I started on this vehicle's radio setup:

 

http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?52339-Unusual-Land-Rover-radio-setup

 

raised lots of questions veering ever so slightly off-topic, so I thought I'd strike whilst the iron is hot.

 

I won the vehicle on an Ebay auction a couple of months ago, didn't pay a lot for it, and it was not sold as SAS. However it does have a lot of curious features:

 

Winch bumper (believe Superwinch X6 is 12V). The winch is low profile and does not obstruct the radiator, important as the V8 engine is vulnerable to overheating. Holes for military bumperettes. Front bumper reinforced internally

Bracket over winch bumper (bracket wrong size for ground anchor)

Pair "U"-shape tow rings front and rear

Flexible brake hoses front & rear protected with wire coils

Suspension lifted?

Gaitors over the chrome swivel balls (VIN apparently implies a civvie vehicle; more on this below)

Military lights front & rear, incl. recessed headlamp panels

V8 engine (serial 11D14325B - Range Rover Pulsair 9.35:1 compression ratio dated 1970-83, twin groove/belt with power steering fitted)

Chunky angle bracket around rear steering arm fixed to back of diff

LT77 or LT85 5 speed gearbox, believe the former. Black painted, but the army also had black LT85s

Removable gearbox crossmember absent, so military chassis

Fuel pump, fuel filter & some fuses easily accessible in engine bay

Wash reservoir, heater matrix, brake servo, radiator expansion tank, hoses & radiator top camo sprayed

Chequer plate wing tops screwed on + Tuaam box+transformer/spacer+aerial (VHF). Wing driver's side has vertical reinforcing stay: wing passenger side has remains of two straps on top and wear to paint but no stay. Military bonnet hooks

The disruptive camoflage paint scheme is well designed: the wheel rims do not have contrasting colours and so do not flash and draw the eye when in motion; the front is asymetrical, left hand side to right hand side, ditto the rear; the sides are different but in both cases the dark grey disrupts the natural shadow of the cab area. Mud flaps painted. Traces of paint on front tyre passenger's side

Rectangular section steel "rock sliders"

Two single GPMG mounts. (The front one - not fitted in some photos - has a large spent case collector, presumably to prevent empty cases etc. from hitting the driver. The rear one has the traverse limited so you can't shoot the driver or front passenger. These limits are very precise, i.e. close)

Coles sun compass on dash (rigid mount)

Spot light driver's side bolted on (not usual army bracket)

Remains of thin aluminium plate pop-rivetted in windscreen location passenger's side

24V battery warning light on dash (not unknown on 12V GS vehicles)

MPH speedo

Wiring a mess. Not sure if any dash lights work

Convoy light + toggle switch + big red switch on centre console (latter disconnected: may have been engine starter as believe momentary action, or winch)

Bendy map light

Straps clip to eye bolts by dash as 'doors' (one strap each side). Front seat belts

Gear lever modified

Access hole cut in the gearbox tunnel to view the linkage / get LT77 gearbox to fit?? Sound matting

Fire extinguisher in passenger footwell (only one check date - 1992)

"Late type front seats" (driver's has some camo overspray on the frame)

Welded cage between seats, believe for jerry can but may be used for man-pack radio?

Two FFR cable boxes between front seats. Remains of something else in front (believe original Land Rover; maybe cubby box)

Axe stowage on driver's side. Hi-Lift jack / sledge hammer - note wider strap - on passenger side

Roll cage with cam net. Latter much finer than the usual big holes with scrim attached; more akin to sacking. Scrim sewn on. Grab handle(?) either side fixed to roll cage under camo net

Plywood lined rear tub + fire extinguisher bracket. Former shows traces of yellow paint

Two vertical SA80 mounts; one horizontal (1" further apart)

Military 14v radio battery charging system on dexion racking with yellow cable running from battery box under passenger seat to distribution box(?) to 14V (NOT 24V) charging box to cab; canvas case for antennae

Radio operator's/gunner's seat hooked over tub side. No seat belt

Side whip anntena (not normal post mount as would obstruct rear GPMG / get shot off?). No transformer/spacer so HF

Larkspur telescopic radio mast bolted along top of tailgate with fabric endcaps. May be used for bergen stowage and/or possibly deployed horizontally

Jerry can stowage in tub (2 twin cages). 3 (believe there should be 4) tubs for the vehicle sides for more jerry cans (not fitted in photos). I think the shallow tub bolts to the seat box and rock slider below. Total capacity 8 jerry cans + 1 between the seats. Assuming 6 petrol + 2 water + manpack radio = 30 gallons + 10 gallon underseat tank. At 10 miles per gallon 400 miles: halve for cross-country = 200 miles, or 100 miles there and back - the same as the famous convoy op.

No pointy 'cap' on hub of rear wheels, unlike front wheels

Rear disc brakes as well as front (standard Defender fitment 1994+)

Axle case breather rear axle (but not on front)

Pioneer tools on military tailgate. (Two hinge marks+holes on right suggest a hardtop door was originally fitted. Also bracket for door retainer present)

Two civvie foglights

No reversing light

NATO tow hitch rear + civvie caravan socket

Military bumperettes

The bonnet does not look original as no desert camo, no yellow paint (or any other colour) underneath, very poor condition inside, bonnet hooks have been moved so they mate with the catches on the wings, and no stowage discernible on top besides the spare wheel mount

 

Holes etc, use unknown:

Front bumper - 2 large close together (tow ball?), 3 small spaced along top (number plate?), 2 medium widely spaced apart

Bracket over winch bumper has two holes enlarged. (Bracket wrong size for ground anchor)

Wing just in front of spotlight - 1 large

Wing passenger side has remains of two straps on top and wear to paint

Seatbox passenger's side - 2 above known jerry can holder holes

Box with wide strap above outside on passenger’s side - Hi-Lift jack or sledge hammer?

Remains of thin aluminium plate pop-rivetted in windscreen location, passenger's side

Dash top rail - 2 small pairs

Big red switch on centre military console - may have been engine starter as believe momentary action, or winch. Toggle switch + 2 large holes in right hand panel

Dash oval centre switch panel - 3 small holes along top + 1 large alongside, with holes in gearbox shroud below

Steering column left hand side by stalk - 1 large (original lock? Probably normal as seen on another military landy)

Welded cage between seats, believe for jerry can but may be used for man-pack radio

Bulkhead ply lining - 4 spaced out in line + 3 close together below + 2 on right of gun bracket driver's side

Tub floor parallel with bulkhead - 2

P-clip by radio seat

Tub floor each side of GPMG mount - 4 in rectangular format

 

I don't understand:

Brake box VIN plate (with camo paint smears) suggests 1984 diesel vehicle with a serial number between MOD trials vehicles and first MOD production 90's (see VIN Reseach below), therefore unable to trace a military vehicle registration. Date first registered is April 1985 whereas military vehicles are usually first registered when they leave the MOD, not soon after they are manufactured. (VIN plate on seatbox missing. Plate welded over VIN location on chassis. Ringer?)

Civilian(?) speakers in dash (no radio)

Fat 2 spoke steering wheel (1991+ 48 spline), not older style 4 spoke with rectangular centre pad (1984 36 spline) - possibly related to fitting of power steering ("power-assisted worm-and-roller steering was optional")

Poorly matched rear bumperettes. Holes from civvie 'grab handles' visible (grab handle holes often found on military vehicles). Civvie caravan socket with camo paint

Paint layers: dark green, red, Airfield Yellow, OD, Airfield Yellow, sand, grey. Airfield Yellow tends to be on the outside and red inside. Some blue and white in places. More orangey sand colour underneath in places (e.g. tailgate and by spotlight).

No ammo box stowage discernible

 

Is it a civilian imitation or is it genuine SAS?

I do not believe it is a Walter Mitty invention because it is 'sorted':

 

V8 engine with disc brakes all round and power steering

12v motor with 12v winch and unusually 12v radio gear

VHF aerial + HF aerial + telescopic mast

There is only one TUAAM wing box whereas most vehicles (and copies) have two

Front GPMG has a box to collect empty cases & links, preventing them from hitting the driver and cluttering up the cab

Rear GPMG is not obstructed by the usual side aerial mast and vertical telescopic mast mounting

 

I do not believe a SAS replica would be made and sold on like this:

 

The builder would usually take pride in such a vehicle and want to show it off. However, some aspects like the paint preparation, rear bumperette fit and dash cut out for the front GPMG mount are crude whereas the traverse limits on the rear GPMG are very, very precise. The vehicle is purely functional

Some modifications would never be seen - bumper reinforcing, brake hose reinforcing, bracket arround rear steering rod

There are a lot of holes leftover from where kit has been removed. There would be little or no need to do this on a completed replica: the parts and often the gear are usually sold on with the vehicle. It is not as if some of the gear - axe, shovel, pickaxe shaft, tub fire extinguisher - is particularly valuable. And why replace the bonnet with a very rusty unoriginal one?

'Typical' SAS features are missing - steering/sump/diff guard, ammo box stowage especially between front seats, sand channel stowage, compass mast, raised gunner's seat. In particular the expanded steel mesh external jerry can stowage as per the photos of known Dinkies

Atypical SAS features are present - axe stowage, rock sliders, gear box cutout, modified gear lever, radio mast on tailgate, bumper reinforcing, brake pipe reinforcing

The camo net does not have the normal big holes but is very fine mesh

Chassis VIN welded over whereas the rest of the chassis is not holed - why do this? (The welding looks old)

 

If it is SAS then there are issues which need explaining:

 

Weak LT77 gearbox used. (Ready access for repairs may explain why the gearbox crossmember has been removed.) An LT85 or LT95 box would have been stronger, but may have entailed different prop shafts, engine mounts and/or gearlever holes in the transmission tunnel - I do not know enough about this. The LT77 was fitted to V8 Range Rovers and non-V8 Land Rovers

No steering or diff guards (weight? ran out of spares? delay access to weak gearbox? subsequently removed like the radios etc?)

Old style Series IIa Pinkie GPMG mounts rather than modern 1980's DPV (ran out of spares?)

Latest Land Rover spec seats and steering wheel

Lack of discernible ammo stowage, especially in cab

No raised seat box for front gunner (may not be expected as upper seat belt mount not raised either)

SA80 weapon mounts (Dinkies were apparently used by B Squadron, HQ and maybe SAS reservists)

An axe on desert ops!?

External jerry can stowage above the rear wheels is solid not expanded steel mesh as shown on the 2-3 photos of known Dinkies (space taken up by axe & aerial etc? extended range not required for the famous convoy op?)

Civvie dash speakers, caravan socket, VIN?, multiple paint colours underneath (RAF?)

 

 

Research Notes - Time Line

Emphasis added to highlight the contradictory accounts, even from people who were there!

 

"Very shortly after A Squadron was committed, D Squadron also arrived and the amount of available equipment was further reduced. By The time a third SAS Squadron, B, got to the Gulf a week later, there was virtually nothing left. A plan that had been based around the use of one squadron was suddenly adapted to encompass three and a half squadrons (for the Territorial R - Reserve - Squadron had also been deployed), who were all trying to operate on one squadron's supply of equipment."

 

Ghosts: The Illustrated Story of the SAS by Ken Connor p197

 

 

 

'There are,' Vince [Phillips, Bravo Two Zero] replied. 'Three of them [Dinkies]. Problem is that one of the other patrols has nabbed two already, and I doubt we can fit eight blokes plus kit into a three-quarter-size Landrover.'

 

Soldier Five by Mike Coburn p 25 via Google Books

 

 

 

"I know the SAS used 12v 90's "sourced" [stolen?] from the RAF"

"The SAS converted ex RAF 90's due to a lack of DPV's available"

 

 

 

 

"In what was to prove to be one of the most audacious plans in the Regiment's history, he decided to send ten 4-ton trucks, with six Land Rovers acting as escorts, some one hundred and fifty kilometres into enemy territory to bring us our essential supplies..."

 

"Eye of the Storm" by Peter Ratcliffe p386

 

 

 

"The cavalry had arrived - a remarkable convoy consisting of ten 4-ton trucks, pinkies and motor cycle outriders."

 

Source: C.Q.B. Close Quarter Battle by Mike Curtis p409

 

 

 

"With no escort, the four-tonners couldn't afford to get into a firefight."

 

Sabre Squadron by Cameron Spence p334

 

 

 

VIN Research

Breakdown of SALLDVAC7AA233767 VIN code: Europe, UK, Land Rover, 90/110, 92.3", "Truck Cab, Soft Top or Hard Top (Utility body)", 4 cyl diesel, RHD 5 speed, 1983-4, Solihull, serial No. 233797

 

Research from Geoff at FMW:

 

"There were tri-service vehicles in KD (prototypes) but they have earlier chassis serial numbers. The first production military spec Nineties to enter service had VINs commencing around SALLDVAC261986 – much later in the sequence -and bore KE serials. Your chassis number is therefore between the prototypes and the first production batch. The RAF had a ‘specialist’ set of serials in AY but made no purchases of Nineties at the relevant time.

 

Is this a military spec Ninety or a civil one? If it is civil then it would have had Asset Code 1621-3100 indicating a civil spec RHD Diesel Soft Top. The relevant vehicles are:

 

00 KD 34 and 00 KD 35, 18 KD 63 to 18 KD 65

 

I have not got the chassis number for the last three civil spec Nineties that but all five were for the Navy. Furthermore the first two were definitely a different chassis prefix and I suspect the last three were that prefix too as they were under the same contract."

 

Squaring the Circle - a Possible History

The vehicle was originally a civilian 'white fleet' spec RAF 90 hard top in dark green with white wheels, as photographed in Bob Morrison's book "Combat Land Rovers Portfolio No. 1" page 98 top plate (except for the tdi engine). During its time with the RAF it was repainted red, yellow & OD and acquired military lights. This would explain the green paint, white wheels, pointy caps missing off the rear wheel hubs, civvie 'grab handle' holes on the rear crossmember, dash speakers...

 

The Gulf War starts. The SAS is desperately short of vehicles. The desert is very punishing on them so 'white fleet' type vehicles which have not been used & abused cross country are a tempting target. The RAF keeps quiet as it is highly embarrassing to have vehicles stolen from a war zone when sentries should be alert. The SAS and REME (unofficial moto 'adapt, improvise, overcome') raid the spares bin but there is not enough of everything to go round. Parts are fabricated and Land Rover help where they can by shipping goodies over. Modifications include the usual V8 engine for performance, parts compatibility and mechanical familiarity. The tell-tale VIN plates are dealt with. The result is the mysterious Dinky, a vehicle whose very existence is deliberately concealed in some first-hand accounts of the Gulf War.

 

After the war the Dinkies are redundant. They lack the range, payload and equipment specification of proper Desert Patrol Vehicles and the weapons mounts are crude and obsolete. To those familiar with Land Rovers the differences are obvious; even more reason to be camera-shy. Never having officially acquired them, the SAS now has a problem: how to get rid of them? To remove all the parts would leave a body like a Swiss cheese. The RAF - who the SAS rely on for airlifts - would not be best pleased. They are quietly scrapped, but one sneaks away...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More:

 

12 Between seats.JPG

 

20 Tub GPMG.JPG

 

Tub left

24 Tub left.JPG

 

Tub right

25 Tub right.JPG

 

Radio gear

27  14v charger.jpg

 

Paint layers (not all colours shown - some only present elsewhere)

30 Paint layers.JPG

 

Loose parts

40 Loose parts.JPG

 

The vehicle is stored near Ashford, Kent, near the War & Peace showground. (It doesn't have an MOT and won't be getting one anytime soon so it won't be there.) Quite happy to show visitors as I want to get to the bottom of it. (Free most Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays; can also arrange visits when you're down for WiP)

 

I have more detailed shots but have not compressed them yet (so 3Mb at the moment) and can take more shots when I visit it next - let me know what you'd like.

 

More than happy for any PMs from people who would like to remain anonymous / tell me off the record etc.

 

Thank you for your consideration - I need all the help I can get;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you say it has a civilian registration from 1985, I would think that is the first thing to check. As registered keeper, for a small fee Swansea will give you list of previous owners. The original owner may throw some light, and subsequent ones might tell you what they had done to the vehicle.

 

regards, Richard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you say it has a civilian registration from 1985, I would think that is the first thing to check. As registered keeper, for a small fee Swansea will give you list of previous owners. The original owner may throw some light, and subsequent ones might tell you what they had done to the vehicle.

 

regards, Richard

 

Thank you.

 

I have applied for that. They banked my cheque at the end of last year but no data yet. Hopefully any day now. I will of course keep you updated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Interesting, thanks. Not seen that photo before.

 

I'm guessing the photo is of the catalogue entry given the background and it is left hand drive.

 

I think I'm right in saying this is a post Gulf War 'copy' rather than genuine. It lacks any external storage over the rear wheels for jerry cans whereas the couple of photos of known Dinkies show expanded steel mesh side baskets and mine has solid ones. I haven't noticed wire headlight guards or "Notek" night lights on any SAS vehicles either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sales vehicle for Oman , possibly by such as Marshall.

 

That is another pointer , export military could be civvy based - and with VIN removed , because it would not be a new Solihull manuf. product , not even a Land Rover as such , it would not need a International VIN ,,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More pics:

 

Seatbox driver's side. Note camo paint on seat frame, holes for jerry can storage tray, strap for same and no VIN plate

40 Seatbox VIN location a.JPG

 

Brake box VIN plate. Slight smear of sand paint on it

41 Brakebox VIN a.JPG

 

Front chassis driver's side with plate over VIN and underseal/paint

41 Chassis VIN location a.JPG

 

Front GPMG mount. Dash speaker, red paint and odd gear lever base also visible

44 Front GPMG mount a.JPG

 

Axe stowage by filler cap

45 Axe holder a.JPG

 

Possible stowage for Hi-Lift jack on opposite side of vehicle (note wider retaining strap). Both have drainage holes

46 Maybe for HiLift jack a.JPG

 

Atypical mount for side aerial instead of the usual mast

47 Atypical side aerial mount a.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Front winch bumper looks reinforced inside: original thickness at top, wider at side and bottom even allowing for delamination

50 Front bumper looks reinforced a.JPG

 

Bracket on front diff around rear steering arm

51 Bracket on diff around steering arm a.JPG

 

No gearbox crossmember visible. Possible fixing holes on chassis rails bottom left, where the exhaust U-clamp bolts are pointing

52 No gearbox cross member a.JPG

 

Not sure what the red highlighted bits are for underneath vehicle front

53 Not sure what highlighted bits for a.JPG

 

Wire coiled around flexible brake hose

54 Wire around flexible brake hose a.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crude hole chopped in transmission tunnel: linkage visible below

60 Crude a.JPG

 

Crude rear bumperettes do not fit properly; again more functional than pretty. Note rear tow ring and camo sprayed mudflap and rear crossmember

61 Crude a.JPG

 

Paint layers over rear wheel where a jerry can basket was fitted. Bright yellow and OD with possibly a bit of blue just below the hole

80 Paint layers over rear wheel behind jerry can basket a.JPG

 

Paint layers by windscreen showing dark green, red, orangey sand (on rubber windscreen strip), blue immediately next to it, bright yellow, camo grey and yellow sand camo (on spotlight)

81 Paint layers windscreen area a.JPG

 

Camo sprayed engine components

82 Camo sprayed engine components a.JPG

 

I don't think this vehicle was ever going to be stripped down and RTUed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will try an investigate for chassis bracketry, & IIRC the steering drag-link thingie is std.

 

1. Rear bumperettes seem to be 109" / Lightweight (narrow dimension) , somebody for Walt GLAM-JOB would have done better with proper Defender type.seems more in service we have and it will be serviceable.

 

2. Axe mountings , so neat , not cobbled , seems as if drawn from stores.

 

1 + 2 these points alone , presently have swayed me that this is NOT a Walt.

 

For a Walt the gun mounts would be quite difficult to source and can be expensive , no restorer would then leave outside not undercover , same with winch/bumper.

 

I think the chassis is straight civvy spec. can't see hole to UK offside of pintle mounting holes , you should see small holes on outside where NATO socket bracket fits (mine does but PO fitted a Hella DIN socket). Normal civvy - don't think would have the small holes for fixings.

 

Main gearstick , common reinforcement where they snap , those in know for service would reinforce before event.

 

-----

 

Mechanicals - seems to me requirement for more in-service by special forces not bothered with mpg , although a restorer could even have used a V8 & locked the bonnet at shows (you state not original bonnet though) . Is the wheel mount (spare) more suitable for sand rims/tyres ?

 

I did know of a factory proto V8 , used by head lad on a estate , can't think of year owner sourced (pulled strings)

 

Overspray - is all telling (or a good faker-up)

 

On balance , evidence seems to me - quick prep (for a short in-service)rather than a prissy rivet-counter / embelisher gild the lilly type - and for SAS , sticking my neck out on this , most difficult I have ever come across LoL

 

So yes, I think gen. and this is why the chassis VIN is blanked off - because the truck may have been civvy sourced in a panic , Solihull Spl. Products , Marshall or done by garrison..

 

THat rear axle , probably to give stronger half-shaft /drive flange - to std. civvy , although civvy V8 drive permanent with Rover axles normally OK . I have all stuff assembled (inc. proper axle-case) to convert my rear drums to disc (more for heavy towing) I suppose I would do same at early 1990's for any HD operation. Somebody may just have used what he had - so no good clue there..

 

IMHO early date definative will come from a Marconi Sahib assessment of what is extant.

 

Bull it up and drive to Hereford , if you get past the gate-post without a bullet then it passes..

 

btw I examined dozens of LR's at auction on return from Gulf , that would be 1992 auctions , Lightweights were rubbish rotten chassis and they did not rust out in middle-east. Paint jobs were rubbish , as you know from BM books - probably all sand / yellow stuff from B&Q. Possibly that Golden Yellow was applied as a first basecoat to tone down ?

Edited by ruxy
spelin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure what the red highlighted bits are for underneath vehicle front

[ATTACH=CONFIG]111925[/ATTACH]

 

Is this not the mounting bracket for a steering damper? The one used would depend on LHD or RHD.

 

Axe holder? Was such a thing ever an embellishment on British Special Forces vehicles?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this not the mounting bracket for a steering damper? The one used would depend on LHD or RHD.

 

Axe holder? Was such a thing ever an embellishment on British Special Forces vehicles?

 

Yes, correct - just had a look - mine has strg. damper fitted , however PO had power steering fitted - don't know about that - seems a bit daft.

 

Axe holder ?

 

Pioneer gardening tools , I have always had the view that given choice I would have a double blade mattock or single / pick mattock rather than a pick-axe standard fit. Service spade is OK.

 

A axe would be good to have , turned over vehicles for quick evacuation if trapped, along with a "Hooligan Bar" standard fire engine kit along with hyd. powerpack & jack rams etc.

 

1971 , I was in a VW Beetle hit in side by a Cortina (I think) rolled over three times on Black Hill garage forecourt between Stratford-on-Avon and Leamington Spa. My passenger seat was 4" wide on top of handbrake & I was upside-down with legs trapped , covered in petrol from split tank and engine running ! Fortunate for me the mechanics grabbed a bar and a spade or something ,,

 

So many contradiction features on this truck, possibly the normal facilitator(s) asked "what do you want" on your gunship ?

Or a very devious hoaxer on show circuit , but all that trouble - why let it all rot ? Walt it may be but they don't come much better..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for your careful consideration.

 

I think there are too many missing bits for a Walt and this vehicle was put together quickly to be functional, whereas a restorer or Walt would have more time and go to greater trouble to make it look good.

 

IF it is genuine then GPMGs + V8 + jerry can holders + sun compass + winch is obvious SAS, even though the couple of known pictures show more modern weapon mounts and mesh not solid external baskets. I am not going to pretend this was a first line vehicle, or given the known photos referred to, even a second line vehicle, but one knocked together at short notice for the reservists for the wadi convoy op behind enemy lines is, to my mind, the most likely.

 

Morrison's book 'British Land Rovers in the Gulf' - which I bought for obvious reasons - does show some weird stuff by other units: thin pink stripe camo akin to a zebra (p57); recce vehicle with square section improvised roll cage (p54); weedy narrow disruptive patterning (p51); RAF Regt in Series 3 with single GPMG, no rollover protection & limited jerry can storage behind the tailgate (p30). Compared with these mine is well specced.

 

Given all the mods I think it was disposed of shortly after the war (the fire extinguisher service date of 1992 is suggestive though obviously not definitive). Because it does not look like any of the known vehicles I think it was unrecognised both on disposal and after: previous owners saw it as a bit of lad's toy but not SAS Special so it got neglected. The previous owner told me it was ex-RAF. He said he was a retired Land Rover dealer and he bought it from another Land Rover dealer who got it from/was in Birmingham. All hearsay, and it might just be a massive coincidence, but 23 SAS (v) Artists have (had? - I am not current) their HQ in Birmingham.

 

IIRC the steering drag-link thingie is std.

 

Are you referring to the bracket on the diff?

 

1. Rear bumperettes seem to be 109" / Lightweight (narrow dimension) , somebody for Walt GLAM-JOB would have done better with proper Defender type.

 

This is what I did on my civvie Series 3 - choose some bumperettes which looked to be a close fit, trim the outside surfaces so they did not extend below the rear crossmember and bolt on. Looks way better than this vehicle and it required nothing more sophisticated than a hacksaw and vice.

 

2. Axe mountings , so neat , not cobbled , seems as if drawn from stores.

 

Though not shown as clearly the Hi-Lift jack mount - if that is what it is - is just as tidy.

 

Mechanicals - seems to me requirement for more in-service by special forces not bothered with mpg , although a restorer could even have used a V8 & locked the bonnet at shows (you state not original bonnet though)

 

Bob Morrison, in a quick reply to me (he was going to have a closer look over the Xmas hols), said he believed the Dinkies were based on diesels - that is where the D(inky) came from - and as the convoy lorries were diesels thought the V8 engine was wrong. My line of reasoning is: 1) SAS Mobility Troop would be most familiar with V8's and so able to fix them quicker; 2) already in theater (on the convoy op) we have SAS V8 DPVs, SAS Unimogs and the four tonner resupply lorries - why introduce a fourth engine variant with yet another set of spares?; 3) the four tonners were carrying petrol for the SAS anyway, so more petrol instead of diesel for their Dinkie escorts would not be a problem; 4) my vehicle with a mix of 6 jerry cans petrol & 2 water can go 100 miles behind enemy lines at a cross-country 5mpg without resupply anyway; 5) a V8 gives greater performance. Shortly after the Gulf War the paras obtained some diesel recce vehicles but found the performance sub-par: I can't imagine the SAS lugging less or putting up with poor performance.

 

Is the wheel mount (spare) more suitable for sand rims/tyres ?

 

One of the things I am most convinced of is the bonnet is not original: rusty as blazes underneath; OD paint with a muddy brown wash over it (none of the yellow or other paint colours underneath, only bare metal); holes from where the bonnet hooks were before they got moved to mate with my bonnet catches; and no holes, straps etc. to store any other gear. That being said, I don't know how a wheel mount suitable for sand rims would differ from standard. I am not convinced it is required either because one of the things the SAS discovered is whilst where they trained was sandy, the Iraqi desert is stony. They would have known this if knocking up a vehicle quickly during the war.

 

On balance , evidence seems to me - quick prep (for a short in-service)rather than a prissy rivet-counter / embelisher gild the lilly type - and for SAS , sticking my neck out on this , most difficult I have ever come across LoL

 

Agreed. I can't think of a better explanation. I am reminded of the Sherlock Holmes quote: "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

 

So yes, I think gen. and this is why the chassis VIN is blanked off - because the truck may have been civvy sourced in a panic , Solihull Spl. Products , Marshall or done by garrison..

 

Personally I find it hard to think of an innocent explanation.

 

IMHO early date definative will come from a Marconi Sahib assessment of what is extant.

 

Sorry, no idea what a "Marconi Sahib assessment" is? (I am new to this lark.) Overall, some military parts look old, which might be explained as all what they had left, whereas some civvie parts (seats, steering wheel) are latest civvie spec, which might be explained by the fact Land Rover had their own staff in theatre (photo of one in that BM book again) and could get parts there real quick.

 

Bull it up and drive to Hereford , if you get past the gate-post without a bullet then it passes.

 

:) Won't be anytime soon. The condition is worse than it looks and I am very cash poor for a few years - not helped by paying for storage for it. I wasn't looking for a vehicle but saw it and some of the features caught my eye. Of course, if it is genuine, I am not going to see another one, so it was now or never.

 

Possibly that Golden Yellow was applied as a first basecoat to tone down ?

 

That thought has also crossed my mind: a light undercoat to lighten the OD without using up limited stocks of camo paint.

 

Yours

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Axe holder? Was such a thing ever an embellishment on British Special Forces vehicles?

 

I cannot recall another, or think why they might want one in the desert of all places! Break open packing cases on the convoy op???

 

I could say that few SAS vehicles are identical, and if it had nothing new it might be a bit suspicious, but I fully appreciate these are weak arguments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Angle thingie on back of front diff - yes.

 

The axe/holder could be a civvy owner addition.

 

------

 

Ref , welding a plate over the VIN , I have known this where a chassis is sent for galv. the plate is removed after , but no zink forget it. If somebody was going to ring - that would be pathetic , to me it is a way of saying this is no longer a RTV Land Rover and does not need type approval .

 

I am the other end of England (north) otherwise I would like a good look at it.

 

The radio - if it makes sense to a FFR radio expert , then gen. or possibly Walted by a radio expert. If the radio stuff is just BS bolted to Dexion - then it is more probable a Walt.

 

btw A Radio Officer on a Lascar crewed MN ship - is the Marconi Sahib LoL

 

Possibly you should raise all this on the ExMLRA Forum..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+ winch is obvious SAS,

 

Hello, may I ask what it is about the winch bumper that makes it military?

 

I had one exactly like that type of bumper on a SVO 127 - ex electricity overhead line truck.

 

Is there something specific about that winch bumper that makes it unique?

 

 

Before you ask its just part of my OCD :-)

 

Regards Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, may I ask what it is about the winch bumper that makes it military?

 

I had one exactly like that type of bumper on a SVO 127 - ex electricity overhead line truck.

 

Is there something specific about that winch bumper that makes it unique?

 

 

Before you ask its just part of my OCD :-)

 

Regards Paul

 

 

Manuf. by Mantec or Safety Devices I think , probably Solihull factory approved SVO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Manuf. by Mantec or Safety Devices I think , probably Solihull factory approved SVO

 

Ah OK So thats what I was thinking ->

 

I know there were a lot of that type of winch bumper ex utility around late 90's and they were incredibly strong much to the detriment of many a poor dumb iron..

 

Regards Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The axe/holder could be a civvy owner addition.

 

...

 

The radio - if it makes sense to a FFR radio expert , then gen. or possibly Walted by a radio expert. If the radio stuff is just BS bolted to Dexion - then it is more probable a Walt.

 

As you probably know, there is a post on the radios here:

 

http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?52339-Unusual-Land-Rover-radio-setup

 

It is a minimalist set-up whereas I'm guessing Walts tend to go OTT. And if the radio setup is sensible, as is the GPMG setup, why go off the beaten track with the axe holder / rock slider / external jerry can holders / side aerial? There is a replica Dinky (pics on the web, by a Sue IIRC), and surprise, surprise, that has expanded steel mesh baskets down the whole side. The Japanese have a saying 'the nail that sticks out gets banged in', i.e. best play it safe.

 

Possibly you should raise all this on the ExMLRA Forum..

 

That will probably happen, ta. Contacting Barry Pocock/Neil Mitchell and Dunsfolds are other obvious moves as they have been able to examine genuine examples all over.

 

The vehicle was in the same neck of the woods as the Bovington Tank Museum and apparently taken to some local shows, so it is possible there are photos of it more complete and in better nick.

 

At the end of the day I want to play it safe. i.e. be certain this vehicle is not genuine before altering it, because if it is genuine it is not "one in a million" but one of six or so ever made, possibly the only one of its type, one of two surviving, and the only one not altered with OD paint and in private hands. It makes any "rare" Aston, Jag etc. distinctly common! I don't have the loot to do anything with it at the moment, so I'm in no rush one way or the other. I suppose I should take some comfort from the fact no-one in hundreds of views has replied "sorry mate, it is an obvious turkey because...";)

 

 

Few more pics:

 

Close-up of side aerial bracket (also posted in radio thread). Note too close weave camo net with scrim stitched on

90 Aerial base closup also distinctive netting a.JPG

 

Sun compass

91 Sun compass a.JPG

 

Unusual rear wheel hub. What I call the 'pointy cap' is missing from the centre: I do not know if it has just not been screwed back in or is more significant. It is missing from both sides on the rear axle; present on both front axles. Note too the orangey paint I have referred to and the white paint underneath

92 Unusual rear hubs a.JPG

 

Wing top passenger side. In red are washers with remains of straps just visible below: green indicates area of paint wear, presumably from whatever was lashed on

93 Remains of two straps note wear a.JPG

 

 

I am surprised no-one has commented on the SA80 mounts. Can they be used for M16s too? SA80s are not normal SAS carry, though when I was in the UOTC at Leeds just before the Gulf War we shared a base with B Sqn and their sentries carried them. Do the SAS Reserves also get to choose their weapons???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...