In 1951 to 1952 the Trials and Proving Wing at Monegeeta took four vehicles on an extended trial to test the efficiency and reliability of the vehicles in the trial. The documentation that REMLR has in it's archive is Test Instruction 1515 of 8th December 1951. This document relates to the trial of the Holden engine fitted to 1948 Series 1 Land Rover ARN 153952, not to the vehicle or vehicle / engine combination.
Apart from the Land Rover with the Holden engine conversion the other three vehicles taking part in the trials trip were A Rolls Royce B40 engined 81" Land Rover 1951 Series 1 (ARN 107-678) , a Fordson Thames 5T truck with front wheel drive conversion, and a Truck, 3t, 4x4, Chevrolet which was used as a control and load carrier. This Chevrolet is a CMP (Canadian Military Pattern) also commonly known as a Blitz.
The Holden engined Land Rover had completed 53,000 miles of testing before the Holden motor was installed. Before it's installation the motor was run in as per the manufacturers instructions. It used a Holden radiator and cutch, as well as modified engine mounts and a spacer for the bell housing, probably similar to more modern civilian conversions.
On arrival back at Monegeeta on the 30th of April, 1952 the mileage of the vehicles were;
The Chevrolet had significantly lower mileage as it did not take part in one section of the trip. The Land Rovers had higher mileages as they were used as scout vehicles for the party as alternative routes had to be taken often due to poor road conditions.
Another peculiar item was a broken gearstick. The breakage report states "lever rethreaded and refitted". This is an interesting fix, most people merely weld broken gear sticks, but these Army engineers seem to have done the repair by drilling the ball and tapped a thread onto the stick.
The higher speed of the B40 Land Rover was because of the top gear ratios. Whereas the normal and holden powered Land Rovers had a ratio of 5.9:1, the B40 powered Land Rover had a ratio in top gear of 3.8:1
Conclusion of Holden Testing
The copyright of the other photographs is retained by the Army.
A number of photographs are interesting, and the map provides an insight into what kind of distances and terrain was involved in the testing.
A colour image of the Holden powered vehicle. ARN 153-952 pics Paul Handel