My 101 was disposed of in the first of two batches in Adelaide in 1990 or 91…… This and another 101 (along with a large quantity of spares) were purchased by a local father and son team. The two vehicles were to spend the next few years standing in a builder's yard until I learnt that one of them was for sale at $12,000. The vehicle for sale was a little shabbier than the other however it didn't matter as I was "keen" to get my hands on one no matter how much needed doing to it. I didn't part with $12,000 but did swap a fully refurbished and restored 2a shorty (military) with ¼ ton trailer. Thus in 1993 the dream was realized. By the way, the fellow I swapped with still has my old shorty and thankfully, has kept it in top condition.
After some preliminary repairs and maintenance I put the vehicle straight to work as a supply truck for an outdoor adventure organization I worked for at that time. This involved many trips up to the Flinders Ranges and back to Adelaide loaded to the gunnels with rations, fuel, equipment etc. With many "clicks" clocked up crawling around rough bush tracks whilst in the area of operations. In all this time the vehicle never missed a beat
When the Flinders work finished I took the opportunity to strip her down completely and went about replacing all wear parts and damaged body sections. I kept the original service markings in mind for the new paint work and with the exception of the "in Service" nic name ("4 nic 8 er" changed to "Gun Pig") all markings have been faithfully reproduced.
The vehicle has won consistently in every show it has been entered into and although it was last refurbished over ten years ago and now has that nice used look about her it is still regarded as one of the best examples in Australia.
I personally have a military background (21 yrs) and as a result have seen the best and worst of Land Rover both in active and peacetime service. Some soldiers hated the things, most loved them and forgave the quirky Englishness of their systems. And although I didn't have the opportunity to drive any 101's during my time in the army, I have however spoken to plenty of ex 16 Air Defence and AWC personnel who did and without exception they all speak in glowing terms of the old "Tunny" many still preferring their off road capabilities over the new replacement vehicles.
Presently as of Jan 2008, I am attempting to gather together a decommissioned Rapier launch system, I have in addition to the vehicle a Missile supply trailer, with access to a fitter's trailer and a 110v Rapier gen set. However, due to Government and BAe contractual agreements all systems were sent back to the UK with the exception of some gutted "Fire units" to be used as gate guardians and museum displays, there were a few training systems kept back as well.
Next big event will be the Corowa Military Vehicle rally followed by the L/R 60 Year event at Cooma in March 2008. Hope to see you there.
|Manuf. date||1977||Production||RHD 24v export|
|Army Census||Engine||Petrol 3.5L V8|
|Nomenclature||TRUCK, G.S., 24V 1 TONNE, 4x4 ROVER||ARN||29-418|