Prototypes

The vehicle below is believed to be a 1-Ton prototype dating from around 1964/5. It appears to have the four cylinder engine (the six cylinder engine was yet to become available in bonneted Land-Rovers). The photo was included in a specification document relating to 1-Ton Land-Rovers dated 21-4-1965. At that time it was planned to offer the 1-Ton with the 2.25 petrol or Diesel engines. Photo with thanks from James Taylor. Note that the vehicle is left-hand drive. Was Land-Rover aiming to fulful a foreign contract requiring a 1-Ton payload? This vehicle has a military type rear crossmember but otherwise appears to be in civilian specification.

FXC80C appears to be another possible prototype for a 1-Ton payload Land-Rover. It was built on a conventional chassis number (25406675B). It was photographed by James Taylor at Dunsfold in the 1990s. Note that the vehicle is left hand drive, again pointing towards a foreign market requirement. An almost identical vehicle made its way to the USA and was under restoration a couple of years ago. There is also believed to be a Belgian Military connection. Photos of a vehicle apparently identical to FXC80C but in bronze green exist at the Gaydon archive. FXC80C is currently in the United States.

The vehicle below (YXC320F) has come to be known as the “Mule” as it does not appear to have been a genuine 1-Ton. It is/was a six-cylinder engined vehicle though, judging by the exhaust routing. The spring hangers are the standard civillian type, not the extended type found on genuine 1-Tons. My guess is it was intended as nothing more then a photographic model for the brochure for the 1-Tons. The registration number shows up in the Factory Registration book but no model description or chassis number is entered alongside. The recent discovery of high quality photographic prints of this vehicle reveal it did indeed have a standard chassis, and was fitted with wooden blocks between the axle and the chassis to give the required clearance between the body and wheels.

A vehicle which accompanied early Range Rovers across the Sahara desert in 1969 was also suggested as a 1-Ton Prototype. “Lulubelle” as it was named by its crew, began life as a four-cylinder 109″ on chassis number 25104832B in the mid-1960s. It was (presumably later) fitted with a Prototype V8 engine number 2158/11A, which I think related to a Buick engine imported by Rover. It was registered by the factory as HXC191H, and certainly had 900R16 Michelin XS sand tyres on deep-dish rims when it went to the desert. It was later used for testing the Range Rover gearbox. Did it have ENV alxes? If anyone knows anything more about this vehicle I would love to hear from you.

HXC191H

HXC191H