Bought to fulfil a specific role, this Land Rover 101 wasn’t the obvious choice when short-listing potential candidates as a towing vehicle. During the spring of 2009, Val and Gordon had been contemplating buying a vehicle capable of towing a Land Rover Lightweight (LWT), to shows, on a car-transporter trailer.
Being Land Rover enthusiasts, and with a keen interest in ex-military vehicles, they dismissed the very capable Discovery in favour of a Defender. Although they both favoured Series vehicles, a Defender would be a little more practical, and more powerful if a V8 or 200/300 TDi was sourced.
After several months of watching the classifieds to see what was available, Val and Gordon were still not 100% sure as to what they should buy. During June, whilst at the Eastnor show, they were having a discussion with a couple of friends from the LWT Club about how great it would be to have a Land Rover 101, when Val suggested that a 101 would be the ideal vehicle for towing. The seed was sewn. Not only would a 101 make a great towing vehicle, but it could also be displayed at the shows and was a vehicle that they had both always wanted.
Once home from Eastnor, they began their search and started by getting in touch with someone whom they had met the year before at the Peterborough show who had mentioned that he may be selling his 101. Although this was still for sale, it never materialised. A few weeks later, they saw a 12 Volt GS for sale on the 101 Club Forum and made arrangements to see the vehicle, the weekend after the War & Peace show. Unfortunately, this one was sold before they got chance to go and see it. At this point, Val and Gordon were thinking of putting off the purchase until the following spring, when they saw a 101 for sale, in Lancashire, on eBay. They arranged to view this 12 Volt GS version the following weekend and after a full inspection, test drive and some obligatory bartering, the sale was completed and they collected the 101 the following weekend. The vehicle had been fitted with an overdrive, stainless exhaust system and LPG by the previous owner, making it the ideal vehicle to fit their requirements.
The 101 had been used by the previous owner for long distance camping trips and had been fitted with several other non-standard extras to make the vehicle more pleasant to use for this purpose. These are slowly being removed as original items are being sourced. When purchased, the 101 was finished in deep Bronze Green, and although the paintwork was reasonable, Val and Gordon decided that they would change the colour and they resprayed the 101 in satin finish green and black camouflage pattern. During the respray, they were able to fully assess the condition of the vehicle and with the exception of two small areas of metalwork that needed repairing, the vehicle is in excellent condition.
The 101 is used as much as possible and the only remaining non-standard items that need replacing are the front seats and seat belts. Although they are yet to trace the vehicles military history, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as the military data-plate is still in situ. Since purchase, a car transporter trailer has been sourced which, after some modifications, will be used with the 101 to transport their LWTs to shows.