Home ] What's New ] Armoured Vehicles ] Other Vehicles ] Military Models ] Reviews ]

in Australian Army Service

Part Two


A Landrover Series 2 ¾ ton GS at Holsworthy range in 1977. This example has been modified with the brushguard and other fittings of the later Series 2A range. (lrlwb02.jpg) (Photo courtesy L.A. Wright)


Series 2 109 inch Wheelbase Models

by Paul Handel 


At the same time as the 88 inch wheelbase Series 2 Landrovers were introduced to the Australian Army, so too was the 109 inch wheelbase model. They were classified as ¾ ton vehicles, but often referred to as long wheelbase (LWB). Similarly, the 88 inch wheelbase type was referred to as the short wheelbase (SWB).

Types in Service

The Series 2 LWB were found in normal personnel/cargo, fitted for radio (FFR), ambulance, panel van and fire fighting configurations. The Personnel/Cargo and FFW variants could also be fitted with a winch, usually the capstan variety. Most ambulances were fitted with the capstan winch. Although they supposedly only had a service life of around 10 years, Some Series 2 vehicles were photographed as late as 1977 still in service. A number saw service in South Vietnam.

The vehicles used basically a standard civilian configuration with military fittings such as sign holders, bridging disc, towing pintle, protected tailights and blackout lighting. Those still serving in the 1970s appear to have been upgraded to Series 2A “Standard”, with brush guards and repositioned rear number plate, although the rounded front cutouts in the mudguards remained.

Fitted For Radio

Various radio configurations were fitted to Series 2 Landrover LWBs. EMEIs (Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Instructions – similar to the British EMERs) list the following installations (this list shows some examples only);


Radio Set C13/B47 for use in HF and VHF bands by RAAC Units


Radio Set C13 for use in the HF band by RAAC units


Radio Set AN/PRC 47-C42 for use in the HF and VHF bands by RA Sigs Units


Radio Set C42 for use in VHF band by RAAC, RAA, RA Sigs and RAASC Units


Radio Set C42/C11-R210 for use in the VHF and HF band by RA Sigs units

In each case, the radio set(s) were mounted on wooden table in the rear compartment, immediately behind the driver’s compartment. Often a control unit was mounted on the dashboard, and aerial tuning units (ATUs) were mounted on either the left or right hand front mudguards or both, depending on the configuration. Some configurations also mounted an ATU on the side of the vehicle just behind the driver’s door. The rear of the body was simply cut away and no tailgate was fitted. Only one double seat was fitted each side in the rear compartment at the back of the tray.

All vehicles were to tow a half ton trailer in which was carried a charging set, aerial rods, cable laying gear and other associated stores.

The Series 2 FFR versions entered service in 1960.



A four berth ambulance was conceived by the Australian Army shortly after the introduction of the Series 2 LWB models, and two types were subjected to trials in central Australia. Both had a heightened and enclosed rear body, the same width as the Landrover cab. The lower two stretchers were carried at the level of the tops of the wheel arches, and the upper stretchers mounted above these.


One of the trials ambulances, this one being that with the roll down canvas screen for the reap compartment closure. The capstan winch can be seen in front of the radiator grill. The vehicle is painted bronze green and the white X is a marking usually carried on trials vehicles.


The two types differed in the rear closure for the stretcher compartment – one had a roll down canvas screen, the other a set of doors opening outward and hinged to the body side. The vehicle carrying the canvas screen allowed large quantities of dust to enter the body during trials, and so the vehicle with rear doors became the standard ambulance.


Panel Van

Panel Vans were simply a standard cargo model but instead of a canvas canopy they used a steel roof and sides for the rear body, often with a spaced heat shield on the top. The rear tailgate was retained and a similar lift up door was provided for the top section, usually with a glass window.

Panel Vans were often used for the carriage of stores that needed to be secured from view and from theft, and were sometimes used by RAEME units for the transport of vehicle and small arms spares.


Fire Fighting

The firefighting version was the forerunner of a number of variants later built on Series 2A vehicles. At least one “Truck, Firefighting, ¾ ton, GS, Crash and Rescue” was built on a Series 2 Landrover. The cab was open to the elements, and a rear body with lockers and bins built in place of the cargo body. A framework over the body carried hose sections and a ladder, and twin fire extinguishers were mounted on the front bumper. A hose reel was mounted in the rear body.

Tracked Landrover

An interesting conversion kit was trialled in 1963. This was the Cuthbertson tracked conversion, comprising tracked unit assemblies replacing each of the Landrovers driving wheels. Developed in the United Kingdom for use in muddy, boggy terrain, these tracked conversions were fitted to a number of UK Military Landrovers, particularly those involved with explosive ordnance disposal on firing and bombing ranges. The ground clearance of the vehicle increased from around 8 inches (200 mm) to 21 inches ( 525 mm). The vehicle was equipped with power steering as part of the conversion process.


The Tracked Landrover from the rear, prior to undergoing trials. The rubber band style tracks and simple car wheel “bogies” are clearly visible.


The vehicle travelled over 600 miles on trial over a period of some 9 months. Many problems were encountered, mainly due to the hard, dry ground of the test area, whereas the vehicle was designed to operate in the rather wetter conditions of the United Kingdom.




All photos were taken by the author unless otherwise noted.

Click the thumbnails in the table below to view the images full size. 
Use your browser's "back" arrow to return to this page.


A Landrover Series 2 ¾ ton GS at Tin Can Bay Queensland in 1967. The vehicle belongs to an RAEME unit, who are using it as a medical vehicle, as seen by the Red Cross flags visible on the front mudguards. The skeleton adorns the entrance to the Regimental Aid Post (RAP).
An example of the layout of a Landrover Series 2 FFR, in this case a vehicle mounting the C13/B47 radio set combination. This configuration has the ATU mounted on the right mudguard.
A Landrover Series 2 FFR carrying the South Vietnamese President, arrives at the Australian Task Force Base at Nui Dat in late 1966 or early 1967. The cut out rear body is seen to advantage in this view. The vehicle belongs to 1st Field Regiment, RAA.
A rear view of the ambulance with the canvas screen rolled up and the interior in view. The light green interior was common for all Landrover ¾ ton ambulances. The top stretcher rack has not been raised.
The second trials ambulance with rear doors, seen in this photo fitted with larger section sand floatation tyres. The spaced insulation panel on the roof can be clearly seen.
The same vehicle from the rear with the doors open. This view shows the normal bar tread tyres fitted. The number plate is mounted on the fold down step that allows easier access to the rear body for patients and stretchers.
The interior with four stretchers and “patients”. The doors fold back completely to allow access, and there is a passage down the centre of the body leading directly to the driving compartment.
A Landrover Series 2 Panel Van near Moorebank, NSW. The vehicle is being used by the SDS (Special Delivery Service) to deliver internal mail and small packages between military units within the metropolitan area of Sydney. The lift up rear door above the standard vehicle tailgate can be seen. (Photo courtesy L.A. Wright)
The Firefighting Landrover Series 2 is photographed prior to being issued. Note the absence of a roof over the driving compartment and the arrangement of the lockers, hose/ladder rack and hose reel assembly. In service, this vehicle was normally painted red.
The Tracked Landrover in heavy going, being followed by a standard Series 2 vehicle. The extreme height of the vehicle and the length of track in contact with the ground would theoretically provide exceptional cross country mobility.



Article Text and Photographs Copyright © 2002 by Paul D. Handel
Page Created 30 March, 2002
Last Updated 30 March, 2002

Back to Anzac Steel Main Page

Back to Anzac Steel "Other Military Vehicles" Index