Land Rover 101 FC reg KLL 453N at Lister Tyndale 09 - IMG 4745

A Ex Army 101 FC retained in Military 'Guise'

Land Rover 101 FC Ambulance reg SKM 141W at Lister Tyndale 09 - IMG 4744

A 101 FC With the a Marshall of Cambridge Ambulance Body

Forward Control Land-Rover UVB 700P at Kirkby Stephen CCV 2014 - IMG 5475
Forward Control Land-Rover UVB 700P at Kirkby Stephen CCV 2014 - IMG 5476

The 101 Forward Control was a vehicle produced by Land Rover for the British Army.


The vehicle was primarily produced to meet the Army's requirement for a gun tractor, and was designed to tow a field gun (the L118 Light Gun) with a ton of ammunition and other equipment in the rear load space, giving it the alternative name of the Land Rover One Tonne. The vehicle was designed to be easily transported by air; the positioning of the 3.5 litre Rover V8 engine beneath and to the rear of the cab eliminating the bonnet at the front, making the vehicle more or less cuboid, eliminating unused space in transport aircraft.

The official name of 101 Forward Control is derived from the vehicle's 101-inch (2,565 mm) wheelbase, and the position of the driver, above and slightly in front of the front wheels which used a fairly large 9.00 inch × 16 inch tyre. To cope with the extra height above the ground, the wheels feature an unusual feature for a Land Rover (but used for many years on the much older and similar Mercedes Unimog S404); a flange around the centre of the wheel has an embossed tread pattern to allow the crew to use it as a step to enter the cab, otherwise known as a wheel-step.

Development of the 101FC started in the late 1967, with a design team lead by Norman Busby (14 October 1931 – 30 June 2005). Production took place between 1972 and 1978. As is common practice in the armed forces, many vehicles were not used for some years and it is not unheard of for military vehicle enthusiasts to pick up these vehicles after only a few thousand miles service. All the vehicles produced at the Land Rover factory at Lode Lane, Solihull were soft top ("rag top") General Service (GS) gun tractors, although later on many were rebuilt with hard-top ambulance bodies and as radio communication trucks. A rare variant is the electronic warfare Vampire body. It is thought that only 21 of these were produced and less than half of these survive today with one being rumoured to have been destroyed in the 2005 Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal (Buncefield Oil Terminal) Fire.

The 101FC was manufactured in both left and right hand drive with either 12 or 24 volt electrical systems.

Some 101s were produced with a PTO powered Nokken capstan winch mounted on the chassis at the centre of the vehicle, allowing winching from either the front or rear. Another variation on a small number of pre-production vehicles was the addition of a trailer with an axle driven from the PTO, creating a 6x6 vehicle, this adaptation was abandoned before full production when it was discovered that the trailer had a propensity to push the vehicle onto its side when driven over rough terrain.


As of the late 1990s, the 101's were decommissioned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and were replaced with Defenders and Pinzgauer vehicles. Most have now passed into private hands, although some examples may still be lurking in Ex-MoD Stock dealers yards. The Ambulance variant makes for an excellent Camper conversion although the cost of running such a vehicle can be frightening due to the high fuel consumption from the Rover V8 engine. Because of this, conversions to diesel engines are common, sometimes Land Rover's own Tdi units of 2.5 litres producing 107 hp (80 kW) or 111 hp (83 kW); or more often engines taken from large Japanese 4x4s, such as 2.8 litre or 4.2 litre turbodiesels from the Toyota Land Cruiser). Dual fuel, retaining petrol but with the option to switch seamlessly to LPG (Liquid Petrolium Gas) is also a popular and environmentally friendlier[citation (source) needed] option for many owners.

Film career Edit

Land Rover JudgeDredd FW Control

The Judge Dredd City CAB's Land Rover built on a Forward Control chassis (Wikimedia Image)

Thirty-one 101s were converted by Land Rover with artistically styled bodyshells for the 1995 Sylvester Stallone film Judge Dredd. Land Rover is supposedly the world's only surviving vehicle manufacturer in 2139 when the film is set, and the green oval logo can be seen on the front of the vehicles, known as "City CABs". [1] Several of these prop vehicles still exist in driveable condition and are often seen at Land Rover events.


A number of Land Rover 101 FC are in preservation with military vehicle collectors and Land Rover enthusiasts. Others after military service have been put to work by companies in the Uk and abroad for specialist tasks. Some ex ambulances have been converted to Motor homes, with other being used as expeditions and rally support vehicles in Africa and other countries.

List of Preserved Land Rover 101FC vehicles
view  talk  edit

Make + Model No. Reg No.
(if known)
Build-Date Engine-Type/Make body type Owner
(if known)
Photo Were seen/Featured in Other info
Land Rover 101 FC KLL 453N - unknown Std pick-up with canvas tilt owner ? Land Rover 101 FC reg KLL 453N at Lister Tyndale 09 - IMG 4745 at Lister Tyndale Steam Rally in Military guise
Land Rover 101 FC PYD 485P+ 1954 unknown Std drop side & Canvas tilt D.A. Denton, Dorset Land Rover 101FC - PYD 485P at Metley Marsh 11 - IMG 7303 At Netley Marsh Steam Show 2011
Land Rover 101 FC SKM 141W - unknown Military ambulance body owner ? Land Rover 101 FC Ambulance reg SKM 141W at Lister Tyndale 09 - IMG 4744 at Lister Tyndale Steam Rally 2009
Land Rover 101 FC NPO 742R+ date built engine Dropside + Canvas tilt owner Land Rover Forward Control - NPO 742R at NVTC rally 2011 - IMG 0569 At Northumbria Vintage Tractor Rally 2011 misc info
Land Rover 101 FC YJR 199T+  ? engine Dropside + Canvas tilt owner Land Rover FC101 - YJR 199T at NVTC rally 2011 - IMG 0574 At Northumbria Vintage Tractor Rally 2011 retaines 'Military' look
Land Rover 101 FC reg no date built engine body type owner Image needed LHB

set to 150px
seen at misc info
Image needed LHB

Image needed LHB

Please add any tractor with known reg or serial no. with Photo if possible.
Land Rover 101 FC reg no date built engine body type owner Image needed LHB

set to 150px
seen at misc info
Create a page (link) for an individual vehicle by linking the reg or serial number using reg number or serial number in the relevant column. Then once saved click the red link to start the new page and add info on that tractor.

See alsoEdit

Collector & preservation related articles


External linksEdit

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