What’s the Story?
This 101 originates from 1977, when it started life as a GS (General Specification) model, later being converted into a four-berth ambulance by Marshall of Cambridge. IN 1982 it would enter service with the MoD, and spend the following 16 years serving various elite regiments (including in Iraq) before its eventual retirement into civilian life in 1998.
Finally, in 2013, with its old desert colours peeling off and its rear crossmember and outriggers crumbling away, it ended up in the knowledgeable hands of its current owner, the creator of this awesome conversion, Steve Taylor.
Steve had just completed an immaculate restoration of a 101 GS so he was no stranger to his new 101’s quirks, weaknesses and awesome potential.
Our Favourite Bit?
The original parabolic springs are assisted by simple air helper springs. Steve found the airbags and valves on the internet, cut out the bump stops, welded in some mounting plates, then installed the bags.
The heights are adjusted by inflating them separately with a 12v tyre pump, but once set up they don’t need much adjustment.
And the Verdict from LRO?
This was never going to be a nimble vehicle, but there’s none of the lurching you might expect from a 38-year-old ambulance on tired parabolics. The power steering is spot on, allowing us to hoon around a good deal without getting tired. Ludicrous, but a lot of fun.
Model: 1977 101 Forward Control
Body: Modified ambulance body by Marshall of Cambridge
Engine: 3.5-litre Rover V8
Transmission: LT95 four-speed manual, permanent 4WD
Suspension: Standard parabolics, Terrafirma Big Bore dampers, air helper springs
Power Steering: Unique Heystee ram, Range Rover Classic pump, bespoke arms and brackets
Brakes: Standard drum brakes
Wheels and Tyres: 9inx12.5in Cooper Discoverer STT
The full story can be found in the February 2016 issue of LRO. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.