Surrey Off-Road Specialists Limited

I then got a phone call out of the blue from Ian Mullinghani asking if I could make 4 of them road legal so they could do the film premiere at Leicester Square in London and then go on the road as promotional vehicles for shows etc throughout the summer. Always looking for a new challenge I agreed. We then spent the next few weeks with a copy of the vehicle road regulations bible, to see exactly what we would have to do to make them road worthy, and had several discussions with the DVLA and the Police to get definite interpretations of the law. Although it is said all publicity is good publicity, Judge Dredd getting busted at the premiere for having un-roadworthy vehicles would probably have not Pleased Land Rover.

We then set about addressing all the areas needed to bring them up to speed. The first and most difficult area to address was the windscreen. It had to be made from a suitable safety glazing. We found some plastic that met the requirements. The next problem was how we were going to sort out wipers that could sweep the very difficult shape of the screen, more a slit than a window and curving upwards to boot. The vehicles werenít going to drive any distance in reality, the legal requirement was more so they could park on a public highway MOTíd, taxed and insured and wander around at the premiere. The easiest and cheapest route was to make the screens detachable in the event of rain. If they were removable, they didnít need wipers or washers. So we made some simple clips that held them in place and by a simple twist of a few clips they came off. With that problem sorted, the next one was how to make it meet lighting legislation. Apparently the cars of the future (according to the designer) have one headlamp and 3 sidelights on the other side of the car! The one headlamp wasnít even the legal distance in from the side of the car, so we couldnít use it. I went into our local car accessory shop and found some fairly futuristic looking projector lamps that we used instead. They were upgraded to 65watts and 2 were set for dip beam and all 4 came on for main. They were not brilliant, but were on par with the original 101 lights. We fitted some sidelights and flashers into the recesses in the front skirt. We made up a firewall around the fuel tank that was mounted across the back of the chassis inside the shell. The next problem was wheels and tyres. For the film they were using the standard 101 wheels turned inside out with fibreglass shells on the outside that made it look as though it had big fat tyres. These obviously couldnít be used on road, so we had some custom 10x15 steel wheels made that we fitted 35x12.50x15 Good Year tyres on and then trimmed the original fibreglass centres down to finish them off. We fitted some rear view mirrors on and headed off to the MOT.

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