Surrey Off-Road Specialists Limited

Whilst all this was going on, another phone call from Ian, who asked us if we could do a couple of static displays to go in the Piccadilly Tower Records shop (now a Virgin Mega store, I am told). They wanted a front quarter as a window display and a full size one downstairs. This was to prove quite a task. We had a couple of spare reject Wood & Picket shells leftover from making the vehicles, so we quartered one and mounted it on a frame to go in the window on the street opposite Eros.

The big headache was how to get the full size one into the basement. We asked Tower Records staff to measure the various entrances into the shop. The only feasibly big one to use was the downstairs entrance accessible via the underground station. Problem was that this involved lugging the components across the road and down a couple of flights of stairs, through the underground and into the shop. After some careful measuring, we reckoned that we could cut the shell in half along the door shut lines and get it in, in two pieces. We fabricated a frame for it to mount on and late one Friday night we loaded it onto the trailer and lugged it all up to Piccadilly. We managed to get a parking permit to unload it outside the shop and proceeded to get it all in. The window display went in easily enough at street level, but the full-size one was extremely hard work. We had to carry it using 6 or 7 people down 2 flights of stairs through the underground with people trying to squeeze past us as we battled to get these 2 very heavy, bulky masses that literally cleared in some places by 2 mm into the shop. Eventually we succeeded and finished both installations. It all looked really good once it was finished.

All in all, although the film didn’t do that well at the box office, Land Rover were well pleased with the amount of publicity the entire film project generated and of course it is ongoing, every time someone watches the film there are City Cabs with Land Rover badges all over them.

They have mostly been cut up and rebuilt as 101’s since filming ended, however there are still a couple floating around as City Cabs and Philip has half a shell mounted on the back wall of DLR. The original prototype with the full interior lives at Land Rovers “ Home of the Legend” at Solihull.

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