The Pink Panther and its successors

The Pink Panther and its successors

One vehicle synonymous with the military operations around the world is the Land Rover Series II and III and Defender 90 or 110.

Series IIA, the „Pink Panther” Land Rover often referred to as the “Pinkie”, is a heavily customized Land Rover Series IIA built for British Special Air Service (SAS) desert warfare operations.

The first SAS vehicles had been American Jeeps during the Second World War, they’d be used for sabotage and reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines and they’d proven to be highly capable.

A bit later, in 1968 the British Ministry of Defence bought 72 examples of the Series IIA long wheelbase Land Rovers.

The standard features of the cars of undergoing this desert preparation included the following: four fuel tanks with a combined capacity of 100 gallons, a heavy duty chassis, heavy duty suspension, sand tires, differential guards front and back, and a spare tire was mounted to the front.

The majority of the original 72 Pink Panthers didn’t survive their military service, and those that did (approximately 20) are now amongst the most famous and highly-sought after Land Rovers in the world.

The Land Rover military vehicle is used as a light utility vehicle and has been adopted in a number of guises and body styles including fire engines, excavators, communication vehicle, ambulance, a lightweight model for air transport, snowplough, and six-wheel drive.

The Landy is in use by the UK military and Royal Marines as well as a number of related commonwealth forces, the Italian Forces and has also been used by the US Army in Korea and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This Land Rover Defender Special Operations Vehicle or SOV / RSOV was developed for the American Special Forces in the early 1990s.

As the vehicle you see here is one of just three original prototypes.  It’s fitted with a 3.5 litre Rover V8, but the modern RSOVs are fitted with four-cylinder turbo diesels.

Image source:

 The Rangers chose the Land Rover SOV because it is small enough to be readily transported by helicopter (1 fully equipped SOV fits in the belly of a MH-47 or CH-53 helicopter), something vital for air-deployable forces such as the Rangers. The SOV can carry up to 7 Rangers.


Image source:

Peter Faidt

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