The Registry Of Ex-Military Land-Rovers Au, NZ, etc Land-Rover Forward Control 101

101" FC brief background:
The 101" model was produced in limited numbers (2669) from 1974 to 1978. Some pre-production units (11) and prototypes were made in 1972 and 1973. Production and supply contracts followed the showing of the pre-production 101"s at Defence shows etc. The leading three digits of the chassis numbers denoted whether the unit was RHD or LHD, whether 12v or 24v, and whether home market or export market. If you find chassis number 96200092A, you have found the last RHD 24v 'export' produced. If you find chassis number 95700028A, you have found the last RHD 12v 'export' produced. REMLR knows of no LHD units in Australia. Most australian units appear to be 1977 year models.

It is thought somewhere between 50 and 58 RHD 101's were produced between 1976 and 1978 by Land-Rover for the British Aircraft Corporation. However other sources indicate a lower number of 32 vehicles. The BAC supplied the Rapier Missile system to the Australian Army which was used by a number of units. 16 Air Defence Regiment were the primary users towing Rapier units, or rapier storage trailers. Vehicles also had rapier storage racks fitted in the rear of the vehicle. The RAEME Training Center and School of Artillery also had 101 Land Rovers.

Each troop or section had three vehicles. One used as a tow for the Rapier launch unit, one used as a tow and platform for the Radar tracker equipment and the third used as a support vehicle which carried the actual missiles. This particular vehicle towed a trailer into which further Missiles could be carried. It will be of interest to note that when these trailers were first acquired, they actually cost more than the 101 that towed them!

The secretary attended an early 1990's auction at Holsworthy Army Base in NSW to see the release of a number of vehicles including about 15 Forward Control 101" units which are thought to have sold for between $9000 - $13,000. At their release the 101s carried no Rapier parts and appeared as per G.S. "standard" (all had the front and rear operable PTO winch).

Two auctions were held in Adelaide to dispose of the bulk of the 101 fleet. At the 2nd auction held by Dasfleet 20 Forward Control 101's as well as a large quantity of parts were sold.

At least two 101's are known to have been written off in head on crashes in the Northern Territory whilst in service. 4 vehicles were allocated to the school of Artillery, and 28 vehicles to 16 Air Defence Regiment.

Other units have been privately imported into Australia on top of this number.


Make Land-Rover (Rover Group G.B.) Model FC 101"
Manuf. date 1977 Production RHD 24v export
NSN 2320-99-893-2931 Engine Petrol V8 3.5L
Nomenclature TRUCK, G.S., 24V 1 TONNE, 4x4 ROVER Contract unk
Chassis 96200050A Service Aust: VIC
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LH cabin interior (id plate visible)

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Original rear

The above pics are of an Australian Army 1977 101" Forward Control sold at Warwick Lord's 'amphibious' auction for about $13,000 (11/2000 - Syd Crawford took these pics in the rain). It was very original in appearance. The canvas was in very good order as were the tyres. It was still wearing the original paint and div and unit tac signs etc. The tac signs are riveted on, and although faded, readily identifiable: Div - Training Command; Unit - RAEME Training Centre.



Make Land-Rover Model FC 101"
Manuf. date 1977 Production RHD 24v export
Army Census na Engine Petrol 3.5L
Nomenclature (RAPIER TRACTOR) Contract BAC body 91016
Chassis 96200054A Service Aust: SA
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101 FC un restored

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101 FC (without canopy)

Pat Crilly (QMVG member) brought the above unit from a private owner in Victoria who in turn had purchased it from the Warradale Base in South Australia. It is one of the 101's that were produced by Land-Rover for the British Aircraft Corporation. The BAC supplied the Rapier Missile system to the Australian Army. This 101" unit had a nice 'crossed rocket' logo with a 'Blackbitch 2' unit marking on the front doors.


The "lowdown" on the 101" Forward Control:
The 101" is a very capable vehicle... they are not without their problems though. Some re-manufactured parts and sensible mods are highly effective.

Typical problems are:

  • short life hardy-spicer prop shaft UJs owing to the excessive angles

  • rusted out fuel tank, stainless replacements available

  • in-tank fuel pump failure starting problems owing to interlinked oil pressure and fuel pump

  • marginal oil pressure and failed cam - fit later civy pump and cam

  • excessively low gearing

Mechanically the 101 is identical to early Range Rovers and many parts are a straight swap, the engines are common to early Rover cars too. The oil pump is a perennial problem but easily solved, however, when re-building this engine or replacing the oil pump you must fill it with Vaseline, if not it will never prime, ever.
quoted from Richard Notton, Southampton, UK, May 13 2001, Mil Veh Mailing list


  101 Rapier Layout Diagrams
The 101 was introduced to tow the Rapier Surface to Air Missile system. 2 of the 3 vehicles had specific equipment layouts, whereas the third vehicle just carried spare missiles and equipment. Below are the layouts for the other 2 vehicle types.

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Radar Tracker Equipment 1
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Radar Tracker Equipment 2
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More details on Australian Military Land-Rovers fleet numbers and paint schemes.


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