The Registry Of Ex-Military Land-Rovers Au, NZ, etc New Zealand Military Land-Rover Fleet Info Collection

What Land-Rovers?

  • Information at this stage indicates the NZ Army brought 640 Series 1 80" Land-Rovers between 1951-53.

  • Next was a batch of Series 2 109" in 1959-62, some fitted with welders, generators, cranes, etc.

  • There were a couple of Forward Controls brought in during the 1960's for evaluation.

  • There was the first batch of Series 2A 88" and 109" between 1965-67.


  • The Australian Army sold some used 109" Land-Rovers around 1970-72. This batch came about mainly through the ANZUK detachments in bases such as Singapore.

  • A batch of mainly 88" Series 2A came into the New Zealand Army direct from the Australian Army in 1970-71. They are known to Kiwis as "Skippys" and distinctive with their "cut guards". However some of these appear to have been built in NZ, and not ex Australia.


  • In recent use are the batch of 566 Series 3 109" Stage One V8's that arrived betwen 1982-83. These vehicles were equiped the same as the civilian stage 1 with a V8 engine and 4 speed gearbox. Twenty of these were 'retro-fitted for Bosnia' with the 300 TDi engine, disk brakes, hard-top and white paint. Eighty of the Stage Ones were sold by tender in June 2000.


  • An article in the Evening Post (26/6/00) said NZ defence is in the process of replacing the remaining 320 Stage One fleet and have looked at Humvees (nice spec but too pricey) and Land-Rovers and Daimler-Chryslers.

NZ Army Series 2A 88"

An interesting little article was printed in Land-Rover's dealer newsletter, the Rover/Alvis Group News, dated May 1967:


"It's the same the world over in any self-respecting Army. The first order new recruits are called upon to obey is the equivalent to what in British Army parlance is Get fell in! And it was the same for these brand new Land-Rovers when they 'joined' the New Zealand Army on a long-term engagement.

"The vehicles were part of the New Zealand purchase announced in the last issue of Group News. They were shipped CKD to New Zealand and assembled for Rover New Zealand at the New Zealand Motor Bodies plant at Auckland. A considerable number of local-made components are incorporated."

b&w picture #1; a row of dark green 88's with full canvas (6 vehicles visible) in a field with bonnets open, appearing to be standard vehicles except for their MOD front double bumpers, a single ext. mirror, and their Army vehicle numbers, such as NZ32032, being roughly 2½ inches high, painted in white (passenger side only) on the side of the mudguard, at the firewall end, level with the headlights (just below the 'waistline' curve). The tyres appear to be 6.50-16 Dunlop Road Traks (same as on HUE-166) - "On parade for inspection. A line of impeccably turned out vehicles, bonnet lids at the 'present', remain rigidly at attention while engines are checked over by Cpl. G.J. Lonie, of Christchurch, a Regular Force vehicle mechanic attached to the 1st Composite Ordnance Company, and Cfn. N. Ward, of Ashburton (rear), an auto electrician. Most of these Land-Rovers saw their first Army service on a brigade exercise at Waiouru."

b&w picture #2; a row of dark green 88's from opposite front angle (4 vehicles visible) in front of a factory type building with two men standing in front of one of the Land-Rovers, one in Army overalls, one in a suit - "'Sign here please'. Warrant Officer W. Morfat takes over a batch of 'Regulars' from Mr. Jack Grimmett, New Zealand Motor Bodies Assembly Division Manager."

b&w picture #3; the tailgate of a single dark green 88" is open and the top rolled back showing a full compliment of radio gear. It is full. There appears to be hardly any room to fit an operator. There appears to be a strongly fabricated steel barrier mounted above the seat bulkhead to prevent loose gear entering the front control position. One man in Army overalls in standing by the tailgate tuning the gear, and a lab man in a lab coat is writing on a clipboard - "In the 'suppression cage', Mr. Garry Sharpe, New Zealand Motor Bodies chief inspector, and an Army N.C.O., test radio equipment for interference."

NZ Army Series 2A 109"

Here is a pic sent over by Leon Z. of an FFW owned (and freshly painted) by Chris B.

Barry F., a West Australian REMLR member, restored this NZ 2A FFW. It was sold in March 2001 to a customer in Anchorage, Alaska... he traced it's chassis thru Brit's MV Heritage as being CKD to South Africa... even more curious. pics here

Here are some pics of perfectly restored NZ Series 2A 109 GS fitted with a 106mm RCL! Pictured at a show - who restored it and what is the story on this one?

The 'Skippy' story lost in thick fog

A batch of mainly 88" Series 2A came into the New Zealand Army direct from the Australian Army in 1970-71. They are known to Kiwis as 'Skippys'. The answers for questions about "what", "which", "when", and "where" are yet to be established. Here is a recent bit of info from a Skippy owner Peter M. (REMLR member 139);

"In their haste to "rationalise NZ Defence" over the last 20 years, governments have not been keen on keeping their old vehicle records, I understand that a lot of that information was disposed of in a re-organisation of 1BOD (1 Base Ordnance Depot) some years ago...

"I have tried both offical and the old boy's network to try and track down the history of my 88" Skippy with little luck. I could not even find it's original NZ Army rego number as no records are kept any more that pre-date the computerisation of NZ vehicle rego documents. When I spoke to the LTSA they were really surprised that I should think they would still have those records. You could try contacting the Army Museum in Waiouru, they might have some info...

"A typical Skippy was re-manufactured at the British Leyland plant in Wellington before entering service with the NZ Army, and as such will have a NZ build plate on the drivers side of the seat box. [ see pic of build plate ]

"It is my understanding that none of the Skippys went to Vietnam as they did not enter service till after the NZ Army withdrawal from the war.

"During my years in the NZ Army, the few 109 inch Skippys that I saw were in service with either the Sigs or the Gunners."

REMLR NZ members such as Andrew M. (see his Skippy pics), report that the 88 inch units have the twin belt 2.25 engine, twin tanks, 7.50-16 tyres, brushguard, tool brackets, cut guards, raised chassis, interior jerry can bracket, click for more pics and are all but identical to the Australian Army 1963-64 ¼ ton G.S., except that they are painted Bronze Green, not Olive Drab, and they are late 2A models. Their chassis suffix is 'H'. They have the single wiper motor on the left of the facia, as per late 2A design. However, late 2A -G suffix- have the headlights in the mudguards -- Skippys have the headlights in the grille panel as per normal Series 2A. If these vehicles were ex-Australian Army ex-Vietnam, and yet 1970-71 units, well, some of the story is missing to say the least. Were they reconditioned and re-chassis surplus units that had been 'in-service' from 1963/64? Were they new stock, assembled in Australia to our spec at Pressed Metal Corp Sydney and then sold to New Zealand because Canberra nixed further Vietnam involvement and started to scale back the Australian fleet? Hmmm.
Click for larger pic of this well travelled Skippy

Fast forward a couple of decades. Sometime in the early 1990's the New Zealand 'Force South East Asia', Singapore, closed down and auctioned its fleet on site rather than returning them to NZ. A batch of 10 Skippys were shipped out from Singapore by mistake amongst a batch of Series 3 Land Rovers by Leavesley International. It is rare for export CKD Land-Rovers ever to get a round trip, even if it did take around a quarter of a century! Keith H. of Staffordshire owned one these Skippys-to-UK units and helped us fill in some blanks, but his unit prompts other questions -it is dated 1969 and has a H suffix too! Other NZ Singapore units went to Perth, West Australia -see below. More info required.

NZ ex-mil in WA:

Back in 1998, a REMLR member in West Australia reported one with "puzzling markings" and "if it was really a NZ unit vehicle, how had it got to West Australia?" Hmmm... well, Brian B. saw 28 NZ Series 2A Land-Rover units sold off in Perth. He said this was linked to the closure of that NZ defence unit in Singapore. Why didn't they go home to NZ? Curious stuff.

Update: in late 2004 a REMLR member from Western Australia regisered his perfectly 'normal' Aust. Army Series 2A 109" Workshop Truck. But it set off a few bells... Our ARN records reveal that after 4 years Australian Army service it was sold to the NZ Army (Dec 1970: 'Sold to NZ Government for equipping 1RNZIR Singapore')... and then its sold off into West Australia. So here's a revealing curiousity backing up the other NZ Army Landys auctioned in WA.

NZ Army Ambulance

Brian Barltrop took this photo in 1969 at the opening of Waiouru airstrip in NZ. It appears to be a Series 2A 109":

NZ Army Series Three V8's

The leaf-sprung units are now available to enthusiasts in New Zealand. For example; "Nelson Truck Spares have about 5 Stage One Land-Rover's. 2 from Trentham, and 3 from Burnham. They are only wrecking one, and selling the others whole. Forward Specialties have half a dozen too, and appear to be selling all of those whole. Didn't ask prices as the guy who answered the phone was less than helpful. Haulage Parts have two Land-Rover's. So there are a heap unaccounted for..."

More: in late 2004 Peter M. discovered and scanned the pictures found in the NZ Army Auction sale catalogue. This was the one and only auction of the V8s... and they appear in all their original glory; fittings are shown too. Some 1960's ½ ton trailers (identical to Aust. N°5 type) were also sold off.

Peter M. Series 3 109" V8.

Peter M. Series 3 109" V8.

Peter M. Series 3 109" V8.

Peter M. Series 3 109" V8.

Peter M. Series 3 109" V8.

Peter M. Series 3 109" V8.

Peter M. ½ ton trailer.

Peter M. ½ ton trailer.

REMLR's original contact in NZ was Leon Z. based near Wellington. The secretary met with Leon at the Cooma celebration of Land-Rover's 50th Anniversary in April 1998. Leon was 'on tour' that year attending just about every 50th celebration in the world. Leon does the Wellington LR Club magazine and has lots of contacts for news etc. Leon has counted 13 ex-Army Land-Rovers in the club he belongs to.


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