One of a small batch of Defender 90s converted for the Ministry of Defence to enable them to be dropped from a Hercules aircraft stacked with another 90 on a special pallet using a parachute. Known as a 'Piggyback', the Defenders had removable rear wing corners and the front wheels of one sat on the rear wheels of another at 45 dgrees, this vehicle then went on to serve with 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment as part of roughly twelve vehicles modified to Pathfinder specification.
The elite Pathfinder Platoon is used for advanced reconnaissance and infiltration ahead of a main force and used these specially converted short wheel base Defenders during the mid nineties. Pathfinders were upgraded from the Piggyback spec by the Pathfinder Platoon to Long Range Patrol Vehicle (LRPV) kit and used in more active roles.
The official MOD photographer, Bob Morrison, published an article about these cars in June 1995's Land Rover Owner magazine detailing their equipment and duties and again on joint-forces.com in April 2019. Upgrades included gun mounts, Southdown underbody protection, storage baskets, ammo lockers, a commander's seat and a Superwinch heavy duty winch on some units.
Cutaway Defenders were mostly registered 61 KJ **, this one was 61 KJ 48 according MOD records in the history file, and may be the only one remaining as these vehicles were converted back to original specification later in life on the instructions of new commanding officer. A previous owner has spent much time and money researching and restoring this Pathfinder to its original specification with correct equipment and detailing.
On the military website www.joint-forces.com, there is a Military Land Rover section and on page 2 and there are two items on the Pathfinder, including a photo of 61 KJ 48.
An easy to fix 2.5 litre, normally aspirated, engine is fitted with a five speed gearbox. There is no windscreen and the Defender has no power steering. Oh. And no doors...
The Pathfinder's history file includes copies of Land Rover Military Portfolio andLand Rover Owner International from June 1995 both of which feature the Land Rover, a copy of the Army Maintenance Schedule, MoD vehicle data and MOT certificates since its restoration.
Underneath, the chassis is clean and solid, the body is excellent, there are no signs of corrosion and the Pathfinder drives as it should. It's straight and correct and the odometer reads only 63,000 kms which is backed up by the condition of the vehicle. The MOT runs until January 2021.
A very rare and interesting Military machine. This is a trade sale.
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