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  • Custom Land Rover 'Beach Cruiser' Started Life as a War Gun Transporter

Custom Land Rover 'Beach Cruiser' Started Life as a War Gun Transporter

Adding the Osprey touch to a rare Land Rover military vehicle.

Dec 24, 2020
Osprey Custom Cars has busted out some awesome restomod classic Defenders, Broncos, and old FJ builds over the years, seamlessly integrating modern power and technology into these classic SUVs. Although all of its builds are rare to some degree, one of its recent creations—a 1975 Land Rover Forward Control (FC)—may be the scarcest of all. Osprey owner Aaron Richardet says that the truck was built "to be the ultimate beach cruiser."

This 1975 Forward Control Land Rover (or 101 Forward Control or Land Rover 101FC) was not produced for civilian-use but can be obtained today as a military surplus vehicle. Land Rover apparently built a scant 2,669 of these light utility vehicles for the British Army.

Photo 14/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 19

Also known as the Land Rover One Tonne, the FC was mainly used as a gun tractor that transported a ton of ammo in its cavernous rear cargo area and towed a field gun.

Photo 15/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 17

The freshly upholstered rear seats are the highlight of this FC's cargo area. Although they may not be ideal for keeping fighting kids apart, the benches do make for awesome cruising and parade seating. The upholstery carries into the custom front seats and door panels.

Photo 16/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 6
Photo 17/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 10

So much for waxing a hood! The bluntness of the Land Rover 101 FC's front end forces the engine inward—a space-saving measure that allowed for efficient transport by air. Osprey replaced the factory 3.5-liter V-8 engine with a modern 400-hp, 6.2-liter LS powerplant mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. An LT-230 transfer case was added.

Photo 18/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 21

A fresh set of 35-inch tires mounted on steelies gives the 101 FC Land Rover an off-road-ready stance, while some additional LED exterior lighting reveals what's ahead during night excursions. There's even a light bar behind the front grille.

Photo 19/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 1
Photo 20/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 14

A revamped cockpit with a custom instrument panel divulges the Forward Control's array of modern technology, including an in-dash navigation system, Bluetooth compatibility, a backup camera, a stereo, and much more.

Photo 21/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 9

Atop the body of the Keswick Green Land Rover rests a new custom Bimini top fastened to a custom cage. It's the perfect final touch for a meticulous build that left no trim piece untouched.

Photo 22/22   |   Osprey Custom 1975 Land Rover Forward Control 16
 

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