LandRover 101FC "Vampire"
Of the four production LandRover 101FCbody styles, the Vampire is by far the rarest. Rumor has it thatsomewhere between 9-18 were built though information is scarce. I am told by some sources that due to its special cargo, the entire vehicleis classified and still protected by the official secrets act (OSA). All in all, the Vampire is basically a special type of RadioBody that hasa giant antenna mounted to the roof and an insulated interior.
As the V.A.M.P.I.R.E acronym suggests, the vehicle's purpose was to identify the origin of radio signals (likely enemy). Teams of 3 Vampires would erect their antennas in different remote locations and then use a method of radio triangulation to locatesignal sources. Apparently the Vampires could also operate individuallyby setting up additional antennas at some distance away that were carriedin a specialized Sankey Trailer. The antenna mast is an amazing pieceof hardware that was stored diagonally across the roof of the vehicle. It was unlocked and then swung into a vertical position. When pneumatically raised the unit must have telescoped and been 50-60 feet tall. (see VampireField Trials in Essex). Leveling jacks are installed on the rearcorners of the vehicle to increase its stability while the antenna wasraised. Vampires have no rear door and instead have a large spoolof cable that reeled out as the antenna went up.
The vehicle's rear is prepared for what only can be liken to a "stakeout" of movie lore. In order to makelife for the equipment operators more comfortable, the vampire's interiorhas been upgraded. The walls are fully insulated and the rearis light tight except for a small window in the side door (even it hasa sliding cover). The interior is clad in aluminum with a dynamiclight green paint. The floor is covered with a dark olive linoleum(so far I've been using mop-n-glow) and the radio operator even had theirown rolling chair! To keep you warm on those cold English nights, Vampires are equipped with a gasoline (petrol) powered heater with itsown fuel pump and ignition coil (located just behind the driver's seat...Uhuh...). There is also something that looks like a 220V air conditioningunit in a mysterious gray box in the back but I'm not sure. The vehicle's90 Amp 24V alternator charged 3 caches of batteries giving it enough electricaljuice to power a small space station (which it basically was I think). Picturesof a stripped interior.
All Vampires that I have seen were LHD and 24VDC to support the radio equipment. I believe they arethe only hard bodied 101FC to come standard with the Transmission winch. Standard 101FC 24VDC softops with the winch were pulled from the production lines, stripped of body parts, and modified. The Vampire'sbody work was constructed by Marshalls of Cambridge like the 101 ambulances. One other vampire ownerclaim's that Marshalls denies construction of the vehicle but I still havean information request in to them and they have written back saying informationis forthcoming. Further electronic and radio systems were installedby a firm called Plessey Avionics and Communications. Manufacturewas likely completed in 1975/76 with the majority of vampires releasedprobably in 1976.
A Vampire at Field Trials in Essex
Detailed Vampire Photos: 76FL29
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