"In the early 1960s, both the Royal Marines, then largely based aboard commando carriers, and the British Army required a vehicle that could be carried by air. They had taken delivery of the Westland Wessex helicopter, which could carry a 1140 kg load slung beneath. The smallest Land Rover available at the time was a Series IIA 88 inch wheelbase, which was too heavy. A new modification to the basic Series IIA was devised by making many body components easily detachable and removing many non-essential items. The result was the Land Rover Half-Ton, known widely as the Lightweight or Airportable. In practice, to reduce weight sufficiently for the helicopters of the day to lift them in combat conditions, the tilt and sticks, the upper parts of the body, the doors and windscreen were removed, to be refitted later. The most significant change, however, was a reduction in width by four inches, by redesigning the standard Series IIA axles and fitting shorter half-shafts, which meant it would fit on a standard pallet. Complete, the Lightweight IIA weighed 1202 kg, over the specified weight and heavier in fact than a 'standard' Land Rover. The term Lightweight was, therefore, confusing. However, with the removable body panels taken-off it was below the limit. Since improvements to the helicopters meant more lift was available, the Ministry of Defence accepted it for use.
Sitting on a shortened Series 1 Range Rover chassis and running gear with the Lightweight Land Rover body, this imposing and highly capable bespoke Nigel Warne creation is offered in iconic Land Rover colours and described by the vendor as the lovechild of ‘Terminator and Lara Croft’. Registered as a 1989 Land Rover and with an MoT valid until October 2021, the DVLA granted this monster a Q plate for road use. Upgrades include fully independent scorpion suspension, power steering, a half roll cage with bucket seats and power brakes and we are informed the engine was tuned by an ex-McLaren engineer. Highly competitive off road and great fun on the road, this example is estimated at less than it would cost to create this example.