Lot details Registration No: KCC 459 Chassis No: 109152103659 Mot Expiry: April 2010
Following its acceptance into the mainstream as a rugged, versatile and go-anywhere vehicle, the Land Rover began to make a name for itself as the ideal donor for a variety of specialist conversions. Apart from military uses, the size of the updated Series 2 Landie lent itself particularly well to Ambulance and Fire conversions, and during the 1960s, well-known Worcester-based manufacturer Carmichael offered this `Redwing' Land-Rover Fire Appliance. It was based on the standard 109inch Long Wheelbase chassis, and fitted with `freewheel' hubs to the front for faster on-road use. The motor was the rugged OHV 2286cc four-cylinder lump shared with the contemporary Rover 80, offering 77bhp but 124 lb ft torque. The two-speed transfer gearbox operated via an additional lever gave a total of eight forward gears. The conversion consisted of an aluminium body and GRP roof, drop-down shutters to the sides and twin fire pumps to pressurise water through the on-board hoses. Pump A was a KSB 380 Gallon per minute centrifugal item with an inbuilt water ring primer, while Pump B was, if anything, more famous, as a Coventry Climax 300 Gpm centrifugal pump with an automatic ring primer. Both pumps were situated behind the driving compartment, and hose reels, valves and other items were supplied as part of the package, stowed in onboard lockers. Twin flashing lights were supplied and Sirens and bells were a cost-option. Three crew members could sit in the front, with space for two more in the rear.
This example looks to have led a sheltered life as part of the Hotpoint factory's defences against a blaze. The white-goods manufacturer had assembly facilities in Peterborough (which closed in 2008), and Bodelwyddan, North Wales (which shut in June 2009). The `CC' on the plate of this 1961 Redwing confirms its registration in Caernarvonshire, so was most-probably stationed in Wales for much of its working life. As with many of these factory-housed appliances, mileage is low and condition is commensurate with little use and dry storage. According to the vendor "all of the equipment seems to be there and works", which is necessary to avail an MOT exemption and free taxation as a fire-fighting vehicle.