In 1992 an ‘Invitation to tender’ was published due to a ‘pressing need to replace about half the current fleet of Land Rover utility vehicles’ in the British military. A few companies put forward products to the British government for development and testing including IVECO, Land Rover and Steyr-Daimler-Puch.
Ultimately in 1996 when the order was placed, Land Rover was on the receiving end of a long continued future partnership with the military forces. Land Rover codenamed the vehicle project WOLF and based it on the current Defender models from their civilian range. To meet the requirements set out by the military however, the wolf needed to be much stronger, more reliable and easier to fix and maintain.
After failing to meet the new battlefield mission requirements, the initial trials were suspended, and the Land Rover engineers sent back to the drawing board. What they eventually came back with in the second prototype of the Wolf and the one that would ultimately make up the majority of the military’s utility fleet.
They were adapted for a huge variety of applications such as ambulances, helicopter support vehicles, waterproofed/winterised vehicles and many more. Around 97 different variants were produced by the MOD. Having been used by the military then, results in the Wolf having one of the most vigorous testing phases of certainly any vehicle destined for civilian duties and should easily live long trouble-free lives in civvy street.
First registered in 1998 this particular Land Rover was destined for foreign shores for its military service. After spending 11 years abroad, the Land Rover made its way back home and was registered on UK plates in 2009 having only done 1509km. This Land Rover, which was used a radio comms vehicle abroad, was handed over to Airbus Defence and Space institution where its meticulous and routine maintenance was continued as can be seen in the car’s well-kept history file. It eventually found its way into a military auction after being stored for a while in one of Airbus’ warehouses, which is how the current owner came to own the vehicle.
The current owner has continued the regular upkeep as well as lovingly attending to the cars needs, maintaining and fixing anything it required. It has always been stored under cover in barns and garages. A change of circumstances unfortunately now means the Wolf is on the lookout for a new owner to continue to care for it and enjoy its immense capabilities both on and off road.
The military vehicles are required to have routine maintenance to keep them operational in the field. This means that alongside bi-annual servicing, regardless of mileage since it rolled off the factory production line, the history file is as meticulously kept and up to date as you’d expect from a military operation.
The current owner, who is also ex-military has continued this procedure since their ownership of the vehicle, where the car has also been treated to a new paint job to make sure the Wolf is in prime condition.
There are plenty of MOT and service receipts for the vehicle during its time in and out of military service, and the V5 shows 3 former keepers.
This is no luxury vehicle, it’s a serious, rugged off roader that can handle just about anything thrown at it.
This reflects in the strictly functional interior, although it’s not as sparse as you’d expect, after all soldiers still need a certain level of comfort to operate to their best. If you’re familiar with Land Rover defenders this is similar to a much higher specification, with the addition of certain features, such as a map light, convoy lighting mode, and even a quick jump start port for the twin batteries under the passenger seat.
Talking of passenger seats, the current owner has gone to the trouble to change the occupant number on the V5 to match the 9 passenger seats given in the vehicle. In the back you’ll find 4 fold down benches, each with a lap belt, legally allowing the new owner to essential operate a minibus, carrying around 9 passenger.
The inside of the Wolf is remarkably clean which is not too hard to believe considering the low mileage of the vehicle and the fact it’s been kept in garages and barns since it was manufactured. It also has a state-of-the-art tracking system fitted, which being a military vehicle would make sense, and it is transferable which should give peace of mind to the prospective bidders looking for a safe, reliable, capable car.
The exterior is in equally exceptional condition, with the white and green two-tone paint scheme looking great on the angular body shape of the 110” wheelbase. Being treated to a paint job in 2010, it has held up very well with barely a stone chip or scratch to speak of. It does have one war wound received in the supermarket car park on the passenger door, which on this kind of vehicle only serves to add to its ruggedness and character. Being a single skin door too, it may even come out fine once a skilled body shop has performed their magic.
Other than that, there is a powerful 12000 winch on the front to make sure you have all you need to get out of trouble, and a front anti-roll bar system to make sure you don’t get into trouble in the first place. There is side mounting for a spare wheel and interestingly this is something that caused some confusion regarding the name, with people believing that Wolf was an acronym for ‘Wheel On Left Flank’, some trivia for the local pub quiz for you there.
Underneath the Wolf, the chassis looks to be in good condition also, very minor surface rust which is more evidence of this car’s leisurely military service. These vehicles were designed to such extremes that even the salted and pot-holed British roads will struggle to trouble them. The Wolf has also had a new exhaust back box and silencer, so now sounds as good as it looks.
The 2.5L four-cylinder 300TDi engine in the Wolf was similar to that in the civilian model except it was not electronically controlled due to the complexities and reliability issues reported. This means that this engine has undergone a large amount of extreme testing for it to be reliable in the battlefield where parts are scarce, and repairs needed to be made quickly and easily, as little as often.
Add this to one of the strongest Land Rover rear axles ever made, a bespoke, reinforced chassis which was rust-proofed internally, and you have the recipe for an extremely reliable and long-lasting off roader. This Land Rover has been looked after fastidiously during its time and we imagine it will continue to work beautifully regardless of the task assigned to it.
The engine, drivetrain and chassis on this Wolf are all in fantastic condition with the engine springing to life eagerly with no knocks, noises or concerns being witness during the photoshoot.
A genuine military 110 Utility Wolf, in fantastic condition such as this, with much, if not all of the manufacturer specification additions are a rarity in such good, unused and well-maintained condition.
Having had such extreme testing to satiate the British military’s requirements from a vehicle on the front line of battle, in the most pressured of environments should make its transition to ‘civvy street’ a breeze.
There is not much you could throw at this vehicle that it would not be able to handle with ease, and if you did somehow manage to stretch it beyond its abilities, then it can be easily repaired there and then due to the simple, rugged nature of its drivetrain.
Seeing as they are a rarity in this condition and added to the fact that the civilian version, aka the Defender, is a cult classic for legions of loyal fans, makes this a solid investment opportunity as well.
Notice to bidders
Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.
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