As far as rugged Land Rovers go, most folks are familiar with the Defender. But prior to the Defender 90, 110, and 130 inch wheelbases — there were the Series Land Rovers consisting of 88, 109, and the elusive 101 inch wheelbase Forward Controls. This meant that the driving position sat above and slight before the front axle, optimizing the load space between the front and rear wheels. For today’s Overlander Spotlight, we get to know Alby and the amazing Stumpy 101 Forward Control.
Who are you and what do you do by day?
I am Alby, born and raised in the ’70s partied in the ’80s, travelled in the ’90s, and onwards! By day I’m a photographer/biker/overlander and skateboard maker, by night I occasionally sleep.
What was your vehicle born as? Year, make, model? How long have you had it?
Stumpy came from the British Army. They required a strong light weight vehicle that could tow 1 tonne (or metric ton) off road and was air-portable. It was designed to carry as much load as possible in the space available. My version towed the Rapier missile system. She even came with the missile racks in the back. She was made in 1977 and I’ve had her the day she came out of the army in mid ’90s.
Can you tell us about your favorite mods or features?
She has been revamped and painted so many times in the decades I’ve had her. Her strongest point is the phenomenal Nokken winch that runs off the gearbox. Probably one of the best winches in the world. Her gears match the spool intake speed of the winch so you can drive and winch in harmony. She also has all the usual camper set up, 300L fuel capacity 150L water capacity, projector, Playstation, and 3000 Watts 8 speaker sound system and her best feature is a car tape player from the 80s!
What’s been your favorite trip with your rig so far?
There have been so many trips and they have all been my favourite but the 20 month trip to Tibet via an African Trans-Sahara Crossing about 16 years ago was the most memorable.
Where to next? What’s your dream expedition?
Driving back to Namibia and Botswana and then wherever the road takes me. I’ve already done my dream expeditions!