The Unusual Mystery Of The Pink Panther Land Rover

There are a lot of elements that make the Land Rover line special and cause thousands of dedicated, amazing people to spend copious amounts of time restoring and repairing various models over the years.

One aspect that often ends up discussed after the ruggedness, the exceptional capabilities off-road, the versatility and the dependability of the classic Land Rover and Range Rover models is that the popularity of the badge has led to some incredibly unique stories.

Some enthusiasts are aware of the Pink Panther Land Rover, named after the legendary heist film franchise of the same name that started in 1963.

The concept of a Land Rover painted pink is not unusual by itself, but the striking tone and the fact that the vehicle was a military special issue is more of a mystery, and the reason behind it, unbelievably, is about practicality.

By the late 1960s, the British Army was increasingly involved in desert combat, most notably in the Sultanate of Oman, and whilst the standard army issue light vehicle was the Land Rover Series IIA, the classic Bronze Green colour scheme was increasingly inappropriate for camouflage purposes.

Instead, they were painted in a mauve-ish pink colour, based on research and experience that at dawn and dusk, the pink colour combined with the dusky sand was surprisingly easy to hide and provided better cover than the military green typically associated with previous conflicts.

Alongside the colour scheme, they were also fitted with an extended range 100-gallon fuel tank, improved suspension components, a stronger chassis, sand tyres for extra grip and an additional tyre mount with a bead breaker for easier changes.

It was also fitted with a sand compass, a repository of weaponry, ammunition and grenades, as well as a mounting point for a fully automatic machine gun.

The upgrades seemed to work, and the Pink Panthers remained in service from 1968 until 1984.

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