The Shorland Site - By Clive Elliott
Shorland Armoured Patrol Car
The Shorland armoured car was designed by Frederick Butler MBE during the early 1960s. The first prototype he produced was registered 4471 AZ and was built on a 109 inch wheel base Land Rover. The body was flat sided, with a rectangular rear and a square turret.
Shorland Prototype Stage 1.
The design was refined using sloping upper sides, a sloping rear section and the addition of a turret based upon a Ferret armoured car turret.
Shorland Prototype Stage 2
Shorland Prototype Stage 2 internal view
The armoured body from the first Shorland 4471 AZ. After development the basic vehicle chassis was re-bodied as a normal Land Rover and went into routine RUC service. The armoured body is from the Shorland Prototype Stage 2 and after years of lying derelict was eventually scrapped. The mesh guards at the front are not from the Shorland but were from a Commer armoured car.
Further refinements make the Shorland look more familiar. But note where the headlights are now; as they would be in Series IIA Land Rover on which it was based.
Shorland late prototype
When the Shorland had nearly reached its production stage, the headlights were moved into the wings and military style Lucas glass lenses were used for the sidelights and turn lights. Some experimentation was going on with periscopes, which can be seen above the visors carrying the laminated vision blocks for direct vision. This vehicle was used on the first Shorland sales brochures.
This late stage of prototype Shorland showing its Land Rover IIA origins with the headlights in the radiator grill. This only allowed partial protection for radiator, the production Shorland maximised the protection for the radiator with slatted armour right across the radiator by moving the headlights to the wings. This gave some protection for the engine but was augmented by sloping armour from the radiator to the front bumper. Other differences are more primitive hinges on the doors, door flaps and on the visors, which are not yet fitted with vision blocks. There is no guttering above the doors, the mirrors are not finalised and the position of the spotlight is vertical. In production it was more convenient to mount the spotlight horizontally, making it simpler in its linkage to the machine gun in the turret. A vertically mounted spotlight was only necessitated when smoke dischargers were fitted to the turret. This prototype is sometimes shown bearing the temporary ‘trade plates’ 377 OI.
Shorland final prototype