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The Shorland Site - By Clive Elliott


Frequently Asked Questions

Shorland History


Armoured Patrol Car


Armoured Patrol Vehicle


Modelling the Shorland


Other References


What is a Shorland?

An armoured car made by Shorts Brothers & Harland (later became Shorts) originally based on a long wheel base Land Rover. The name Shorland is a contraction of the name of the manufacturer, although it is commonly thought to be constructed from Shorts and Land Rover.

Is a Shorland difficult to drive?

No, you are basically driving a Land Rover with a rather unusual body. Vision is a bit more difficult, and you need to remember with all that extra weight to start braking a bit sooner. Other drivers tend to give you a bit more respect than when you are in a standard Land Rover.

Are Shorland parts difficult to find?

Over 80% of the components are standard Land Rover parts. The armour is not likely to break and many of the electrical components are made by Lucas.

Why are some Shorlands called APC's and others APV's?

The original and most recognisable Shorland has a turret, and is called an Armoured Patrol Car (APC). Unfortunately the general interpretation of APC is Armoured Personnel Carrier which is confusing. When Shorts introduced a non-turreted personnel carrier they called it an Armoured Personnel Vehicle (APV).

How Heavy is a Shorland APC?

Mark 1            2812 kg (unladen)   3155 kg (operational weight with crew)

Mark 2, 3, 4     2941 kg (unladen)   3360 kg (operational weight with crew)


The total weight allowance for the crew of 3 was 245 kg, this gave a margin for additional equipment.

How heavy is a Shorland APV?

The first model (SB301) weighed 2825 kg, but with a crew of 8 weighed 3545 kg (here Shorts assumed each crew member weighed 90 kg)

How many people can fit in a Shorland APC?

Three officially. The driver, the commander in the other front seat, and the gunner in a seat suspended from the turret. When off duty, the gunner had the option to use a seat fitted at floor level behind the commander's seat. In an emergency this seat could accommodate another person. (I have driven my Shorland around a field with my wife, her pregnant sister, a child and a dog. It was a bit cramped and is certainly not to be recommended on the public highway).

Should all Shorlands have smoke dischargers mounted?

No, not necessarily they were originally only available as an optional extra.

What type of armour protection does the Shorland really provide?

Tests carried out by the British Army showed that the armour cannot be penetrated by fire from a NATO standard 7.62mm self-loading rifle or FN7.62 general purpose machine gun (GPMG) down to 47m (50 yds.). The floor is constructed of tough glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), which provides excellent protection against blast, nail and pipe bombs.

What weapons were fitted to the Shorland APC?

The turret could accommodate a variety of armaments; most popular was the Browning .30 machine gun or the 7.62mm GPMG. The gun was linked to a spotlight and a periscope, which incorporated an aiming device. In anti-hijack models a sniper's rifle could be fitted. A tear gas discharger was another option and there was even a water cannon variant developed.

Why, when I see a Shorland APC for sale, is it "always" a Mark 3?

The most plentiful model was the Mk 3 & there were over 500 of them, although most were exported. The ones that turn up for sale in the UK are generally from 90 or so, bought by the British Army. The Army acquired 16 Mark 1 Shorlands from the RUC in 1970, all but 2 were cut up & recycled by Shorts.

Which countries bought Shorlands?

Because Shorlands were relatively inexpensive armoured vehicles, easy to drive and easy to maintain they found favour in many countries around the world for a variety of roles such as: border patrol, reconnaissance, convoy escort and mobile police duties. At least 38 counties have purchased Shorlands, among the known customers are British Army, RAF Police, RUC, US Marine Corps, Argentina, Botswana, Brunei, Burundi, Greece, Guyana, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, & United Arab Emirates. From time to time you can catch the glimpse of a Shorland on the TV news in hijack and siege situations somewhere around the world.

How much does a Shorland cost to buy?

In 1965 a new one was about 4,500. Those that became available 30 years ago were ex-British Army Mk 3 Shorlands, even then some had suffered bad chassis rust. Nowadays a survivor with a good chassis and running engine would be for sale in the order of 10,000.

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