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
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
2812 kg (unladen)
3155 kg (operational weight with
Mark 2, 3, 4 2941
3360 kg (operational weight with
The total weight allowance for the crew of 3 was 245 kg, this
gave a margin for additional equipment
How heavy is a Shorland
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
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
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
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
Which countries bought
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?
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