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The Shorland Site - By Clive Elliott


Mysteries & Curiosities

Shorland History Armoured Patrol Car Armoured Personnel Vehicle
Modelling the Shorland   Other References
Personnel Conversion   This one is quite a puzzle. It is actually a Mark 3 APC manufactured in October 1971 with the serial number Q58. Close inspection reveals that armour has been skilfully added disguising its original outline and providing accommodation for crew in the rear. One suggestion made is that this was adapted by Shorts as a demonstrator vehicle but it never attracted enough interest to develop the concept further. However Shorts, who provided the serial number from the chassis and engine numbers, deny they ever produced such a conversion. The other suggestion is that it was a conversion for press use in the Balkans conflicts. We would welcome any hard evidence about the history of this interesting conversion.
Pick- Up
  Another curiosity is this armoured body. It is seen here without any chassis, but I am told it has always been like just a body and indeed is still languishing in Northern Ireland in that condition. It has certain characteristics that remind me of the SB301 prototype I restored some years. That had the company logo SHORTS in blue and white on the side. This pickup truck has a similar style of marking with SHORLAC on the sides, presumably referring to Shorts Light Aircraft Company. Quite why an armoured pickup truck that gave no rear protection was required is a mystery. My own feeling is that was a prototype similar to the SB301, that having served its purpose in development was modified by Shorts and utilised as a vehicle for general duties within the company.
Strange UDR Shorland Device

The keen observer will note that ex-RUC Shorlands once they have passed into UDR service acquired a small fitment on the sloping armour below the radiator and the registration plate is moved.

It is difficult to know the purpose of this fitment. It seems unlikey to have been for recovery purposes given the more substantial towing rings fitted to the bumper. All UDR Mark 1 Shorlands appear to have had this fitted.


It is tempting to wonder whether this fitment was there all the time during RUC service, but was merely obstructed by the registration plate?

This RUC Shorland was so vandalised that it was never transferred to UDR service and has no such fitment.

Unlike other Army vehicles the registration plate on these UDR operated Shorlands was moved beneath the bumper suggesting that it would have been in the way of whatever was attached to this fitment. The most likely explanation is that this fitment was to allow the rapid attachment of some form of shield to protect the underside of the Shorland from bellying on such things as beer kegs or some form of ram to clear modest obstructions. It looks here that the use of this attachment has triggered some damage to this bumper.

Curiously on all the Mark 3 Shorlands I have examined there is no evidence of this fitment having ever been in place and indeed the positioning of the registration plate on top of the bumper seems to confirm its absence.