Land Rover, Series One and Tithonus at Beachy Head

2014 a great year for SARS!

As we reach the end of 2014 the society’s Beachy Head Radio Site has remained very popular despite the seasonally inclement weather. The access track now being impassable except with four wheel drive vehicles. However for those of us that have ex-military vehicles the opportunity to put the advantages of four wheel drive to the test is an added attraction!

On Saturday 13th of December BHRS was opened as usual with an early start being in order to catch some activity on the VMARS 80 metre AM net. I collected our Chairman Steve M3EVM in my Land Rover Defender 110 FFR, now fitted with a new 2.5 NA engine and running perfectly.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The new engine ready for installation 

The previous engine had developed a noisy Cam Follower and repair would require cylinder head removal. New Dynamometer tested engines, rebuilt for the MOD by Caterpillar were recently available from Whitham specialist vehicle auctions. The opportunity to purchase an exact replacement without the bother of repairing the old engine seemed too good to miss! It was however a bit of a surprise when the engine arrived on a Fork lift truck complete in a huge green wooden box. We decided to leave the box with Witham’s and removed the engine complete with transit cradle from the rubber mounts on the base of the crate. The engine was now just small enough to go into my brother’s Ford SMax for delivery to Eastbourne. Fitting the new engine also maintains the originality of the Land Rover 110 Tithonus which was refurbished under the MODs Life Improvement Programme for Land Rover Defenders in 2007-2008. Notable improvements being the fitting of an integrated Roll-Cage and composite Fibre Hard-Top. The front seats by Exmoor Trim Military are also a considerable enhancement on the original items.

Whilst around 3000 Land Rover Defenders were specially selected for the Tithonus program most of these would appear to be either still in service or have been exported. They are particularly popular with collectors in the USA. My vehicle was built in 1985 and will see its 30th birthday in December 2015. I feel particularly privileged to possess such a great vehicle and icon from a very interesting period of British military history.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Defender 110 Tithonus owned by G8DXU. with some of the Clansman series radios & field test kit

Steve and I arrived at BHRS around 0820 and too late to make the start of the VMARS net. After rigging the 60m inverted V aerial a good number of stations were heard on 3.615MHz but conditions were not good for the weaker stations.

Richard (Now M6EYO) arrived in his Land Rover 90 (300 TDI) accompanied by Baxter who is generally more interested in the cooking than radio matters. Following Richard was his brother Jon (M0JAO) in his rather rare ex-military 1949 Land Rover Series One. Jon brought along his PYE Station Radio C12 (1955) and started assembly of the various units. Readers may remember that the C12 was the Vintage Radio of the month in SARS December AirTime.


Jon’s excellent example of a genuine Military Series One 1949 Land Rover (Andy M6GND can be seen in the background with his portable Clansman RT320)  

 Dr. Jon who is a Fuel Cell scientist is not currently a SARS member but has requested a membership application form and wishes to join us in the new year. Richard and Jon have a small collection of Land Rovers and specialize in rebuilding Series Ones. Jon also has a number of Clansman series sets which he is eager to use at BHRS. I am sure that his knowledge and enthusiasm  will be made very welcome when he joins the society.

Shortly after Jon’s arrival Henry (2E0IAK) made it to the site in his Land Rover Defender 110 FFR adjourned with UN livery. Henry has changed the 2.5 NA engine in his 110 for the 200TDI This is the same engine fitted to many of the Land Rover Wolfs and has the advantage of more power, better mpg and compliance with Low Emission Zone (LEZ) requirements for inner London areas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Henry’s Defender 110 and Richard’s 90 300TDi


We now had four Land Rovers on site, which I believe is this years record.

Henry offered the use of  one of his telescopic masts to elevate the end of Jon’s wire aerial from the Station Radio C12.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At the end of the days radio operations with the Sun setting over Jon’s Series One


Christmas approaches at BHRS with Tom M6ONX updating the PC with Linux software

The society welcomes those that have an interest in Military vehicles / Land Rovers or radio communications. If you would like to participate in our activities or join one of our training courses to gain your own radio licence, please use the contact facility on this website.

 Barry G8DXU


Leave a Reply