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British Telecom Van: 1983 Land Rover

This 1983 Land Rover is otherwise known as a “Stage 1” variant, and is said to be a former British Telecom van. Currently sitting on a trailer and seemingly ready for delivery, it is absolutely crying out for a return to its original paint job and livery, especially considering how rare it is to find a former utility vehicle like this in the states. Find it here on craigslist and offered up due to a pending relocation.

A quick Google search brings up surprisingly few images of genuine British Telecom vans from this vintage, as it seems the company was dabbling with a few different marques for use on British roadways. Ford Transits and the unusual Dodge Spacevan were frequently used, as were British-market Dodge commercial vehicles and Bedford station wagons. All of them wore yellow paint (more on that later.)

It’s always curious to me how vehicles used by major utilities in other countries always look so exotic, even though they register about as significant to the locals as would a Ford F350 ladder truck in the states. Of course, any vintage trucks still wearing their respective utility’s branding is a highly unusual find, and I’d gladly park a vintage fire marshall’s 4×4 in my garage with all the bells and whistles attached.

Back to the yellow paint: under the hood, we can still see trace elements of the Rover’s first paint job, which is in keeping with how almost every image of a British Telecom truck shows them wearing yellow paint. While the warning lights are no longer on the roof and whatever apparatus sat on the hood is long gone, there’s enough evidence for me that this Stage 1 / Series III Rover should return to its roots.


  1. Steve R

    The ad is gone, what was the asking price?

    Steve R

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    • Lou

      I bought it. Giving it a once over ( new clutch, brakes, tires, battery, all fluids, tune up, etc) and a MAJOR clean up.

      Like 0
  2. Sheffieldcortinacentre

    You can still get the paint “telecom yellow” a friend has one of the last Bedford HA vans 1982 model(similar to the one on right in the street scene) he’s managed to collect most of the period equipment it had when in service eve?n the correct 3 section ladder (due to short length of van) most ladders are 2 section.
    British telecom are very helpful when it comes to there old vehicles & will help with old records/specifications etc where possible

    Like 1
  3. Tony

    The spare wheel went on the bonnet.

    Like 1
  4. Ken fincher

    I was going to say the bolts for holding the spare tire/tyre all seem to be present.

    Like 0
  5. TimM

    Really cool!! The guy must have sold it cause the link is gone!!

    Like 0
  6. Bren

    Interesting V8 engine in it, would have thought BT would have used diesels (Land Rover Heritage would have build info from chassis plate) The model is the Defender 110 with a V8 whereas the LR 109 Stage 1 had a mesh grille. Most original Defender V8’s were British Army or Fire Brigade,but in later years many tuner/custom shops used the GM/Rover V8

    Like 0
  7. Adam Smailes

    It should be noted that most Dodge SPacevans in the U&K were built under licence and rebadged as Commer Spacevan’s.

    Like 0

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