Trucks, Coaches and other Vehicles

This gallery includes the vehicles owned by Encounter Overland between 1964 and 2001. It may not be complete. Photographs are not available for all vehicles. Please advise of any errors or additional vehicles using the Contact form or by email to Lance Thomas at 267oldbrompton@gmail.com. Photos can be sent to the email account.

In brief:

  • The gallery begins with the ‘original‘ Encounter Overland Land Rover driven by Harry Marsh and Tony Jones to the subcontinent in 1964.

Asia and Africa

  • Austin K9s were the first vehicles used when Encounter Overland began operating in 1967. K9s were used in both Asia and for the first Trans-Africa Southbound. These could carry 12 Expedition Members (EMs).
  • Two Land Rovers were driven to India and then shipped to Malaya in 1969 to operate reconnaissance expeditions in Southeast Asia.
  • 4×4 Bedford RLs and M-types then became the mainstay of the fleet in Asia and Africa during the 1970s and 1980s. RLs were first used in Africa. These carried 20 EMs. A Land Rover painted in EO colours was used on one of the early Africa three-truck expeditions. Most M-types were fitted with a 330ci engine and a four-speed gearbox.  Two M-types, LLK183K (possibly later re-registered as Q43MPP) and SBH441W were fitted with 466ci engines and five-speed gearboxes. Both were used solely in Asia.
  • Many of the M-types were re-registered as ‘Q reg’ vehicles in the latter part of the 1980s. This was because in the United Kingdom the last letter of the registration number signified the vehicle’s first year of registration, and some vehicles, by that metric, were quite old, notwithstanding they were regularly refurbished in the workshops to a ‘better than new’ standard.
  • Two 6×4 vehicles based on Bedford KM chassis were built by EO. These could each carry 24 EMs and were used only on the Trans-Asia expeditions.
  • In the late 1980s/1990s 4×4 Bedford TLs were built for Africa. 4×2 Bedford TLs and Ford Cargo’s were built for Asia.

South America

  • Two 4×4 Bedford RLs were shipped from the United Kingdom to South America for the first South and Central America Reconnaissance expeditions. These were then replaced by 4×2 vehicles – a Dodge 500, a GMC, Dodge Hi-Line’s, a Bedford KM, a Bedford TL, and later Ford Cargo’s. All vehicles except the GMC were built in the UK and shipped to the Americas. The GMC was built in California.

Central America

  • Only the first two expeditions in South America included Central America. Central America expeditions were run as a separate program. A Dodge Van was purchased to operate these expeditions but ultimately proved unsuitable. The Bedford KM was built for Central America but later shipped to South America.

Yacht

  • For a time Encounter Overland operated Coral Island Safaris using a yacht named Gypsy (shortened from the original Gypsy Gay.)

Coaches

  • Coaches were used for the Himalaya Overland and later Sundowners Overland Odysseys Asia overland journeys.
  • A coach was purchased for a Sundowners program in South America which did not eventuate.

Support vehicles

  • Encounter Overland had several support vehicles in the UK, Nepal, California and South Africa.

Line5The original Encounter Overland vehicle of 1964 – Land Rover 2191NX

Line5Asia and Africa Trucks

Austin K9s

The (original) two K9s used on the Encounter Overland expedition to Asia in 1967 were YNK229F and YNK230F. They were then in their original military livery. These photos show them being overhauled at Wren Park.

YNK229F
YNK229F after overhaul
YNK229F after its first rebuild and respray
Selection/training expedition to Iran, Spring 1969

 

YNK230F 
JNM667F
JNM668F
JNM669F
KBM345G
KBM346G
Other photos
213TM (Trade Plates)
213TM
Austin K9 at Wren Park with trade plates 213TM

Southeast Asia Land Rovers

Two Land Rovers (KXE4D and KUV882D) were driven overland as part of Asia expeditions to Kathmandu and then on to Madras, India. They were shipped to Southeast Asia to run the Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos reconnaissance expeditions starting in December 1969.  Only the two reconnaissance expeditions were run. The vehicles were sold in Penang, Malaysia.

KXE4D (grey)

KXE4D was shipped from Madras to Penang to run the first reconnaissance expedition.

KUV882D (green and cream)

KUV882D departed London on 11 October 1969 and was shipped from Madras to Singapore later to join KXE4D in Penang for the second reconnaissance expedition.  No photos of this Land Rover are currently available.

Bedford RLs

223BGF
224BGF
225BGF
226BGF
230BGF 
DHV541H
NAH814F
NMJ259M 
PMJ306J
PMJ306J Africa
PMJ306J – extracted from South America brochure
PMJ308J
PMJ311J
PMJ311J Africa
PMJ311J – This photo was taken on the first EO single vehicle southbound Africa (4th trans Africa) led by Peter Ogden (his first trip) and Martin Watkinson. It was a petrol RL and suffered from carburettor petrol evaporation in the southern Sahara – hence part of radiator grill cover removed. The trailer was sold at Half Way House, between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia at the time), to finance the last week or so of trip . Was not uncommon practice at the time. It was before northbound Africa trips were possible The truck was sold in Lesotho to Oxbow Lodge. (Information provided by Martin Watkinson. Photo extracted from the South America brochure.)
RXP586
RXP597 
SDD513G

TMJ151K
UPX85K
Early Africa Land Rover
– can just be seen on the left of this photo

Land Rover - Agadez (Alison Bennet)

Bedford 4×4 M-Types

AOR621J
AOR622J
BVS967T (registration was LUR975P until August 1978)
LUR975P – note the wrong number (579) on the painted registration
BVS967T
BVS970T
GLP200J 
GLP203J
GLW919J
GUR527T (Gurty)
HMG820K
JNM600V
JNM601V
JNM603V
LLK183K
NRB956J 

Note: The following trucks with Q registrations were part of the existing fleet but given updated registration numbers. The links between old and new registration numbers has been lost.

Q43MPP (possibly formerly LLK183K)
Q124MPP
Q199MPP
Q364MPP
Q504NPP
– the group was held up and this truck was stolen by Toureg bandits in May 1991 just out of Tessalit in Mali
Q572NPP
Q617MPP
Q898MPP
SBH441W
WBH645S
WBH646S
WBH647S
M-type line-up in Kathmandu
Trucks lined up Kathmandu (probably around 1986)
Truck line-up in Kathmandu. Martin Blackgrove on the left. Paul Matthews on the right.

Bedford 6×4 KMs (used only in Asia)

GNM152F
SVC339H

Bedford TLs 4×4

Q93NTM
Q620NTM
Q621NTM
Q621NTM and Q620NTM (Bill McMann)
Q621NTM and Q620NTM
Q621CPF
Q815NTM
Q872NRO

Bedford TLs 4×2

Q128NTM
Q400NRO
Q873NRO

Ford Cargo’s 4×2

Q356NVS
Q985NUR
Q702NVS
This truck was completed mid-2000. It was the last truck built by Encounter Overland.

Land Rover Series 3

In 1987 a six-cylinder petrol Land Rover was prepared at Wren Park intended for expeditions in Tibet. Petrol was more available than diesel at the time in Tibet. However, for reasons now lost to memory, it was shipped instead to East Africa for the Africa Coast-to-Coast program. It was not a suitable vehicle for these trips and was eventually sold. (No photos currently available.) (Note: The Land Rover pictured in the 1987/88 Brochure (page 29) was a borrowed prop and not the EO Land Rover.)

Line5South America Trucks

Bedford RLs

VXX205
VXX207

Dodge 500 Series (UK) 4×2

RHS301M

GMC 4×2

Y39839 (California registration)

Bedford KM 4×2

BVS504X

Bedford TL 4×2

D418MPP

Dodge Hi-Line 4×2

BVS968T
BVS968T Peru 1982
BVS968T became bogged while attempting a river crossing successfully negotiated just previously by another EO truck. Unable to be extricated over a number of days, in the end, it was destroyed by successive flash floods.
BVS969T
JNM602V
WBH648S

Ford Cargo 4×2

BITA E985 (German registration)
BS99HL (Netherlands registration)
VD46NY (Netherlands registration)

Line5Central America

Dodge Van

573ZQT (California registration)

Line5South-East Asia Yacht ‘Gypsy’

Line5Himalaya Overland / Sundowners Overland Odysseys Coaches

Asia

AHK110L
AHK110L
Trish Burt (courier) and Dave Johnson (driver); and Himalaya Overland coach AHK110L
CUT33T
CUT33T (Anne-Michelle Bilborough)
Martin Blackgrove driving Himalaya Overland coach CUT33T
DRT680T
HEK919N

HEK919N (Paul Bilborough)

JTE91P
LYS505Y
LYS505Y (Andy Sutcliffe)
LYS505Y is the Mercedes 608D mini-bus with trailer. The photo was taken at a chai stop in Baluchistan. Carole Hayward is on the left and Andy Sutcliffe is in the centre.
Q397NPP
Q440MPP
Q440MPP Moscow 1987
Q440MPP. This photo was taken by a bus enthusiast in Moscow in 1987.
Q902MPP

No photos currently available

RUT3R
RUT3R in Moscow (Ian Johnstone)
RUT3R in Moscow (Ian Johnstone)
TEF72M
TEF73M