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 lancethomas@iinet.net.au. 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.
  • 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.

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

Asia and Africa Trucks

Austin K9s

Icon K9 preparation and India Expedition This film shows the preparation in Spring 1968 of newly acquired Austin K9s at Wren Park; and then a four-truck expedition to India led by Rob Rumball, Stuart Jenkins, Harry Marsh and Jonathan Rohan Kickham. A description of each part of the film is here.
JNM667F

Photos sought

JNM668F
JNM668F leaving Wren Park 1968 (Adrian Mortimer driving, with Bernard Allen and Hector Rumball)
JNM668F leaving Wren Park 1968 (Adrian Mortimer driving, with Bernard Allen and Hector Rumball)
YNK229F
Selection/training expedition to Iran, Spring 1969
YNK230F
Other photos
213TM (Trade Plates)
213TM
Austin K9 at Wren Park with trade plates 213TM

KBM345G

KBM346G

Southeast Asia Land Rovers

KXE4D (grey) and one other (green)

After driving overland from the United Kingdom, the two Land Rovers were shipped from Madras to Penang for the reconnaissance expeditions in Southeast Asia in late 1969. No photos are currently available.

Bedford RLs

223BGF
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
BVS967T (registration was LUR975P until August 1978)
LUR975P – note the wrong number (579) on the painted registration
BVS967T
BVS970T

BVS970T (Graeme Kidd)

GLP200J
GUR527T (Gurty)
JNM600V
JNM601V
JNM603V
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
Q124MPP
Q199MPP
Q364MPP
Q504NPP
(stolen by Toureg bandits 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. Unidentified driver on the right.

Bedford 6×4 KMs (used only in Asia)

GNM152F

Bedford TLs 4×4

Q93NTM
Q93NTM (EM Ian Munro)
Q93NTM near Epulu, Zaire in early 1993 (Leader/Driver Stan Moffat)
Q620NTM
Q621NTM
Q621NTM and Q620NTM (Bill McMann)
Q621NTM and Q620NTM
Q815NTM
Q872NRO

Bedford TLs 4×2

Q128NTM
Q873NRO

Ford Cargo’s 4×2

Q356NVS
Q985NUR

Land Rover Series 3

Based at Kibo Hotel, Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. No details are currently available.

South 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
WBH648S

Ford Cargo 4×2

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

Central America

Dodge Van

573ZQT (California registration)

South East Asia Yacht ‘Gypsy’

Himalaya Overland / Sundowners Overland Odysseys Coaches

Asia

CUT33T

Photos sought

DRT636K

Photos sought

DRT680T
JTE91P
LYS505Y and Swiss Mountain Coach

Seeking more photos of both vehicles

LYS505Y (Andy Sutcliffe)
LYS505Y is the Mercedes mini-bus 608D with trailer. The Swiss Mountain Coach is on the right. Photo taken at a chai stop in Baluchistan. Carole Hayward is on the left and Andy Sutcliffe is in the centre.
TEF72M
TEF73M
XMA204M

Photos sought

VNS898S

Photos sought

South America

Details being sought of Mercedes coach intended to be used for a Sundowners program in South America which did not eventuate.

Support Vehicles

EO Pick-up San Francisco

EO pick-up San Francisco (Bruce Davidson)

EO Kathmandu Kombi YYH834T
EO Wren Park Bedford vans
YBA 16092
– Isuzu ‘backie’ purchased initially to support the Sundowners ‘Africa Live’ pilot program in Southern Africa.
There were also some other support vehicles (Kombi and Ford Escort van in Joburg in 1970s roughly; and Escort cars at Wren Park in the early 1990s) but details are lost to memory.