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this site is protected by Copyright 1981-2012 All Rights Reserved.

 

1964 Hi-Floatation for Shell Oil

 

Jim Joss in Canada

 

Jet-1 1950

 

 

80" at Quail Lodge.

 

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Boating Nevada style!

 

It's Not a Christmas Party 2005.

Our Fire Crew 2006!

 

 

 

 

 

NORTH AMERICAN SPECIALS and PROTOTYPES

Left: This Land Rover, no doubt contributed more to the future of Land Rovers than any single special built, then and now.

Project "BOP", as it was first called, came to life in 1966, the brainchild of Bruce McWilliams, President of the Rover Motor Company of North America. The object was to fit the newly acquired 3.5 litre alloy GM V8 into an 88" Land Rover for future sale in the USA. Richard Green, Product Development Engineer & Service Manager, was to implement the project. The main requirement was to fit the V8 without changing the outward appearance of the vehicle. Body modifications were carried out at Moeller Brothers in San Leandro, California and mechanical modifications were undertaken by Denis Rileyís British Sports Car Service in Hayward, CA. (Note: the factory had earlier said it was impossible to fit the V8 into a then current production Land Rover chassis).

The following modification were carried out:
(* = a first in any Land Rover).

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Fit locally bought GM all alloy 3.5 litre V8 into 88" chassis without changing outward appearance*.

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Fit larger brakes & brake booster for higher obtainable road speeds*.

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Change overall gear ratios to suit; 3.59:1 from Rover 3-Litre sedan was fitted* (OD not available).

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Increase fuel capacity*; an Austin Healy tank was fitted in addition to the standard tank.

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Modify Interior; Adjustable drivers seat*, rear bulkhead was modified to suit.

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Modify Interior; Black seats and trim*. Custom Dash* (dash hadnít been up-dated since day-one).

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Negative earth system with Alternator replacing Generator*.

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Appealing Paint scheme; Golden Rod Yellow*.

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Chrome Bumpers and grill*.

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Rear Window deflectors*.

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Special Wheels & tyres* (oversize).

"Golden Rod", as it was now called, would be tested continuously until its cross-country trip from Dublin, CA., to NY, NY in September 1966, a trip that would take 4-1/2 days! Performance was fantastic when compared to then current Land Rovers (the NADA 6 had yet to come out, but test cars arrived two days before Golden Rod was completed). Top speed was over 100 mph and it would out accelerate the then current Rover sedan, the 2000TC. Upon its arrival at the factory it created quite a stir! Managing Director William Martin-Hurst was one of the first to ride & drive it. One night while leaving the factory, Richard out dragged a new XK-E through Solihull in the rain. Soon "Golden Rod" would be shipped back to the USA, and later sold off to a dealer. Its ashame Rover didnít save this unique vehicle. For more on this vehicle, see LRO,  LRW, and LRE magazines for the complete story. Of interest, Land Rover Limited UK finally put the V8 into production, though in a 109". It debuted in February 1979. The first vehicle off the line was Yellow!

For complete Golden Rod story, click here.

Recently discovered Golden Rod Photos, click here.