This Land Rover Forklift is what (strange) dreams are made of.

Sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree?
Sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree?

Americans have Craiglist for their strange vehicle listings. And now the Trading Post is a bit of an internet backwater, Gumtree has become a haven for time wasting, tyre-kicking and high-pitch whistling. How is the Quokka travelling these days in Western Australia?

And when I’m enjoying a nice cup of Darjeeling tea or am in between stories, I’ll often lob onto Gumtree and search for some favourite things. Cheap tools, commercial-grade coffee grinders, Sachs Madass motorcycles (don’t judge me) and of course, old Land Rovers.

And today, I came across an absolute beauty. It’s a Land Rover forklift.

The Land Rover forklift, for when you need to take a pallet of beer across the Simpson Desert
The Land Rover forklift, for when you need to take a pallet of beer across the Simpson Desert.

It’s a Land Rover, but it’s also a forklift. It’s like Mad Max, but insanely practical. Imagine, for the small price of $5,900, you could call this, this, thing your own. It’s a 1965 Land Rover Series IIA according to the ad, which has the top ripped off and the very common Holden 186 red motor installed under the bonnet for some extra cubes. It also has a bit of a basic nudge bar up the front, but I can’t figure out what the raised pipe/breather/vent on the passenger side fender is for. Does anyone have any ideas?

The forklift conversion, in all of its glory.
The forklift conversion, in all of its glory.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that it was forklift conversion performed by a big Land Rover dealer of the day Annand & Thompson, presumably as a new vehicle. So, it wasn’t built by some semi-genius crackpot in their shed after imbibing too many mind-altering drugs. Those were the days, hey? You weren’t looking through the list of options, choosing what colour you wanted your aircon vents to be, or if you’re too lazy to shut the boot yourself. You can option up your 4WD with things like this, or an auger. Once upon a time, 4WDs were purely a utility, a tool built for getting jobs done. And I reckon that’s something lost these days, amongst glitz, glamour and comfort of a modern vehicle.

You can check out the ad on Gumtree here. Let us know what you think in the comments below.



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  • Forget about chickens and bricks…it could become your next best friend when trying to get on the beach and trendy tourists have clogged up the access ramp by getting stuck. Why snatch when you could just lift!
    And if there are more of these lost forgotten relics just waiting to be found – maybe even a Recovery Franchise just waiting to happen.

  • Its a hydraulic oil breather, its so high so the oil doesn’t spill when the fork lift is lowered . weight on the forks makes the oil go back into the reservoir tank extremely fast .so fast the oil will spill out of the breather unless elevated

  • I had the privilege of driving a landy that had a three point linkage and a pto on the rear so we could hook up a slasher to mow the steep slopes on the property.

  • Don’t you just wonder about axle loads and the effect of 40 years rust on a light chassis!! Old Landies needed heavy duty axles for 4wding, and there were many aftermarket upgrades. Pipe could be breather , exhaust or a crude air inlet. I would love to see where the hydraulic pump drives, as there’s no sign of the tank – it may be off the transfer case or engine front pulley, probably why I would discredit hydraulic breather.

  • Many years a go a chook catcher company had these and toyota short wheel base 4*4`s converted to forklifts for the purpose of loading and unloading chicken cages ( crates). on to the trucks for cartage to the processing factories. ( Beresfield and Cardiff, Hunter vally areas). the trucks would leave to head to the pick up location and the converted vehicles would meet the catchers and trucks for the catch for the night.
    extremely effective utilization of machinery.These machines would travel at a normanal road speed and cover long distances every night.
    These were a great brain storm and allowed the safe loading and unloading of the chickens with out putting the workers at risk of injury.

  • I remember these from the 60’s. They were used by Inghams Chickens for loading crates of live chickens onto a truck for delivery to the processing plant.
    Lloyd S.A.


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