At its core, the Australian Frontline Machinery Pimped Perentie is an ex-military Land Rover 110 from the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The nickname ‘Perentie’ is a reference to ‘Project Perentie’, the tender project of the 1980s that saw the Land Rover 4×4 and 6×6 become the vehicle of choice for the ADF. It is one of over 2,000 Land Rover 4x4s that have been sold by Australian Frontline Machinery over the past 2 years, but it is now a Land Rover with a difference.
The Australian Frontline Machinery Pimped Perentie started life in 1988 as a Land Rover 110 Cargo. Not much is known of its early years, but after a complete rebuild in 2010 and a few overseas assignments, it returned to Australia and was dismantled as part of the quarantine inspection process.
Sold by Australian Frontline Machinery, through GraysOnline in November 2013, the dismantled vehicle was purchased by winning bidder and Australian Frontline Machinery director Craig Ley.
I’d been looking for a vehicle to build with my son Oscar and thought one of the Perenties would be a simple car to start with,” Craig said.
“It was a bonus that even though it had been dismantled, all the parts were in the back. I also wanted to show some of the fun stuff you can do with one of these vehicles whether you want to do major mods or just some cosmetic ones, they always come up great.
Restoration & Assembly
The first task in the restoration project was to sort through all of the loose parts that had been stored in the cargo area of the vehicle. Once the vehicle was emptied the ‘pimping’ began, with the camouflage paint scheme replaced with a more urban-friendly gunmetal grey.
“We live in the suburbs, so as much as I do love the camo paint, we thought we’d be better camouflaged out on the road with the grey paint”.
Once the Land Rover had been painted the re-assembly process could begin. Known for their uncomplicated design and straightforward engineering, piecing the Perentie back together from its flat-pack-like state was relatively simple, “not much harder than building a piece of Ikea furniture” according to Craig.
The seats, seatbelts, instrument cluster, dash and floor panels were all put back into the vehicle over the course of just a few days. Then the modification process began.
Under the Bonnet
The Land Rover experts at KLR Automotive in South Windsor fitted the Pimped Perentie with their KLR Turbo Kit, which employs a Garret turbocharger to more than double the power output of the 3.9-litre Isuzu diesel engine, but without any increase in fuel consumption.
We’ve developed this kit specifically for the Perentie and it’s been fitted and tuned to maintain the Land Rover’s legendary reliability” said Brad Pollard of KLR Automotive.
The conversion uses a new fabricated exhaust manifold, while the original air filter is retained and fed fresh air through a new external-mounted Mantec snorkel. KLR also upgraded the exhaust to a full 2.5-inch system.
On and Off Road
The Perentie’s bicep building unassisted steering was also given an overhaul with a new KLR Power Steering Kit, which means it is now much easier to manoeuvre the vehicle off-road and on, especially around those not so Perentie-friendly city car parks.
“Our power steering kit really makes driving these Land Rovers more of a pleasure and less of a chore. Plus it’s available as a DIY kit, with no other mods required, so you can have the job done in around four hours,” Brad said.
A heavy duty drag link was also fitted and the original drive flanges upgraded to heavy duty ones, turning up the dial on the already exceptional off-road capability of the Perentie.
Typically the ex-military Land Rovers sold by Australian Frontline Machinery are road registered as two-seaters. However, the Pimped Perentie has been certified to seat 10 passengers, two in the front and eight in the rear, so technically speaking it is now an omnibus.
Seatbelts were fitted to the rear inward facing seats and the seats have been reinforced to meet Australian Design Rules (ADRs). The Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS) was bolstered with the fitment of additional bars across the rear of the vehicle, which were also padded for the extra protection of passengers seated in the back.
Getting the Look
In addition to the glossy paint job, the Pimped Perentie features a new grey canvas canopy with matching seat covers, new wheel arch mouldings and pressed-steel-look rubber mats. The original headlight surrounds, as well as the parking and indicator lights, were replaced with those from the current model Land Rover Defender.
Other changes around the front of the vehicle include a new grille and the customised ‘Australian Frontline Machinery’ stainless steel bullbar finisher. The Perentie’s tough new look was completed with a set of 16-inch matte black Terrafirma alloy wheels, 255/75 BF Goodrich Mud Terrain tyres and a pair of Terrafirma rock sliders, modified by KLR for a custom fit.
Like any Land Rover project, there’s always more work to be done, but in the short term the Pimped Perentie will be used by Australian Frontline Machinery to showcase what a few simple modifications can do to bring out the best in these ex-military machines.
Craig has plans for a few more mods.
“I’m thinking about putting some speakers in the back and perhaps an LED light bar on the front, but for now at least, I can’t wait for summer so I can take Oscar and his mates up the coast for some serious off-road fun.”
Auction Dates and More Information
Australian Frontline Machinery sells a range of genuine ex-military vehicles, direct from the Australian Defence Force, through unreserved online auction with bids starting from $9. Details about upcoming auctions and inspection dates, as well as sample vehicle information, are available on the Australian Frontline Machinery
website at www.australianfrontlinemachinery.com.au
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