1999 Land Rover Winter Water Wolf


・Ultra-rare Winter Water Wolf
・Complete ground-up rebuild this year
・Just over 3,000 miles from new
・Completely authentic with all original equipment


Listen up at the back because this one is a bit special.
The market for Land Rover Defenders is stronger than ever right now, with the best examples commanding really strong prices. But there are some Defenders that gather even more interest than others -  and this one is a very special thing indeed.
It's one of a handful of Winter Water Wolfs built for the Royal Marines in 1999. Based on a 300 TDi 90, the Water Wolf’s sole purpose was to be driven from the shoreline to a landing craft out at sea or vice versa, ideal for amphibious assaults. It has a wading depth of 1.5-metres and can operate in temperatures as low as minus 46 degrees Celsius. 
It is believed that less than 50 were made and while their actual usage in combat is classified by the MOD, the ones that do turn up have covered tiny mileages and appear to have been shipped from one exercise to the next. It’s such a rare variant that not even the Land Rover Heritage Collection at Dunsfold has one.

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Not only is this Land Rover incredibly rare, but being a specialist vehicle it was not used on a day-to-day basis and was transported to and from each exercise, so it has covered a tiny mileage. 
The current owner bought the vehicle direct from the MOD with just 1,159km (about 700 miles) on the clock, and registered it for the road in 2017, giving it a minor restoration to ensure it was fit for the road. This mileage was given and believed to be correct but unwarranted as with everything sold directly from the MOD.
The seller used it as his personal transport for a few months and then kept it as a leisure vehicle before committing it to a concours restoration earlier this year. 
The work was carried out by a company called Archimedes Engineering, which is run by the former service manager of Mann Egerton Land Rover in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and was a complete nut and bolt rebuild. 
The odometer current reads just under 5,500km (about 3,400 miles), with less than 500 miles covered since it was rebuilt and returned to the road.

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With the MOD, all maintenance and servicing is carried out by REME engineers, so there’s no service history to speak of. However, the maintenance requirements of military hardware dictate that everything is kept in perfect working order at all times, so the 90 will have seen a rigorous schedule of maintenance throughout its life. 
Along with the current V5 and MOT, the Wolf comes with an MOD instruction book in a standard Land Rover wallet, explaining the individual differences between it and a standard 90. The vendor also has the original sales listing from the MOD stating the original odometer reading of 1,159km. 
He also has some photographs of this very vehicle being driven in a military exercise in Devon in 1999, wearing its military registration number of PN-78-AA.

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Unsurprisingly, the exterior of the Wolf is in absolutely astounding condition, as you'd expect from a concours rebuild.
All the panels are straight and perfectly aligned, the military green paint is perfect and all the details are correct, such as the spades on the bonnet, the side-mounted spare wheel, the extra-height snorkel, the roof rack, the canvas tilt and military grade tow bar to name but a few.
The level of detail is brilliant and is also 100% authentic based on the original Winter Water Wolf specification.
The vehicle still has its original steel chassis, which was stripped, blasted and fully refurbished during the course of its restoration. It's an absolutely superb example that wants for nothing.

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The only thing missing from the cabin that would have been there when the Land Rover was new is the Royal Marines waterproof radio equipment - and there's a reason for that!
Otherwise it's all fairly standard and quite basic, with rubber mats, wipe-clean vinyl seats and a straightforward dash.
It has two bench seats in the rear and additional under-seat heaters, not least because this was a vehicle designed to operate in the most extreme of cold temperatures.
Much like the exterior, the interior is authentically detailed and comes with all of the equipment that would have been in the vehicle when new, including a first aid kit, warning beacon, fire extinguisher, flag poles, MOD-issue torch and ratchet straps.

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Although Land Rover had migrated to the new Td5 five-cylinder diesel engine by 1999, the Winter Water Wolf still used the older 300 TDi engine.
The reasons for this were two-fold. First, that the 300 TDi was a proven and well-known unit and that most MOD engineers knew exactly how to maintain.
The second was that the Td5 had more complex electronics, along with an ECU beneath the passenger seat, neither of which would have been suited to the wading requirements of the vehicle.
With such a small mileage and a history of REME maintenance, it's no surprise at all to find that this truck is in mechanically perfect health, while the brakes, suspension and steering were all overhauled as part of its comprehensive restoration earlier this year.


This is an almost unique opportunity to acquire one of the rarest and most unusual military spec Land Rovers, with provenance and the reassurance of a complete nut and bolt rebuild behind it. 

It's a fascinating and important slice of Land Rover history and probably the best example of a surviving Winter Water Wolf that will ever come to market.
It's a truly wonderful and remarkable thing.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1999
  • Make Land Rover
  • Model Winter Water Wolf
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 5,456 Kilometres
  • Engine size 2495
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Norfolk
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
32 bids
  • le•••• £35,000 22/09/21
  • pa•••• £34,750 22/09/21
  • he•••• £34,250 22/09/21
  • mu•••• £33,500 22/09/21
  • Ch•••• £32,750 22/09/21
  • mu•••• £32,500 22/09/21
  • pa•••• £31,000 22/09/21
  • Ka•••• £30,000 22/09/21
  • mu•••• £28,000 21/09/21
  • Ch•••• £27,500 20/09/21
Message C&C Auction Team

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