Home News Overland Expo West 2018 Day Two – LR FC101 Realness
Overland Expo West 2018 Day Two – LR FC101 Realness

Overland Expo West 2018 Day Two – LR FC101 Realness


Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My FC101
by Will Marshal
photos by Barry J. Holmes

May 19th, 2018 – The second day of OXW18 brought perfect weather, large crowds, and (of course) more incredible builds.

Our favorite rig of the day was a spectacular and unapologetic Land Rover FC101. Here we go.

Francisco has one of 10 Land Rover FC101’s in the United States, and he has built himself his own little slice of mobile heaven.

The FC101 platform started from a need for a gun tractor to tow British artillery around, and carry a tonne (that’s British) of ammunition as well. The FC101 designation comes from it being a Forward Control vehicle with a 101” wheel base. Francisco’s is no different, and has its legacy in the British Ministry of Defense.

At 44 years old, this 1974 FC is young at heart receiving the world’s standard power plant swap, the GM LS engine. Power is transmitted through a 6L80E six-speed transmission, into the standard Land Rover transfer-case, down through front and rear ARB locked axles. While increasing the reliability of the truck with an engine swap was a big selling point to Fransisco, the power and fuel economy of a modern power plant were just as big as well.

The big American V8 can lay down plenty of power, and still maintain a 14 MPG fuel average for the camper setup, with a full range of around 400 miles from its 30 gallon fuel tank. Francisco has plans for securing another OEM 30 gallon tank from England and fitting it on the left hand portion to increase its total capacity to 60 gallons of gasoline and an 800 mile range.

The camper is Francisco’s baby, him having built the whole thing from scratch in his Los Angeles driveway. Thoughtfully designed, Francisco ensured that when the pop-top section was collapsed, the vehicle fit within a sea-going shipping container without any modification to facilitate ease of transportation across the oceans.

The camper is fully constructed from aluminum to match the aluminum construction of the FC and be light as possible while resisting corrosion on worldly travels. Remarkably, with the use of excessive aluminum construction, the vehicle weighs in at a total of 7,000lbs fully equipped with a full tank of fuel and 40 gallons of fresh water. A unique ability of the camper is to fully detach from the frame and cab of the FC via jacks, which allows the 2,500lb fully independent camper to sit idle in a location while the FC is free to roam trails to other destinations without complication.

The camper sports amenities like a 900 watt solar system, house battery and gasoline generator, and a globally compatible cell signal booster that can capture and amplify the full spectrum of currently available hertz ranges across the LTE, 4G, 3G and 2G network standards.

While Fransisco admits his favorite part of the vehicle build has been the LS engine swap, he also says the opening skylight above the bed was his favorite living idea. Being able to open the top while you lay in bed and watch the sky above is just about as great as it sounds.

While the vehicle is not complete and is an active work in progress, Fransisco already has his eyes set on global travel with returning to his home of Buenos Aires as the first destination.

We are gearing up for Day 3. Much move vehicles and gear to come. In the meantime, be sure to checkout our favorite rigs from Day One!

Will Marshal Will is a fish out of water, coming from the Hardcore off-road and rock crawling world. He developed a knack for writing and a hunger for adventure. Having written for Expedition Portal, Tread Magazine and Overland Bound, Will is our resident Wanderlust expert. He is also the owner/creator of Forge Overland and has an expert eye on all things outdoors.