Surrey Off-Road Specialists Limited

During 1994/95 we were involved in the vehicles for the film Judge Dredd that was shot at Shepperton Studios. My brother Philip, (Dunsfold Land Rovers) had been tasked by Ian Mullinghani the then PR manager for Land Rover, to come up with a suitable driving chassis that could accommodate the fairly large City Cab bodies that were to be used throughout the film as driving props. Land Rover had bought the rights to supply the vehicles for the film and now needed a load making into driving props. The designs were done in house by David Woodhouse at Land Rover, but they hadnít sorted out a suitable driving chassis to mount it on. Philip suggested that the easiest thing to modify for the job was the military 101 forward control, as they were a similar size and driving height. They were going to need 30 or so vehicles and as luck would have it, there were a large batch coming out the forces, so Land Rover bought back the lot! Philip then set about fitting the shells that had been made by 2 different companies onto the chassis (Futura and Wood & Picket). The end result was these rather interesting looking vehicles that were absolutely hideous to drive, but that didnít matter, after all they only had to perambulate around a film set. The fleet were built in 3 different colour schemes, yellow and black, silver and black and a sort of red primer and black. Land Rover had built a yellow and Black prototype that the moulds were lifted from for the rest. This one was then equipped with a full interior that was used for the close up shots and was a very high quality build. All the others were essentially an empty shell sitting on a 101 rolling chassis cab, with no opening doors, other than an access panel through the rooftop at the rear.

The filming took place in the autumn of 94 and was done at night, allowing them to light the set exactly how they wanted. There were coach loads of punks and radically dressed folks coming in from London every night as extras. The entire set was then hosed down so everything was dripping wet (due to the global warming in the future). The poor extras then spent the night being dripped on in freezing temperatures. Most nights there was a hard frost, I was glad I was sitting in the warm cockpit of a City Cab, when I went along and helped with some of the driving. The set was fantastic! A real work of art. The City cabs charging about complemented it perfectly.

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