Defender Source Forum banner
Showcase cover image for Kent Fire & Rescue

General Information

Land Rover
Fire Engine Red
This truck is number plate (registration plate) F96-DKN, and was one of three identical 1988 Land Rover 127s purchased at the same time in 1988 by the Kent Fire & Rescue Service in the UK. The (3) 127s they purchased were F96-DKN, F97-DKN, and F98-DKN (all sequential number plates, which is neat).

This particular 127 F96-DKN served at the Sheppey Fire Station as a Water Safety Unit (used to tow the estuarial fire/rescue boat) and was put into service on 3/1989, fleet number 116. It served with the Kent Fire & Rescue from 1988-2004, at which point it was sold to a gentleman (currently have not been able to identify this owner) that had it outfitted for a cross-Africa overland expedition (hence the yellow “Africa” sticker that still lives on it today).

This owner was in possession from 2004-2007, at which point it was turned into Liveridge 4x4 (possibly on a trade) who put it up for sale but (thankfully) did not make any modifications or try to “freshen” it up. It was purchased in 2007 by the owner of Scotts Gardens UK, who used it as a landscaping vehicle for his gardening business from 2007-2011. It did see some "proper use" as a working vehicle during this time which lead to some wear & tear, but (again thankfully) most of it was minor cosmetics and simply overdue routine maintenance.

I purchased this vehicle in October 2011, well ahead of its 25-year anniversary after (literally) stumbling across it on the Land Rover Addict UK forum. The “deal” took a while to come to fruition with the prior owner, and at the time of purchase I knew nothing of its history…just that it was red and in decent shape.

With over a year-and-a-half to wait before it was eligible for import, I then started researching the number plate…and much to my surprise a similar number plate (F97-DKN) popped up online. It seems that F97 was restored by its prior owner, and appeared in many Fire Brigade historical auto shows. After posting up on one of the photo albums, I received my first lead from a prior owner and he got me up to speed on the origins of the 3-Amigos. It snowballed from there, and I contacted not only some prior owners but also several Fire Historians that were actually able to furnish original photos of the vehicle “in action” from its early service days – which were invaluable to the historical research, but also encouraging based on the preservation I was looking to do on the vehicle.

The truck & I were finally united this year, after a LONG 3-year wait while it was brought back to its original/stock configuration all the way around. The exterior needed LOTS of elbow grease once it arrived, as the red was badly faded…so faded that it was thought that it may be headed to the paint booth. However, God-bless single stage paint…for after 2-days with the orbital buffer and some 3M compound it literally took on new life. The saving grace was that I am fairly certain that it never had been buffed to this degree, and that combined with the layer of oxidation on the paint may have “saved” the original paint underneath as it came back to a very nice glowing Flame Red.

Likewise, it’s early days of living a pampered life inside the Fire Station led to its original chassis also being in fantastic shape, and a low-mileage overall (~88,0000 at time of purchase). Certainly the exterior is far from perfect, and has its share of some dents/dings (and a couple of drill holes from a prior owner)…but part of the history and stories lie in the character & patina of a well-preserved original truck in my opinion. It’s only original once!
1988 Land Rover 127 (Fire Engine Red)


3.5L factory V8…will be replaced soon enough!
These are the “AFTER” pictures…of the exterior :).

However, the interior has also had a complete makeover under my headliner, removed old carpet set, new front Puma front seats in denim twill, new rear 60/40 standard bench seat covered in matching denim twill, new cubby box, new rubber floor mat set (including the 130-specific 2nd row mat), new Alpine bluetooth stereo & speakers, etc.
These are the “BEFORE” pictures…of the exterior :).
255/85-16 BF Goodrich KM2 tires on genuine white NATO Wolf Rims (rims sourced direct from the UK).
Entire suspension has been replaced from top to bottom, including bushings, springs, shocks, Heavy Duty TerraFirma tie rod & drag link, etc.
Shocks: Genuine Land Rover front & rear
Front springs: Heavy-Duty Genuine Land Rover Springs
Rear springs: Heavy-Duty Genuine Land Rover Springs with inner “helper spring”.
Bushings: every bushing replaced with Red Polybush
Wheel and Tire
More early pictures from its days with the Kent Fire Brigade / Fire & Rescue Service.



There are no comments to display.