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1994 Freelander test mule with Maestro van body
Chassis number: SPLLNAAABSAXXXX13
Registration number: J426 TVU
Engine type: 2.0 Diesel
Gearbox type: 5 Speed Manual
This LHD diesel Maestro mule registered J426 TVU is one of around 25 built in 1994 at Land Rover’s MCE satellite factory. Petrol and diesel variants were made in both RHD and LHD. Their purpose was on-road testing of the Freelander running gear without taking prototype or pre-production vehicles into the public view.
These mules were made to be as inconspicuous as possible with either black or cream paint, disguised wheels, fuel fillers and older registration plates, although anyone getting close enough might have wondered why these ‘vans’ were fitted with roll cages!
When we acquired it, TVU had a major fault in the immobiliser system and various other issues, and also looked very untidy having been robbed of quite a few parts while sitting in the factory scrap queue. We secured an early Freelander MoT failure which provided us with a working ECU, keys and other parts. To our astonishment, after a little bit of tickling it started first time! And even had a clutch.