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1994 Freelander test mule with Maestro van body
Chassis number: SPLLNAAA7SAXXXX09
Registration number: G649 FKD
Engine type: 1.8 ohv Petrol
Gearbox type: 5 Speed
This strange-looking van is a very important link in the development of the Freelander. Based on a Maestro commercial van body shell, this 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’, as they were known, 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!
This vehicle was used for braking trials and would have covered many miles in the UK and abroad towing a ballast trailer.
Only three of the mules survive, the rest having been crushed. Please do not associate Freelanders with Maestro vans…it makes the factory very upset!