The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin will be carried in a Land Rover. Not any old Land Rover, but a Defender 130 Gun Bus, designed by the Duke for his funeral and adapted by Foley Specialist Vehicles. By chance, years ago, when researching my book on Land Rovers, I visited Foley while they were adapting the Duke’s vehicle. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement forbidding me from discussing the car until now.
First, a little history. The Land Rover was launched in 1948 as a farm vehicle to help re-establish Britain’s shattered economy through agriculture. It cost £450 and was later named the Series I. This was followed by the Series II, IIA and III and then the 110, 90, 127 and the Defender, the name now used to refer to the entire ‘boxy’ lineage of cars.