In 1972 Rover in Solihull had the first ever 4 door Range Rover prototype developed, but as the British Leyland was in completely lack of sufficient finance resources and the production of the original 2 door Range Rover could not cover the highly increased demand, any further development were not able.
However, a demand for 4 door conversion of the Range Rover were increasing, especially from the wealthy arab states of the Middle East. Conversion company FLM Panelcraft developed and offered a
4 door conversion as early as 1974. This conversion became approved by Land-Rover and FLM Panelcraft were recommended in the Range Rover materials for 4 door conversions in the 70's.
A year later Wood & Pickett Ltd also developed a 4 door conversion. Both companies used a similar solution for the rear doors; narrow the length of the door to be used in front. At the rear; shorten a new door and at rear a cut out in relation to the profile of the wheel arches and make use of the same door lock with pull arrangement as on the front doors, but only with use of the upper part. The approved 4 door conversion was sold in many arab countries
The use of sliding windows and not wind-down rear side windows is typical for these early 4 door
conversions. A bit crude today, but back in the 70's such window arrangement were not uncommon.
The 4 door version could be ordered in standard interior form or with high luxurious solutions, such as Recaro seats - both front and rear, special leather upholstery, air conditioning, electric windows and refrigerator for cold refreshments.
FLM Panelcraft Ltd started early as a coachbuilder and over the years FLM became famous for
their estate conversion of the Rover P6 called 'Estoura'. Less than 200 P6 estates were built.
FLM converted Range Rover's to the customers taste and order soon after the Range Rover were
launched and produced many conversions the next years untill FLM ceased to exist in the beginning
of the 80's with a 50 Range Rover conversions a year as normal amount.
The wealthy Middle East market found a lot of customers for conversions from FLM.
In 1974 FLM Panelcraft were the first company to offer a 4 door conversion of the Range Rover.
This 4 door conversion became approved by Rover with the regular Range Rover guarantees.
The 4 door arrangements is here clearly seen with narrowed doors
Soon after the FLM Panelcraft 4 door conversion were available with ease of access to the rear seat,
it was a raising demand for more legroom for the rear passengers. FLM Panelcaft made use of 10"
frame extension converted by Spencer Abbott Ltd, the same company that supplied 10" extended
Range Rover variants for the anbulance converters like Stringer Wadham, Herbert Lomas, Pilcher-Greene. This longer wheelbase gave increased space for the rear passengers, and allowed FLM Panelcraft to develop longer rear doors. These longer rear doors had a solution with windable window
so the whole window could be winded fully down.
At the rear of the rear door was a quarter light window that could be opened for fresh air ventilation and
at the front end of the rear door a fixed window piece to give enough space for the windable glass.
Outside the release opening handle had the same solution as the original 100" 4 door conversion.
Interior could be ordered fully retrimmed in polished walnut and best quality of Connolly leather. The 'Ultimate' have beautiful proporsions with 110 inch wheelbase
Front seats from Recaro with electrically adjustments in all directions, placed on fully reworked
Otherwise the Ultimate could be ordered with ordinary standard Range Rover interior.
FLM Panelcraft 4 door conversion could be delivered with Webasto full size sunroof, air condition, double frontlight, winches, spotlights, special paintwork, hunting seats and other equipments.
The front grille could be supplied with slatted guard in full width with wrap-around style to protect the front lights.
Typical customers of FLM Panelcrafts conversions were wealthy arabs in countries like the United
Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Saudi Arabia, to mention some.
FLM Panelcraft Ltd could deliver many options on their Range Rover conversions:
- 4 doors
- 110" and 118" wheelbases 4 door
- 2 and 4 door convertibles
- Special interior solutions with handcrafted leather and walnut facia's
- Air condition installation
- Automatic option Very nice appearance with 4 doors and extended wheelbase
- Elevating hunting seat through full length foldable sunroof
- Installation of hided winches at front and/or rear
- Wide rim alloy wheels and tyres, with wheelarch flares
- Electrically operated windows, door locks
- Additional light solutions, special paintworks to customers desire
- Extra fuel tanks and water containers, refrigerators, refreshment cabinets etc etc
- In the last years of FLM's existence 136" wheelbase 6 door conversions and
118" wheelbase 4 door with 5.7 ltr Chevrolet engine conversion were available.
As the F.L.M. Panelcraft brochure says:
'We offer .....
For Heads of States and other Dignitaries, a functional and distinctive vehicle.
For the Sportsman, specialist equipment.
For the Connoisseur, options on finish and luxurious interiors.'
High luxury interior were ordered to this 110" FLM Ultimate version
Available with normal 100 inch wheelbase, 110 inch extended wheelbase or 8-12 inch rear body
extension. The power operated seats, each operated by a single switch rise by approximately
23 inches for full all-round visibility when hunting.
Fitted with gun racks, falcon perches, supplementary fuel tanks, drinking water containers, stone
guards, all terrain tyres, search lamps, winches, etc.
This Range Rover offers safe and speedy on or off road transportation with facilities that have been
proven the hard way - in the field.
The slanting grille indicate a winch is ordered; either capstan or drum type.
100" standard Hunting Range Rover showing the great visibility
100" wheelbase with 8" rear overhang and 4 door conversion Clearly seen here is the 23" height adjustment of the seats
Optional equipment for two or four door Range Rovers:
- Supplementary fuel tanks
- Drinking water containers
- Centre storage boxes
- Air Conditioning
- Stone guards
- Special purpose lamps
- Power operated hunting seats
- Falcon perches
- Gun racks
- Compasses Luxurious versions of the standard 2 door could be ordered
- Refreshment cabinets
- Two-way radios
- Folding roofs
- Power operated metal roofs
- Flared wheel arches
- Power operated door glass regulators
- Special seats
- Bonnet and tailgate fasteners
- Tailgate dust reflectors
Ready for delivery to a Middle East customer in the late 70's
Full convertible with power operated hood. Well balanced conversion with good proportions.
Interior to customer's taste with options of leather upholstery, reworked burr walnut fascia,
deep pile carpets etc.
Exterior choices of individual selection of body paint, fender flares and wide all terrain tires.
Full luggage capacity is retained as the hood is stowed on top of the body work.
The convertible could be ordered with additional 8 inches rear overhang.
Mostly standard 100 inch wheelbase length available for the FLM Panelcraft Convertible.
FLM Panelcraft Convertible show good balance in proportions
FLM Panelcraft - 6 Wheel 4 Door Extended Conversion
Extended 118" wheelbase
6 wheels conversion, with 6x6 wheel drive
4 door conversion
Rear door extended to 2 door length, but with typical FLM window solution
Extended rear overhang
Full length foldable sunroof
Special leopard interior with seating in 3 rows
Air conditioning installed
Michelin sand tyres on reinforced LR steel wheels
Produced late 70's Ultra long FLM Panelcraft 6 wheel 4 door big size conversion
FLM Panelcraft did not many 6 wheel conversions
A special FLM Panelcraft conversion is the fully open personell carrier with foldable windscreen and wood frame around the upper body edge. This conversion FLM Panelcraft had available in both 2 door
or 4 door versions.
The 2 door version can seat up to 8 people; 2 in front and 6 at the rear benches.
A full length canopy canvas detachable cloth roof and vinyl window with sturdy, but fully removeable
frame was delivered to these personell carrier Range Rover versions.
The front screen could be folded flat by a special fixing system.
The Special Purpose Vehicles could be ordered with different equipments like machine gun post,
sand tyres, side and rear steps, plus extra capacity for fuel and water. FLM's Personell Carrier could seat 8 people and their arms
The Royal Guard in the United Arab Emirates had these fully open Range Rover conversions in their
Fully open FLM Panelcraft conversion used in the arab desert
4 door fully open FLM Panelcraft conversion seen above.
One of the most special versions with 4 doors and no roof