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Tempo Land Rover

Tempo was a German marque that made four wheel drive vehicles before and during WWII, including the G1200 with a two cylinder 600cc 2-stroke engine at each end.

The German Federal Border Guard, (called the BGS in Germany) issued a tender for 250 reliable, cross-country vehicles, which should be able to transport a least six people. The Land-Rover was favourite to win the contract, but Rover were struggling to supply because the factory was already working to capacity for other markets. Therefore, the BGS had to look for another car manufacturer. Since the Tempo factory enjoyed a good reputation as a producer of light lorries and indeed the G 1200, in 1952 they were awarded the contract to produce a vehicle similar to the Land-Rover for the BGS.

A completely new vehicle would have been much too costly for Tempo, especially with regard to the limited time schedule of the BGS. Consequently, the Rover Company was consulted directly at the beginning of 1953 and Tempo offered to manufacture the vehicle under licence in Germany. Rover agreed and so the green light was given for the small German production run. Between April 1953 and August 1953 between 100 and 178 1.6 litre, 80 inch Series I based vehicle kits were produced. Apart from the bonnet, the bulkhead and the grille, the body was completely manufactured by Herbert Vidal + Sohn in Harbug and differs considerably from the British original, because all criteria of the BGS tender has to be fulfilled.

Indeed, the differences between the original and the Tempo Land-Rover are enormous:
The whole body was manufactured out of sheet-steel, while the door bottoms and the rear tub come up as far as the bottom edge of the windscreen. In the rear load bay two benches for two persons each were placed facing the direction of travel; in the front the centre seat was deleted. The front wings had toolboxes, which opened from the front; a third box was fastened on the bonnet; the spare wheel was fixed at the back of the vehicle. New door handles, bumperettes at the back, combination tail lights and a folding hood complete the list of modifications. Most of the Tempo Land-Rovers received heating as an extra, as that was by no means a matter of course at that time.

In autumn 1953 the British Land-Rover model was modified to 86 inch wheelbase.
Tempo took the chance to modify their vehicles as well.
Like the original, the spare wheel moved on to the bonnet, and the toolbox was removed. The side lights went from the top of the front boxes to the bottom of the wings, now combined with newly introduced indicators. Another 150 of the 2 litre 86 inch version were built. After the founding of the West German armed forces in 1956, the so called 'Bundeswehr' integrated about 10,000 fully equipped BGS officers as soldiers. Part of the equipment was approximately one hundred of the best Tempo Land-Rovers, which became property of the Bundeswehr. In 1959 all attempts to get follow-up orders from the BGS were in vain, and in the mid-1960s the BGS Tempos were taken out of service.

Tempo Land Rover Tempo Land Rover
Tempo Land Rover.

Tempo Land Rover
Tempo Land Rover.

It's unclear how many still exist, however one is kept in the Dunsfold Collection, and Tempo owner Hendrik Vander Hoeven shows his Tempo below.

Tempo Land RoverTempo on a trailer.

Tempo Land RoverTempo and Minerva Land Rovers 2008.
Tempo Land RoverTempo with owner 2008.
Pics by Hendrik Vander Hoeven

Mike Rivett's 1953 Tempo 80 inch

Mike Rivett's 1953 Tempo

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