Here's a road-legal dune buggy with military provenance going up for auction in the United Kingdom. It's a Longline/Ricardo MkII Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) with a pedigree of service with the UK's Special Air Service (SAS) in the first Gulf War. Bonhams estimates the sale price to be between $35,550 and $38,085 (£28,000 and £30,000) when the vehicle crosses the block on July 14.
The MkII LSV uses a Volkswagen-sourced 1.9-liter water-cooled flat-four engine out of a Transporter van and has four-wheel drive. The earlier MKI variant was two-wheel drive. The later MKIII switched to a turbodiesel VW powerplant.
Gallery: Road-Legal 1990 Longline Ricardo MkII Light Strike Vehicle Auction
The vehicles feature a tube-frame chassis that includes a roll cage. The suspension includes VW-sourced components. Sling points allow for airlifting via helicopter. There's no armor, but the top speed is reportedly around 60 miles per hour.
The LSV was supposed to be a fast vehicle for the SAS to speed through the desert. However, suspension failures were a problem, according to the Bonhams listing. The lack of cargo capacity for extended missions was another weakness, according to eliteukforces.info. Regarding armament, the LSV could carry a machine gun, grenade launcher, or the Milan anti-tank missile system. The example on sale doesn't have any weapons.
Longline originally built these LSVs for the British Ministry of Defense. It reportedly made just six examples of the MKII model, with five of them still allegedly surviving. The military has kept the exact service details confidential. Later, the racing and automotive component producer Ricardo acquired the business. This leads to the Longline/Ricardo name.
Another seller in the UK is offering a Longline LSV that counts the adventurous TV host Bear Grylls as a previous owner. This one has a three-seat configuration with a third chair in the rear section and a deactivated 50-caliber machine gun.
The LSV has similarities to the ISV that GM Defense now supplies to the U.S. Army. Both vehicles use off-the-shelf components to create a rugged, military-capable vehicle. However, the ISV is significantly larger by having space to carry nine soldiers and all of their gear. GM Defense recently showed a concept for a similar machine that used the GMC Hummer EV as a starting point.