About The RTV

The Rough Terrain Vehicle or more commonly known as the RTV was designed and developed by Robert Mandry and Co designer John Beach in 1983. Primarily it was developed as a low pressure footprint 4WD vehicle which could go over the ground where conventional 4WD vehicles of the day “bogged” down. Its 4WD pulling power is exceptional from its 998cc 40bhp very low geared engine, having a top speed of 30 mph. With this in mind it could be taxed for the road as a farm tractor.
Robert Mandry also designed and developed the Scamp kit car too. Both of these vehicles were based on the very popular classic Mini mechanicals. The Scamp company is still in operation today owned and ran by Andrew Maclean, a keen enthusiast of the RTV too. Andrew bought all the parts and data left when the RTV company was dissolved.
Being based on the very popular classic Mini meant parts and repairs could be made very easy without the need for specialists work or parts. The RTV had an automatic Mini engine and gearbox laying front to back instead of the across configuration Mini enthusiasts are used to. The two drive-shafts were altered and one ran to the front connected to a Triumph Herald differential, and one to the rear also connecting to a Triumph Herald differential, these in turn drove Mini hubs and suspension via modified drive-shafts and couplings. The braking system is again Mini, using Mini front hubs all round means it has disc brakes all round too. The RTV has a tubular type chassis, and articulates on a system of two taper wheel bearing of the type used on the old BMC FG wagons of the late 60’s era.
Steering was by a Mini steering rack which was connected to an Italian made steering box which in turn connected to a Mini steering column. The front section and the back section rotate through 40 degrees enabling all four wheels to be connected to the ground at most times. The photographs on this page shows its articulation in operation.
It has been said that Robert Mandry welded the diff up on the Mini power unit, which in effect gave it a locked centre diff, this gave better traction all round. However in doing so it put greater pressure on the Mini driveshaft joints and unfortunately “popped” the joints. It caused “wind up” between front and rear diffs especially when on normal road surfaces.
An extra could be bought with the RTV in the shape of a single axle trailer which matched the RTV and was designed to carry either goods or six people when transporting them to a shoot. See photograph below showing the RTV pulling a trailer.
Overall length 3.30m
Width 1.85m
Height 2.10m
Wheelbase 1.88m
Ground clearance 300mm
Payload deck 1.83m x 1.83m
Payload 500kg
Kerbweight 1000kg
RTV History
Photo Gallery
TV Coverage
Contact Page
First Publication
Secrets behind the success
Advertising leaflet
Specification Sheet
Motor Magazine
Off Road And Four Wheel Driver
Maximum Mini
Magazine Articles

RTV in Sussex

RTV on the Isle of Man
Hughes’s RTV

This website has been created to bring together everything known about the
"Rough Terrain Vehicle"

If you have any information you are willing to share, photographs, articles on the RTV. etc. Or if you have an RTV.
Please contact us via the contact page.
We would like to hear from you.