About The RTV

RTV History
In 1983 the Rough Terrain Vehicle (RTV) was designed and developed by Robert Mandry with his co-designer John Beach on Mandry’s farm estate in Surrey.  Robert Mandry was already building the Scamp kit cars based on the ever popular Mini engine/automatic gearbox and running gear.
The company continued under the helm of Robert Mandry until the mid to late 1980’s when Lawrence Hawgood and his wife Nikki bought the company, with new drive and enthusiasm they were determined to take the company into full production with the manufacture of the RTV.
A lot of research and development went into the RTV, and from this point it involved to making a Ford based RTV with a redesigned chassis frame, this also made it easier to offer a variety of payload body variations.  Not detracting from the original Mini based design it now had an Escort CVH engine with Escort running gear.  This gave the option of offering a petrol or diesel powered vehicle, being more economical with the diesel powered vehicle the new engine options also gave a better top speed on the road of 40mph instead of 30mph which was the top speed of the 998cc Mini based vehicle.
Re-engineering took place at Fords Perrys of Potters Bar, and Manchester Polytechnic and assembly took place in Church Stretton, Shropshire where the company was now based.  The Harper Adams Agricultural College Shropshire were involved with research and development too, and a local company S.F. Vehicle Builders were involved with bodywork and some chassis modifications. Spyder Cars, famous for their involvement with the Lotus Elan also had an involvement in building the RTV too.
The variations were:-
Rover 1000cc auto – Mini based.
Rover 1300cc auto – Mini based.
Ford 1600 CVH petrol auto – Escort based – used for RNIB/British Gas Blind Drive – John O’Groats to Lands End by blindman – initial chassis design by Manchester Poly.
Ford 1.8 litre diesel auto – Escort based – built by Spyder Engineering and used for Army trials on Salisbury Plain.
Ford 1.8 litre diesel auto – Sierra/Scorpio base (built with Army spec in mind – payload 1 tonne and speed 40mph – 2 RTVs inside a Chinook and 2 slung underneath).
Peugeot 1.9 diesel auto – Lada Based – built by Spyder Engineering for small Russian farmers for winter use.
A lot of time, money and effort went into the company but unfortunately the business didn’t go the way Lawrence and Nikki Hawgood would have liked it to, due to forces beyond their control they had no alternative but to “call it a day” in the mid to late 1990’s.
Andrew Maclean of the Scamp Motor Company (a very keen supporter of the RTV) bought all the spares, who knows one day in the future there may be a Scamp RTV!

More History

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"

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