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Where are the Judge Dredd Land Rovers Taxis Now?
In 1994, a British-American science fiction film based on the action packed comic book series was made starring Sylvester Stallone. Albeit the movie itself was considered a flop in the United States and internationally, the Land Rover City Cabs that were featured in the film set the world on fire. Those who have seen the film will know that Land Rovers are thriving in the dystopian-based future created for the movie itself. The reasoning is from a World War that results in having limited car manufacturers with Range Rover being a major brand name. The custom built taxis seen in the film were actually inspired from ice hockey ski masks and designed to look more like a military transport vehicle than what we imagine as a taxi.
While the design of the film prop was a shared effort, much of the original concept was by David Woodhouse, which was further brought to life by ‘Auto Designer’ Gordon Sked -who kept in mind to install the little luxuries like ventilation, easy access, excellent sound proofing as well as adjustable seating. There was only one of these that was built for the film that actually had a completed interior, as the rest were merely fiberglass shells with an empty interior inside. From a total of thirty custom built Land Rovers 101 FC’s, were split into three distinct color scheme groups- yellow and black, silver and black, and red and black- all of them were actually built by Land Rover. This is certainly something you hardly ever see from the more established auto manufacturers today.
After the filming of the movie was complete, the main Land Rover taxi was converted in order to be street legal, and was heavily used to market the film. Many times this taxi is seen in traveling auto shows and exhibits, and is a highly sought after piece of history for film buffs as well as auto enthusiasts. The rest of the lot needed similar modifications made to them to get them registered for road usage. Other Land Rover fans who purchased these custom built taxis for the movie were also converted to follow the safety rules needed for driving around on public roads. Impressively enough, it was also used by the cast to attend the London Premiere of the movie back in 1995. Rest of the rovers used as film props were purchased privately, while the original concept design was retained by Land Rover. This original prototype with the custom built interior can still be found at Land Rover's “Home of the Legend”.