1976 Lohr FL500 Fardier

This rugged 4-wheel drive vehicle was built for the French military. It is lightweight and intended for use by airborne troops. A large cargo plane can carry and launch six, a helicopter, one. It was built to be parachuted to the front line with the capacity to carry equipment over various types of terrain to the posterior lines. The Lohr can carry mortar to resupply ammunition lines or move a wounded soldier on a stretcher to the mobile hospital. The French army purchased the vehicles and had them assembled in Belgium. They are built using various Citron components. The engine is from a Mehari, (although rotated 90 degrees), the gearbox from an Ami, suspension arms and wheels from a GS, and parts from the 2CV as well. The word “fardier” translates to a small wagon capable of transporting heavy cargo. Thx to Lanemotormuseum.org

Our mantra here at Classic Auto Mall is “we never know what’s going to come through the door next” and we certainly mean it. So imagine my surprise when I took time away from my simple but well equipped wood shop to pop in and see what my crack decoder was crowing about. As I passed through the doors of our Hallowed Halls I was in shock and awe to be in the presence of this glorious consignment. Proudly presented to you, and probably the only time you’ll ever get the opportunity to see one in the flesh, er…steel, a 1976 Lohr FL500 Fardier. Believed to have been originally assigned to the French Foreign Legion, (due to FFLA livery and paint colors found during the restoration), then acquired by John Delorean of Delorean Motor Car fame for testing and promotional films for the DMC Model 44, (videos are available on YouTube under DMC44 small off-road project). After testing and filming was wrapped up in California, the FL500 was sent to the 433 acre Lamington Farms Estate in Bedminster, NJ, (now Trump International Golf Course), for touring and light work duties. Delorean commissioned Oldwick Garage to perform repairs and upon John’s passing the garage took ownership in lieu of payment. From there the vehicle was passed to Tewksbury Balloons and purchased by our consignor in 2018. An open checkbook restoration was performed using all OEM and new parts. Just a splendid presentation for this not oft seen machine.

Please note, this vehicle is sold on a BILL OF SALE only***


Simple, basic, utilitarian.words that describe this not oft seen beauty. With its near perfectly applied coating of Desert Tan paint over a steel tubular body/chassis, this “mule” is ready to work. Surrounding the body is a tubular steel frame with a texture desert tan finish which does an excellent job of protecting the wedge shaped fiberglass nose. This frame tubing flows around the front and creates heavy duty bumpers to protect the wedge shaped fiberglass nose and within this nose we see Lohr embossing, yellow driving lights as well as outboard signal lamps. Down low is a winch to help you get out of a tight spot and tiedown/lifting hooks are noted welded to the bumpers. Simple fiberglass splash shields hang down from the frame on the sides and we note decals for different campaigns in Africa and the French Foreign Legion logo. Rounding out the rear are basic tan slit covered tail lights as well as a pintle style hitch for hauling your 120mm Thomson Brandt mortar launcher through the urban jungle. Slotted tan steel wheels keep this mini rig on the ground and are wrapped in like new 205/70R15 off-road radials.


A virtual candy store for your eyes with no doors to swing open, no roof to block your view and no glass to clean. Simple diamond plate makes up the flooring for the majority of this rig with the driver positioned in the left front corner. A simple tan vinyl bucket seat provides room for the driver and while not plush and luxurious, it is functional and quite comfy. Fronting the dash is a nearly vertical steering wheel in black plastic and we see the brake master cylinder right in front of the tan column. Dash central holds the large black face speedometer and smaller round supporting gauges along with a few toggles and push buttons. To the right of the driver is the all black shifter and twin parking brake handles. Further over is a flip up plate that allows access to the battery area and small stowage compartment. A simple roll bar has been speced on to protect the driver in case things go awry and there is plenty of room on the diamond plate deck to haul ammunition, troops or wounded soldiers. Lift hooks are noted on the corners should you want to be airlifted in or out of the battle zone/local traffic jam.


Non conventional by far, but durable. A rust free tan tubular frame provides the backbone for this truck…er…car…er mule. Under the rear platform we see a Citroen 2CV horizontally opposed 2 cylinder air cooled gas engine coming in at 600cc. This 29hp mill is fed by a 1bbl carburetor and mounted directly behind is a 4-speed manual transmission which sends power to both the front and rear axles.


Off road capable with its high body and outward mounted wheels. More tan covers the chassis and we note inboard disc brakes both fore and aft. Suspension is of the swing arm variety front and rear and are connected to centrally mounted spring units situated longitudinally between the front and rear wheels. The steering is non-power assist and uses a standard Citroen 2CV rack and pinion.


Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for.Maistro, cue up Eugnie please. A quick starter and smooth idler here folks, I carefully situated myself behind the wheel and found the seating position to be rather high up, similar to that of a big rig but nonetheless comfortable and adequate for my ample frame. My crack decoder and partner in crime decided to forgo a ride along and he mumbled something about him falling off whilst I envisioned myself dodging enemy fire…but I digress. The ride is surprisingly smooth for a military vehicle, the turning circle is small, and braking is adequate. I didn’t attempt the factory rated top speed of 36mph nor did I attempt the official figures of departure and approach angles of 90 degrees. All in all a good drive with the only issues creeping up being a brake pedal that occasionally wouldn’t return and a shifter that popped out of 2nd gear.

A remarkable piece of engineering and a phenomenal history surrounding this no expense spared restoration. As other writers have penned, a contender for the title of weird and wonderful, which it fits perfectly. Visit our ever changing Hallowed Halls and add this piece of rarely seen military and pop culture history to your collection.heck, you can even save on shipping costs if you fly your Huey in on the delivery day!

Price: $28,900

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Location: Morgantown, Pennsylvania, United States