From the earliest days of the formation of the SAS in the deserts of North Africa in WW2, they learnt quickly that transportation was more than simply a pair of boots…it really required wheels.

After the help of the LRDG as their to “come and go” people with their expertise of desert day and night navigation, and their ability to keep their vehicles workable, even when behind the lines, the SAS eventually took to their own wheels…the American Jeep.

Not only used to get from A to B, but also used extensively as a mobile weapons platform in order to shoot and scoot at will.

After WW2 the SAS was disbanded, but a little after a year it would return…much needed for the conflict in the Malaya and Borneo jungles.

Back again as 22 SAS Regiment, it was based for a while at Malvern, close to today’s Three Counties show ground, the camp no longer existing. In the 1950s into the early 60s the troops honed in on their specific skills…mountain, boat, air and mobility.

Mobility in the 50s turned the short wheel base Land Rover into a mobile weapons platform much like it’s older brother the Jeep from WW2.

Training at their camp in Malvern, the forerunner to the Pinkie that we all know of today. I’ll call this the Dinkie, reasons coming up shortly.

Between the move to Hereford in the early 1960s and onward, the SAS would see themselves back in conflict in the Middle East. The Land Rover weapons platform would go through a series of evolutions during this time.

A move to the long wheel base chassis would be the next step into the late 60s and early 70s. Note the weapon’s sleeve for the personal rifle fixed to the front side body of the vehicle.

B Sqn with Tak and the boys in the early 70s.

The Pinkies in their pink camo at home in the Empty Quarter during the early days of the Dhofar War.

A close up of the pinkie in all it’s glory for the early 70s. Feeding from the tailgate at the rear, yet to have the grenade dischargers installed.

From the mid 1970s another Land Rover would join the Regiment…the Range Rover. Used to move the anti terrorist team from their base in Hereford, and just as importantly become the platform for getting troopers onto the stronghold.

The end of an era: One of the last photos of the Pinkie in it’s pink camo in 1982 before moving onto a new version of the Land Rover and back to a beige colouring. Note the grenade dischargers on the pinkie, fitted fore and aft from the mid 70s onward.

The first Gulf War in 91 was a big test for SAS vehicles…and boots.

It’s all well in training, but when it gets to the real thing, and equipment doesn’t turn up, tasks are handed out with little time to spare…the thinking caps need to be well and truly fitted.

Gulf War 1 and A Sqn with their Pinkies (now in sand colouring) and recce bikes.

50 years after the Originals in their jeeps, and 40 years after the lads in Malvern in their Dinkies…here is Bob C’s crew in a short wheelbase Dinkie.

When the kit runs short or doesn’t arrive in time or at all, then improvisation becomes the name of the game. Not only were lads having to make Claymores from ice cream cartons, PE4 and dockyard confetti, but the run around short wheelbases became the junior version of the Pinkies…yes the Dinkie yet again…and they proved admirable…I know, I was in one for a time too.

The end of an era and a war. Pinkies, Dinkies and Unimog’s of D Sqn are last to cross the border after operating for weeks in Western Iraq and now back into Saudi Arabia. Proud to have been one of them.

Well, that was a wee glimpse of SAS history, the Pinkie and Dinkie and what I got to know about them during my almost 20 years in 22 SAS Regiment…thank you.

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

Categories Uncategorized2 Comments


  1. Hi Bob,

    In a classical case of the fine art of scrounging, some pictures of vehicles that were put together by the descendants of the LRP/LRDG while in Afghanistan.

    The vehicles were acquired by some crafty bartering with the US Navy, the weapon mounts and other fittings were welded up by the lads from old iron bedsteads etc. found in a scrapyard.

    Some things never change! 😊


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