Used to see many of these type of agricultural "vehicles" in the U.S. during the 60's. Many large power mowers worked this way, with the drive and mower deck up front, and the seated operator trailing behind.
P.S. Not going to comment on your partner's potential background.
P.P.S. Daimler made a V-12 that they called the 'Double Six'. A lot of Daimlers from the 30's had very long hoods, especially the cars equipped with a 'Double Six". I found a picture of a 30's Daimler limo, perhaps it was similar? ( <https://classiccarwe...jpg?w=584&h=387> ). " And, behind the plate was the body of a fully fitted out horse-drawn traditional gypsy caravan", I guess that would require some serious horsepower to move around.