Posts Tagged ‘defender’

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January 2016. A memorable month perhaps for not many good reasons. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Lemmy and even Terry Wogan all gone from our world in a couple of weeks. Gone but of course never forgotten since each has left a legacy that will remain with their respective fans forever, including yours truly.

In the world of cars another British icon said farewell this month too. The Land Rover Defender is no more. Exactly 2,016,933 have been produced since 1948 and the car is probably one of the most recognised vehicles anywhere in the world and quite likely one of the most loved too.

Famous owners have included the Queen (of course), Winston Churchill, Steve McQueen, James Bond, Richard ‘The Hamster’ Hammond and The Car Spy (haha). There are many more ‘famous’ owners, of course, worth mentioning but that’s enough name-dropping for now.

Because you like music does not mean you would be be obliged to appreciate the many albums of David Bowie and because you like cars you might not appreciate a Land Rover (Series I, II, III, 90, 110 , Defender etc) and that is ok.

Notwithstanding individual opinion in cars and musical taste both the names of ‘Bowie’ and ‘Land Rover’ have been engraved into the stone tablet milestones of British history. You just know that in 100 years from now they will be a part of our ‘historical culture’. Just like Shakespeare.

Today this blog article was to be about a highly collectable Italian exotic that is the subject for a photo-shoot next week but instead it has turned out to be a eulogy for the Defender. But ‘eulogy’ means praising somebody or something that has just died so it’s really more of a ‘lifetime achievement award’ speech.

To appreciate a Defender (we’ll just stick to that moniker for simplicity’s sake) you have to consider a car that did not pretend to do anything else that what it was originally designed for. It was meant to be basic but very fit for for purpose.

Stick it on the edge of a muddy field on the side of a steep hill and tell it get to the top of the hill. Whichever variant you picked it would get the job done. No computer-assisted driving aids but pure mechanical engineering genius to carry out the task in hand. That is why farmers the world over relied on them. You could do the same thing thing in a tractor but you couldn’t park it in Waitrose for the weekly shop on the way home. Well you could but you just wouldn’t.

A Defender didn’t need aerodynamics, satnav, electric windows, aircon or airbags. It was the antithesis of today’s ‘modern car’. Our workshop mechanic said you only needed a Philips screwdriver and a pair of pliers in your toolbox to look after one. A slightly optimistic view but nonetheless not that far from the truth.

And therein really lies the problem with the Defender and why it had to be terminated- it does not make any commercial sense for a car manufacturer in 2016.

Cars have to be complex these days. Profits are made not from just building the thing in the first place but from the spare parts and workshop bills accumulated thereafter. We live in a world of consumerism and therefore everything has to be disposable. We have suddenly got used to upgrading to a new iPhone very year even though deep down we know don’t really need too.

But hey ho this is how the world turns now.

However, just like the music of David Bowie the Defender hasn’t died at all. You can buy a 70’s variant and have access to the same after-market support offered to the latest (and last) model. You can do almost anything yourself to keep the car on the road. It is the last of the Meccano-cars and if you have even the basic of interests in car mechanics and engineering then buy yourself a Defender. It is a deeply satisfying experience and it should be a mandatory part of any engineering course at university.

So why all of the fretting of the so-called replacement for the Defender?

One of the reasons that Land Rover have not rushed in with a new ‘evolutionary replacement’ is that they don’t know what to replace the Defender with. They haven’t got a clue. Defender purists want a car they can strip down and rebuild themselves but the market wants designer handbags or at the very least a ‘lifestyle’ accessory. Good luck with that one JLR!

On the other hand if you are not a fashion victim and fancy getting your fingernails dirty over the weekend then you have a big pond to fish in and for some time yet. Over 2 million ‘Land Rovers’ have been made and most are likely to be on the road still so get stuck into the classifieds!

Until the EU bureaucrats and Whitehall mandarins ban these types of cars forever then there is still life in the Defender yet.

Dead maybe but not gone for a while yet. Long live H166 HUE!

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Finished in Metallic Grey with a Black roof plus Black Sports vinyl seats this August 1987 registered, right hand drive Defender 90 Tdi has recorded 161000 miles and comes with the following specification:-

Manual 5 Speed Transmission, Taxed until end March 2015, MOT valid until September 2015, 16″ Black Modular Wheels fitted with Insa Desert Track 265/75 Tyres, MUD Dash Panel fitted with Kenwood Radio/Single CD and Auxiliary Switches, Cubby Box, XS Leather Steering Wheel, Side Windows, Rear Privacy Glass, Rear Bench Seats with Seat Belts, Rear Step, Tow Bar and Electrics, Side Steps, Black Chequer Plate on Bonnet, Wings and Sills, Mudflaps, Waxoyl Treated Chassis, Spare Keys, Scorpion Alarm/Immobliser System, HPI Checked, No VAT.

The previous owner of the car carried out an extensive refurbishment programme between 2010 and 2014 including the following:-

  • Original standard 2.5 TD engine replaced with the later 2.5 200 Tdi engine mated to a 1.22 transfer box – lower revs/better mpg
  • New rear cross-member fitted
  • Later model bulkhead fitted
  • Rear tub with galvanised cappings fitted
  • New windscreen and rubber
  • New rear door fitted including heated rear window
  • New ProComp shock absorbers plus heavy duty springs (standard ride height)
  • Polybushes fitted all round
  • Terrafirma RTC steering damper fitted
  • Front and rear diff guards fitted
  • New lights/lenses fitted
  • 100w bumper spotlights
  • Rear work lights and front roof lights
  • Exmoor trim refurbished/recovered front seats
  • Rear insulated and lined with LaSalle fibreglass kit
  • Heavy duty floor mats
  • Radiator, alternator, battery, power steering pump, cambelt, fuel tank, exhaust, prop bearings and ball joints all replaced
  • Front brake pads, discs and calipers recently replaced

This Defender is an absolute credit to its previous owner and for its age this Defender is in excellent condition although a few age-related marks will be found on the bodywork (but nothing that wouldn’t be found on a five year-old equivalent example).

A great investment for those wanting to buy a classic Defender before they become even more rare!

This Defender 90 Tdi is now SOLD!

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or 07809 890969. You can also email sales@thecarspy.net.

 

Finished in Belize Green with a Chawton White roof plus Denim Twill vinyl interior this December 2002 registered, right hand drive Defender 90 Td5 Hard Top has recorded 125000 miles (but looks like it has done less than 50k) and comes with the following specification:-

Manual 5 Speed Transmission, Taxed until end September 2014, MOT valid until July 2015, 16″ Boost Five-Spoke Alloys, Five New Continental 235/85 Tyres, Alpine Radio/Single CD with AUX for iPod and Bluetooth Function, Centre Seat, XS Leather Steering Wheel, Tow Bar and Electrics, Excellent Service History (just serviced), Boost Alloy Spare Wheel, Side Steps, Load Liner, Aluminium Chequer Plate on Wings and Sills, Mudflaps, Waxoyl Treated Chassis, Spare Keys, HPI Checked, No VAT. Superb, cared-for example and looks stunning – try and find a nicer one of this age!

Sorry this car is now SOLD!

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or 07809 890969. You can also email sales@thecarspy.net.

Finished in Metallic Alveston Red with Techno Cloth Interior this April 2002 registered, right hand drive Defender 110 Td5 County Double Cab has recorded 105000 miles only and comes with the following specification:-

Manual 5 Speed Transmission, Taxed until end December 2014, MOT valid until July 2015, 16″ Freestyle Alloys (Refurbished Land Rover originals), Excellent BF Goodrich 265/75R Tyres, Kenwood Single CD with AUX for iPod, Cubby Box, XS Leather Steering Wheel, Air Conditioning, Front Electric Windows, New Exmoor Carpets, Tow Bar and Electrics, Service History (just serviced), Spare Wheel Carrier, Aluminium Load Liner with Lockable Lid (professionally built by N&J Aluminium Linings Ltd), Side Steps, Black Chequer Plate on Wings and Sills, Waxoyl Treated Chassis, Alarm, Immobiliser, HPI Checked, No VAT. Superb example and looks stunning – try and find a nicer one!

This Defender Double Cab is now SOLD!

For further details please give The Car Spy a call on ++44(0)1892 506970 or 07809 890969. You can also email sales@thecarspy.net.

The Land Rover DC100, a modern interpretation of the iconic Land Rover Defender will make its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Land Rover also confirms today, that production of a new Defender is intended for 2015.

Commenting on the Land Rover DC100 concept car, Gerry McGovern, Director of Design, Land Rover said: “Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide.  This isn’t a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.”

John Edwards, Global Brand Director, Land Rover added:”Loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design, we are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage, while meeting the requirements of a changing global market.   

We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalise the details of the new vehicle.  One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be an exciting journey, and we can’t wait to get going.” 

The Land Rover DC100 concept builds upon the essential elements of the car’s character and allows Land Rover to open the debate and inspire people to dream about the Defenders of the future. The next chapter in the Defender story will unfold at 09:15 hrs (CET) on September 13, 2011 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. 

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