The Land Rover Defender must rank among the ultimate of British automotive icons. Succeeding the Land Rover Series I/II/III (1948 to 1983) and 90/110 (1983 to 1990) vehicles, the Defender was first introduced in 1990 as the Long Wheelbase (LWB) model, the "Defender 110" and, one year later, as the Short Wheelbase (SWB) "Defender 90". Benefiting from the coil sprung suspension of the 90/110 and Land Rovers newly introduced Tdi engines (Turbo diesel, Direct injection with Intercooler).
"Noah" is our 1996 Defender 90 SWB Station Wagon with a 300 Tdi engine and relatively low miles of 112K. Equipped with the rear "Safari" door and ubiquitous centre seat for 3 person seating in the front and 4 person seating in the rear; 7 seats in a package only 3.88m long! From what we can piece together of its history the vehicle has gone from factory to our base in Marchwood, Hampshire, via Gloucestershire, Northumberland, Essex and Norfolk. While it enjoyed approximately 10 years of "greenlaning" until we acquired it, there is evidence of a working life in the countryside judging by the empty gun cartridge box hidden behind the front driver seat belt reel! It wasn't difficult to discover the name of the faded bodywork colour - plain old Land Rover "Green". Recently shod with General Grabber 235/85 R16 AT3 tyres on black modular wheels that nicely fill the wheel arches. Combined with the sump and diff guards it definitely looks the part without being over the top.
Similarly to our "Rover" Mini Cooper, in 1996 Land Rover were 2 years into BMW ownership. Notwithstanding this, the Defender is the ultimate British designed Land Rover with the Project Gemini "Tdi" engine development, initiated under British Aerospace ownership, allowed to continue. The last engines to be produced by Land Rover without the "benefit" of electronic engine management; of which the 300 Tdi is unquestionably the ultimate.
We have re-commissioned the Defender to its former "mechanical" glory and with a re-upholstered interior, including much more comfortable high backed fold up seats in the rear, it still offers the authentic, heavily patinated Defender experience. Many thanks for the help provided by our local Independent Land Rover specialists Adrian Harvey Motor Engineers, Hatchet Road, Beaulieu, with parts supplied by Famous Four, Exmoor Trim, YRM Metal Solutions and Optimill, all UK based parts suppliers and manufacturers.
Our Defender is reborn, function over form, now earning its keep on the "ultimate safari" in and around The New Forest.
Note: power, performance and economy figures are estimates and cannot be relied upon. They are for illustration purposes only.
|Half Day||Max. 4 hours||£225|
|Day Return||Max. 10 hours||£350|
|Day+||Max. 30 hours||£475|
|Weekend+||Max. 54 hours||£725|
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