Whether its special service operations in the middle east or farming chores in the British highlands, the Land Rover Defenders rugged and versatile approach to building an SUV has intrigued the masses for decades. Originally started in 1948 by an English brand called the Rover Company, the Defender or as it was known at the time, the Series I achieved great success as the first mass-produced civilian four-wheel drive vehicle with doors and a roof! Originally styled after the Willys Jeep the visual appeal of the Series 1 was immediately iconic and throughout its iterations (subsequent Series II & III) looked more or less the same, while improving on performance aspects. Production on the model now known as the Defender began in 1983 with the Land Rover 110, a name that reflected the length of the wheelbase. The Land Rover 90 and 127 followed shortly after. It wasn’t until 1989 when Land Rover released the Discovery that the Defender began actually being called the Defender to avoid confusion. After that, things more or less stayed the same for the Defender until its discontinuation in 2016, avoiding updates simply for the sake of updates and proving to the automotive design world that if what you have isn’t broken, you don't need to fix it.
With a design language as rigid as its chassis, the Defender has unapologetically looked the same for all 33 years of production. Rugged and burly the Defender 90 sits tall providing an exceptionally unobstructed view of what's around you. Stepsides help to get in and out of the vehicle, while a brush guard protects the underside of the engine bay from whatever mother nature might throw at it. Exterior diamond-plate accents have become synonymous with Defender and this one sports them above the front fender, behind the rear fender and re-enforcing the rocker panels. Showing 173,626 km (107,886 mi) on the odometer it's no secret this Defender has seen some adventures, but you would never know it from the condition the vehicle is in. Both outside and in, this SUV is like-new, a pinnacle example of an excellently maintained Defender 90,
Land Rover has always been a company that is great at identifying what they want to achieve with a vehicle then building a no-compromise, purpose-built machine to achieve those goals. Opulence isn’t the objective of the Defender, that's why they built the Range Rover. The minimalist interior concisely states to anyone climbing aboard that this vehicle is here to get work done. This example comes equipped with the upgraded interior option of leather seat bolsters and quilted leather door panelling. Other options include heat/ac, a CD player and one of the greatest all-wheel-drive systems the world has ever known.
At its heart pumps the infamously stout 2.5L 300 inline 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine. Capable of 111hp and 195lb/ft of torque, this was an engine Land Rover developed later in the life of the Defender. It addressed past issues and makes cruising at highway speeds and towing uphill much easier and economical than its predecessor powertrains. Mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and variable 4x4 settings this desirable powertrain combination makes for an ideal set up in off-road conditions and adds a level of engagement and connectivity to the driving experience.
In a world filled with X5’s and Urus’, the Land Rover Defender still remains the ultimate SUV trump card. This is the vehicle the Mercedes G-Wagen wishes it could be. From the Andes to the Sahara and everywhere in between, the Land Rover Defender has a decorated history of taking people anywhere they could imagine. Because of this, most Defenders have been put through the wringer. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find Defenders of this era that don’t look like they’ve been through a warzone and that is why we are very proud to be able to offer this immaculate 1997 Defender 90. Showing only minimal cosmetic modifications, this example is as close to factory-fresh as you can get and holds infinite adventure potential for the next owner.