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Land Rover Defender

Land Rover Defender Published: 15th Apr 2020 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender
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Why should I buy one?

On the face of it, Land Rovers (of all ages) are rough and ready, slow, noisy and uncomfortable but that’s the attraction of these old warriors! As a second car for household duties, or as a short haul daily driver they make immense sense as well as good fun and a sound investment.

What can I get?

One of the most easily recognised classics anywhere in the world, the Land Rover looked as though it barely changed in seven decades of production – but under that boxy skin there was an ongoing series of changes that made the car increasingly reliable and usable. Pre (1970) S3 models are for purists as for the majority they are too crude to contemplate. The 110 (and from 1984 also the 90) has a five-speed gearbox, servo-assisted front disc brakes and coil spring suspension. The 2286cc diesel engine is replaced by a meatier 2495cc unit. From 1990 the Defender takes over with power steering now standard and the diesel option becomes the 200 TDi 2.5-litre unit. A better 2.5-litre TD ushers in 1993 along with a stronger gearbox and rear disc brakes while for ’98 the Discovery’s TD5 engine is fitted along with electronic traction control and ABS. In 2006 Ford Transit running gear was adopted including six-speed gearbox. The newer the model the more civilised it became with heated seats et al! Die-hards who want a classic Land Rover for showing or using only occasionally will typically buy a Series I, II or III or perhaps an ex-military model, where special dealers ( have plenty. Anyone who wants to use their car every day is more likely to buy a newer model such as a 90 or 110, or a Defender TDi or TD5. Some in the trade don’t regard Transit-based versions as classics. That’s personal view, one we disagree with.

What are they like to drive?

If you’re after a true go-anywhere classic and make it work for a living, the Landie is in a class of its own but users may be converted – or put off for life. Landies are tough so you need to be equally hardy to drive one. Comfort and refinement isn’t in the same league as a Discovery and nor is their performance or handling so take a good test drive to determine if one is your sort of classic. But on the right terrain nothing can touch one and many own a Landie purely for ‘Green laning’ as well as the vibrant social scene.

What are they like to live with?

There’s no shortage of specialists or owners clubs and all bar the most modern ones are fairly easy to fix at home and virtually every part is available. Rampant rust, ruinous off-roading and poor repairs are the main concerns and pre-TD5 diesels don’t cover themselves in glory while all versions can suffer from transmission oil leaks. SI models are most wanted for historic reasons; SIII and Defenders most pragmatic choices but the demise of this icon has seen values rocket across the board so expect to pay £2500 at least for a project and £15,000 at the other end of the price scale – SI’s can touch £40,000. SIIIs are the cheapest along with Defenders. In other words, take your time and choose with care.

We reckon

For many, this old timer is still the best 4x4 by far despite the design’s obvious age-related shortcomings on the road. Not ideal as a daily but as a second vehicle they make so much sense.

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