29 January 2016

Goodbye to the Land Rover Defender

As it will go out of production this week, with the final one rolling off the production line. Here's a salute to the iconic Land Rover Defender.

MANY have said 2016 is going to be a great year for new cars. However, what will be sad about this year is that it will be the end of a motoring classic. The legend that is the Land Rover Defender.

Out of all the brand new cars you can buy today, the Defender is slow, noisy, crude and terribly outdated. Despite its faults, I love the fact that the good old Landie is brilliant because of what it is. A tough and rugged 4x4 with its simplicity, brute and down to earth honesty. That's what I find charming about the Defender.  

Coming from a young lad whose taste in cars is something sporty and surefooted. I have admiration and a lot of respect for the Land Rover Defender. There’s nothing pretentious about it, and that shames a lot of modern 4x4s.

In this day and age, there are many manufacturers that make 4x4s not built for the purpose of tackling tough terrains. You can get a list of some on both of hands of those that were never built for mud plugging or climbing mountains. In fact, only 1 in 5 owners of 4x4s and SUVs actually take them off road. Pathetic isn't it?

From the very beginning, when Maurice Wilkins from Rover conceived the idea of a Land Rover on a beach in Anglesey. Pitching the idea forward to the meeting, then on the drawing board, and when it first came into production in 1948 - which was called the Series 1. The Land Rover was designed to be a tough, simple, rugged, no-nonsense vehicle with go-anywhere abilities. A car that was designed and built for purpose.

Over the years, the venerable Land Rover has evolved from the Series 1 to the Defender it is today. Little has changed in nearly 70 years it's been in production for - if it isn't broke, then don't fix it. Over time, the Defender has won an army of fans.

The Defender has grown to become a much-loved motoring icon. You can go far and say that it's a national treasure. Farmers, emergency services, armed forces, Safari parks, Prime Minitsers and even the Royal Family, have all sworn by the their venerable Land Rovers. I believe that Her Majesty the Queen, is a fan of these motors. Several of which she has owned and driven.

Out of the two million Defenders (and Series Land Rovers), they've produced in nearly seven decades - 67 years to be precise. Seven out of ten of these Land Rovers are still surviving and in everyday use today. A testament to the car's design and longevity.

It's a great shame that the ever-stringent regulations have forced Land Rover to pull the plug on the Defender. I will mourn its passing as the last one rolls of the production line in Solihull this week. Before I bow out to: a true motoring legend, a British icon, a national treasure.

We salute you Landie...the best 4x4xFAR!

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