The Land Rover Defender 2,000,000 is born to celebrate the Defender
It was in 1947 that Maurice Wilks sat upon the beach at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey and with a moment of inspiration first drew in the sand a simple sketch. This sketch has now become the most iconic four wheel drive vehicle the world has ever seen. The Land Rover.
The original Land Rover was first manufactured in 1948 the idea behind this concept was to produce a Rover for the Land as it were. A go anywhere, do anything utility vehicle was indeed created and is still that vehicle today 67 years later.
So with the original Land Rover Defender coming to an end this year leaving its legacy behind, the innovative off roader has surpassed the 2 millionth mark of continuous production at the very birth place of Land Rover, its production plant in Lode Lane, Solihull.
With this in mind in May this year Land Rover had decided what better way to commemorate this four wheel drive icon than producing a totally bespoke Defender with the help of a few friends.
And so it was that Land Rover invited 33 of its loyal brand ambassadors and Defender enthusiasts to join its production team and over the course of a week they worked hand in hand with Land Rover employees to build a very special vehicle. The list of invited guests of course wasn’t just anybody, famous names from the Land Rover Archives and celebrities alike teamed together to assist the professionals and so ensure the Land Rover Defender 2,000,000 would truly be one of a kind.
Amongst the fortunate few invited was surly the best man to put any Land Rover through its paces, Bear Grylls no less, ace adventure had a lot to say about the project “The Land Rover Defender has been there for me more times than I care to remember. They are so often the unsung heroes of our TV shows, working hard in the toughest conditions to get the crew in and out of exceptionally challenging terrains. Known and respected by me and many other adventurers for their rugged reliability it was an honour to be asked to take part in the build.”
The Land Rover Defender will literally be a complete bespoke one-off vehicle with some very special featured elements to it including an engraved map of Red Wharf Bay on the bodywork. Two number 2,000,000 old style badges at the rear and inside of the Defender and also a commemorative aluminium plaque signed by everyone who helped build the car.
The interior of the Defender has been treated to a full leather make over with special graphics and the registration plate – S90 HUE pays homage to the original pre-production Land Rovers designation – HUE 166.
Another important member of the team was Dr Ralph Speth, Chief Executive of Land Rover Jaguar. He said “Over 67 years the series Land Rover and in turn Defender have been the transport of choice for explorers, charity workers, farmers and even royalty. Throughout history it has helped pioneers reach the unreachable. What started life as an agricultural workhorse has transcended the automotive world to become a worldwide design icon. I was honoured to join the production line team in Solihull to help build this unique vehicle. It was a special experience that will no doubt become a fond memory”.
After a series of scheduled public appearances throughout the year the Land Rover Defender 2,000,000 will finally be auctioned at where else but Bonhams auction house on New Bond Street in London on December 16th.
So as we draw the curtain on what can only be described as a true Great British Icon. It is only fair to say as one door closes another one proverbially opens as the replacement for the current Defender is scheduled to come to market in 2018 proceeded by a concept version next year. And so the world holds its breath in anticipation.