The final year of an Icon

The final year of the Defender?

OK so it’s not cycling and it’s not about photography, but hey it’s my blog and 2015 is set to be a significant year for Land Rover with the demise of the iconic Defender.

I’d always wanted one of these vehicles for no other reason than I think they look fantastic and hark back to a bygone era (glory days?). How many other vehicles can you say have remained largely unchanged for 67 years? So in May 2014 I took delivery of a Defender 90SX and literally from the second day of ownership I’ve been ‘personalising’ it – essentially treating my landy as a great big Meccano kit.

It’s certainly not without it’s flaws (you’d think after 67 years, they would have ironed out all of the wrinkles), but it is absolutely full of character and a lot of fun.  I have to also add that the devoted community are a fab bunch of guys and girls, who are really open minded about why we own these things – some live on the farm, some spend their life in Chelsea – but they are all quite unique to their owners.

Now I’m a self confessed lover of technology, but there really is something very calming about a vehicle that doesn’t bing at you to do up your seatbelt (since when did we think it was OK to be patronised by our car?).  And I love the fact that I could (and in fact did) change the steering wheel.

These things will continue to be handbuilt in small volume (around 15,000 per annum) at the Solihull factory (“a place where vehicles are given their souls”) until the middle of December, with various ‘special editions’ appearing as a swansong.  If you hanker after a new one, you’d better hurry.

A friend of mine has the older Series 3 and a softop classic would be just perfect for the summer, but I think the wife will take some convincing.

Next post will be back to the main theme of this site, but don’t be too surprised if I lace a little landy conversation into the mix.