Land Rover was first introduced in the Land Rover series by the Rover Company in 1948. The company is known worldwide for its four-wheel-drive vehicles. Land Rover Defender was first introduced in 1983. Originally known as “Land Rover One Ten” and later “Land Rover 90”, it quickly became one of the most popular off-road utility vehicles. Unfortunately in late 2013 Land Rover announced that it would stop producing the Defeder series in late 2015. Let’s use this opportunity to journey back and look at some of the most unique and memorable Defenders ever made. Starting in 1992 Land Rover produced a number of special edition Defenders aimed at the more lucrative “lifestyle” market rather than the usual commercial and off-road markets. The very first special edition Land Rover Defender was the 90SV. Only 90 were ever made exclusively for the UK market. Painted turquoise, the vehicles were also fitted with a black canvas soft top with standard door tops. Although the vehicle looked rather sporty, it used a standard 200Ti turbodiesel engine. In 1998, during the company’s 50th anniversary, two more special editions were built. The first, Defender 50th, was powered by a 190hp (140kW) 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine. It was available in Atlantis blue, a dark green-blue colour, in the UK and Europe. Only 1071 50th anniversary Defenders were ever produced worldwide of which 385 were sold in the UK. The remaining vehicles were available in Japan and the Middle East. The second 1998 special edition was the “Heritage”, designed in the image of early Land Rovers of the 1940’s. It quickly became a favourite among Land Rover fans due to it looking similar to the original Series I of 1948 however it wasn’t the most popular special edition. Heritage was only available in two colours – the light pastel Atlantic Green and the dark bronze green. The best known special edition Defender came in the form of the 2000 “Tomb Raider”. It was built to commemorate the company’s role in the film franchise of the same name. Designed to look like an off-road expedition vehicle, the Tomb Raider was painted dark metallic grey. It also came equipped with additional spot lights and a roof rack. Although the vehicle was inspired by the Tomb Raider film it isn’t actually the Land Rover featured in the film. The actual car used in the movie was a highly modified Defender 110 HCPU. The last of the more unique Defender special editions came out in 2003 following Land Rover’s first G4 Challenge. The vehicle was available in a distinctive Tangiers orange colour as well as yellow and black. Following the 2003 G4-Edition Land Rover produced a couple more special edition Defenders however none of them ever came close to the company’s extravagant and unique special editions that came before them. One doesn’t have to be a Land Rover fan to appreciate the unique vehicles that the company has released over the years. Perhaps we will never see another new Defender however we can definitely expect Land Rover to continue pushing the boundaries with its other vehicles.
Land Rover was first introduced in the Land Rover series by the Rover Company in 1948. The company is known worldwide for its four-wheel-drive vehicles. Land Rover Defender was first introduced in 1983. Originally known as “Land Rover One Ten” and later “Land Rover 90”, it quickly became one of the most popular off-road utility vehicles.