The last Defender: Is Land Rover’s off-road heyday over? – BBC News

The last Defender: Is Land Rover’s off-road heyday over?

  • Land Rover Series vehiclePhoto: Jaguar Land Rover’s classic vehicle is perhaps the most recognisable off-road car of them all

The last of Jaguar Land Rover’s classic Defenders will roll off the production line this week, ending 68 years of production – does this mean the carmaker’s best off-road days are behind it?

Picture a Land Rover and you might imagine a box-shaped green vehicle etching desert sand or surging through floodwater.  

It’s a nostalgic vision of a car whose practicality is legendary – and according to motoring journalist Quentin Willson one that is redolent of a bygone era.

“The world has changed. We don’t have the same needs as in the post-war era when it was developed,” he said.

The classic Land Rover model, today called Defender, has evolved but JLR said it had essentially “changed very little during its lifetime”, while vehicle standards had “changed dramatically”.  [read more]

 

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Comments

  • De castro  On January 27, 2016 at 4:34 am

    After life ….there is new and improved life…..its called “progress”….
    In two words…
    Market forces.

    Adios…welcome.
    Que Sera sera

  • demerwater  On January 27, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I cannot be as dismissive of the vehicle on which I learned to drive, successfully obtained my driver’s licence and acquired some skill in utilizing its twelve forward gears. PF 976, Uitvlugt Estate, 1961 was allocated to my boss, M.J. Stickland – but he allowed me great freedom of its use. The Admin. Manager, A.D. Falconer, had two ‘Rovers’. One was the iconic “jeep” for field use, the other was a company car – Bottle green exterior, rush green interior. I know the details because the first car that I owned was the very same. In the Intervening years, the car had been taken out of service, sold to Basil Willison at Blairmont Estate and repainted. It was sold to me by his widow Yvonne. A relative, Shrinarine and his family, used the car while they were in Guyana on vacation. They spent a couple of days at Blairmont where Doreen, Shri’s wife, grew up. The car was also treated like a returning relative!
    At LBI, Nowrang Persaud showed his individuality by choosing a hard top Land Rover for the Personnel Manager’s office when it was time to replace the office car. The vehicle was blue, a departure from the standard green, another manifestation of Nowrang’s stand out personality. It worked out well because he did not have to depend upon the Field Staff to take him to the hot spots of Industrial unrest in the “back dam”.
    At Albion there was ‘Burr’s Bus’ a modified LWB 6 cylinder model. George Burr ensured a legacy when he had a wooden platform and safety rails installed on the sides of the open bed in the back. Next a high seat was mounted atop the roof of the driver’s compartment. On a clear day, from a high bridge, you could almost see tomorrow from that vantage seat. A sweet electronic touch was a turn indicator switch by which the occupant could indicate to the chauffeur, which way to turn at the upcoming cross dam. A small niche on the dashboard accommodated a pocket watch in such a manner that it looked a built-in dashboard clock.
    I did return to LBI years later – to be allocated a “Suzuki” off road vehicle. Just not the same versatility.
    After a short stop at Wales I completed a full circle back to Uitvlugt and a beautiful and powerful diesel Land Rover. By this time my status allowed me a Chauffeur; but every so often I would cajole Amos or Metric to let me drive.
    Just for the flavor.

    • De castro  On January 27, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Nostalgia heals the soul….

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