The last Land Rover Defender was rolled off the tire at the factory in Solihull. The year 2015 was already dominated by the farewell of the Defender. There appeared to be so much demand for the car that the manufacturer had to postpone the stopping of the production line. Last week, that historical event finally took place. Land Rover announced on the occasion of the farewell a restoration program to preserve classical specimens. There will also be an online platform on which fans can share their most memorable journey in a Land Rover Series or Defender. The development of the new Defender is the next challenge.
More than two million Land Rover Series and Defenders have been built at the Solihull plant since 1948. The brothers Spencer and Maurice Wilks designed the original Land Rover - equipped with an 1.6 engine with 50 HP - primarily for use in rural areas. At that time they could not know how much impact their design would have worldwide.
Series II and III form a "Defender" prelude
The Series II was introduced in 1958, with a new design and a stronger engine. A total of half a million Land Rovers had already been sold in 1966 and production peaked with 56.000 cars in 1971. In the 1970s, the Series III was just as successful as its predecessor. The car that until then was named after its wheelbase and serial number was given a new name in 1990: Defender. Meanwhile, the Land Rover had fierce competition from the Toyota Landcruiser and the Mercedes-Benz G Class. Nevertheless, the Landrover kept its respectable position and was used by numerous agencies at national and international level for various purposes.
Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Restoration
Although the last Defender has rolled off the tire, the car is retained for the future thanks to the Land Rovers Heritage Restoration program. "Land Rover Heritage offers cars, maintenance and parts," said Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Director. "This ensures that classic Land Rovers are not only part of our past, but also of our future." The restored Land Rovers Series will be sold from July 2016.
Online platform: sharing adventures
Via the new online platform “Defender Journeys”, fans are invited to share their most memorable journey in a Land Rover Series or a Defender. With this digital scrapbook, Land Rover wants to collect as many adventure travel stories as possible.
Future for old and new
So no new Defenders are rolling off the band anymore, but it is especially praised that Jaguar Landrover will continue to honor its legend in the future. Nick Rogers, Group Engineering Director at Jaguar Land Rover, says: "The Defender is an icon and loved worldwide. The world has changed dramatically in the last 68 years, but this car was a constant factor. And the development of a new Defender is our next challenge. We are really looking forward to that. "