One of the most iconic vehicles ever made, the Land Rover Defender's lineage goes back to 1948 when the first Land Rover appeared. In the subsequent decades, the vehicle has earned its reputation as a hard-working and capable go-anywhere vehicle, whether it's in sub-Saharan Africa, the Australian Outback, farms in the English countryside, or the beaches of Nantucket.
The Series Land Rovers (the name Defender appeared in the 1980s) were last sold in the United States in the early 1970s, but starting in the 1993 model year, Land Rover North America brought over small numbers of Defenders to the US and Canada, powered exclusively by fuel-injected gasoline V8 engines, an option not offered elsewhere in the world at the time. 1993 examples were exclusively 4-door 110 station wagons, while in 1994, the Defender 90 was the only North American option. Aside from a small number of "Port of Entry" hard tops, they were exclusively soft top examples with removable canvas tops. For 1995, 500 hard top station wagons were brought over in addition to the soft tops. No Defenders were offered for the 1996 model year in North America, and for 1997, all were equipped with automatic transmissions and they lost the fabric houndstooth upholstery used on the earlier hard tops.
This particular example was sold new to an owner in Alabama by Hennesy Land Rover Centre North Point in Alpharetta, Georgia on the 13th of January 1996. That owner retained the vehicle for 22 years, eventually selling it to Adventure Motor Cars, a dealer specializing in vintage Land Rovers. In 2018, they performed a sympathetic refurbishment, leaving the original paint intact, but replacing the hardware with stainless steel components and refinishing or replacing most of the black exterior components including the bumpers, grille, headlight surrounds, mirror, roll bar, and fender extensions. The tires were replaced and the mechanical systems freshened as well.
Its current and second owner purchased this Defender from Adventure Motor Cars and shipped it to San Francisco, where it has resided since, maintained by the well-regarded Land Rover Jaguar specialist J&G Automotive. Since coming to California, this Defender has covered approximately 3,000 miles and received over $4600 in work, including a new stereo system, new fuel pump and relay, new belts, new clutch slave cylinder, new spark plugs and wires, and new cap, rotor, ignition coil, air filter.
It runs extremely well and presents as an exceptionally undisturbed and structurally superb example. The original paint shows minor chips and a few scratches but the overall presentation is extremely crisp. The spot welds are present and the structurally vulnerable areas are in very good condition. The interior is equally nice with excellent carpets and upholstery, save for a small hole on the back of the passenger backrest. The dashboard is nearly perfect, with one small hairline crack on top. The gauges function properly and the AC blows cold.
This Defender comes with its original books set, including stamped service book, as well as two sets of keys and its original bottle jack and tool roll. Also present are service records from the current ownership period.