Today is a sad day for Defender fans. Today is the day Jaguar Land Rover’s classic Defender rolls off the production line after almost seven decades.
Loved by famous fans from Sean Connery to Her Majesty the Queen, the Defender has faithfully served drivers all over the world for 68 years. Today, this icon officially retires from the motoring global stage.
It’s the end of an era. Going back to 1948, not long after the Second World War, a time when the legendary vehicle was seen as a car that was immensely practical in all conditions as infrastructure was still in the beginning of development.
There have been many commemorations nationally in honour of the classic Land Rover model, today called Defender.
This time last year, Land Rover started off the celebrations by creating an exceptional replica of the production line used to manufacture its first 4x4 in 1948.
The historical tour was on display at the Solihull manufacturing plant, where the Series I Land Rover was hand-built just after the Second World War.
Visitors were given an insight into life on a car production line in the late 1940s by observing the original tools and drawing boards as they were told the story of the creation of the original Series I.
The tour at the Solihull factory attracted 10,000 visitors in one year, each ticket costing £45 per person, highlighting the high number of Land Rover Defender enthusiasts out there
Another tribute from Land Rover, built in honour of the iconic model.
With the help of some famous friends, including Bear Grylls, Virginia McKenna OBE and Stephen and Nick Wilks, this bespoke Defender was the two millionth model built as a commemoration to the Series.
Originally unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June last year, the bespoke vehicle was sold at the Bonhams auction for a record £400,000. All proceeds were donated to Land Rover’s humanitarian and conservation partners.
Read more about the Defender 2,000,000.
As we bid farewell to the most magnificent era of the Land Rover as we know it, we take a look back to when it all started.
Land Rover project approved
The Land Rover is launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show on 30th April
First Station Wagon introduced
Long-wheelbase version introduced
Series II Land Rover unveiled with more refined styling
250,000th vehicle produced
500,000th vehicle produced
Land Rover Series III launched; 750,000th Land Rover produced
1,000,000th Land Rover built
Land Rover Ninety introduced
Land Rovers are re-launched and renamed Defender 90, 110 and 130 with new 2.5- litre turbo-charged direct injection diesel engine
Major Defender evolution includes addition of six-speed gearbox
LXV Special Edition celebrates 65 years of Land Rover
2,000,000th Series Land Rover and Defender built
Land Rover Defender ends production
Defender, we salute you!
It's not all doom and gloom. After celebrating the recent announcement of becoming the largest automotive manufacturer in Britain, the Jaguar Land Rover group looks forward to new releases rolling off the production lines. There are mentions of a "new Defender", which the manufacturer has not yet confirmed where and when it will be made, as well as the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, which has been confirmed to hit the global car market this year.