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  1. #1
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    End of the road for Land Rover Defender



    Almost 70 years after the first model appeared in the aftermath of the second world war, the last Land Rover Defender has rolled off a production line in the West Midlands.

    The steel and aluminium vehicle has transported James Bond, Winston Churchill and various members of the royal family, for whom it is a fixture.
    The Queen’s association with Land Rover dates back to 1951 when, as Princess Elizabeth, she stood in an open-top vehicle to present the King’s colour to the Royal Air Force at a parade in Hyde Park. She has been filmed and pictured driving Land Rovers on her estate many times since.

    However, the demise of the Defender has been long forecast and its clunky, box-like form had been kept on industrial life-support for years by nostalgists and canny marketeers. But on Friday, Jaguar Land Rover bowed to the inevitable and ended production at Solihull.

    At 9.15am, the 2,016,933rd Defender built at Solihull became the last: a Heritage 90 softtop 4x4 with a special number plate recalling the famous “Huey”, the very first Series 1 – the Defender’s ancestor – that Land Rover built.

    Among the hundreds of employees witnessing the event were those who had worked on the Defender’s steel and aluminium frame for decades. Some had seen generations working on the same line: Tim Bickerton, 55, had worked for 40 years, having started as an apprentice, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, with his daughter and son later joining him on the line. “We’re like a stick of rock with Defender running through us,” he said.

    JLR said while some employees had chosen to retire with the Defender, the rest would be redeployed without redundancies. Some will work on a heritage vehicle restoration line, repurposing old Defenders, to be launched in Solihull later this year.

    Originally conceived as a no-frills, off-road vehicle, the Land Rover was marketed as the “go anywhere” option “for the farmer, the countryman and general industrial use”.

    The Defender, which got its name in 1990, was driven by British troops in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as by farmers, and was the precursor to the more luxurious four-wheel drives bought by wealthy London families that came to earn the name “Chelsea tractors”. Its rugged design has ensured that an estimated two-thirds of Defenders and their predecessors are still on the road.

    However, the model’s popularity as an on-road vehicle has waned and it has been overtaken by legislation and technology, rendering some features illegal or, at best, out of date. Its side-facing back seats were banned by the EU after 2007 and tighter environmental and safety standards have made it virtually obsolete.

    The Defender is the Land Rover model that links directly back to the first vehicle of the type designed by Rover’s chief engineer, Maurice Wilks. He drove a Jeep, the workhorse of the US and British armies during the second world war, on his Anglesey farm and in 1947 decided to build on that design to create a better vehicle.

    The four-wheel drive vehicle has been produced since 1948 in Solihull by various owners including British Leyland, BMW, Ford and, now, the Indian conglomerate Tata through Jaguar Land Rover.

    Orders at Solihull boomed to meet nostalgia-fuelled demand as the end drew near for the Defender, which is built to order from an array of bodies and bases.

    The 2,000,000th Defender – a one-off “Defender 2,000,000” – was auctioned last month for £400,000 with proceeds going to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Born Free Foundation, the animal conservation charity.

    Jaguar Land Rover will produce a new model bearing the Defender name in the next couple of years but it will sit among the modern 4x4s without the distinctive features that link it to Wilks’s great utilitarian creation.

    Last Land Rover Defender rolls off production line | Business | The Guardian

  2. #2
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    About time.

  3. #3
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    Always breaking down, not very well built or designed , but after the war residents in BRITISH colonies had little choice, it was sold to the colonies and owners had to make do with it.
    Then Toyota started 4x4 production and reliability won over many a colonialist.
    Land Rover is great for pottering around the U.K. Because break down recovery is only around the corner.

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    Land Rover owned by the Indian Tata holdings. Funny old England.
    Land Rover is " Putt putt ding ding two ninety nine quality "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Mann View Post


    Almost 70 years after the first model appeared in the aftermath of the second world war, the last Land Rover Defender has rolled off a production line in the West Midlands.


    The 2,000,000th Defender
    Not true, the Defender badge was introduced on the late model Land Rover around 1990.

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    I had one for years for my boats
    It never broke down
    Hard work on a motorway though
    Reliability was never a problem for the Land Rover same can't be said of other British makes though

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    I have never had a problem with reliability with any of the Landrovers I have owned.
    I have a 2014 the last Freelander model at the moment.
    The Defender could not be sold in the US as no airbags was probably the end of the model.

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    I used to drive landrovers when i worked in the nickel exploration in Australia back in the late sixties early seventies, the 4 cylinder models could go flat out all day without a problem but the six cylinder models would often melt holes through pistons not sure why but i my opinion the six needed a much higher ratio gearbox in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bower View Post
    I have never had a problem with reliability with any of the Landrovers I have owned.
    I have a 2014 the last Freelander model at the moment.
    The Defender could not be sold in the US as no airbags was probably the end of the model.
    LRD ceased sales of the Defender in the USA in 1997.

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  11. #11
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    but the six cylinder models would often melt holes through pistons not sure why but i my opinion the six needed a much higher ratio gearbox in it.
    I dont think Land Rover ever used 6 cylinder engines in the Defender, they were mostly 4 or 5 cylinder engines or GM/Rover derived V8.

    Were 6 cyl. LR's specially produced in Australia?

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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    but the six cylinder models would often melt holes through pistons not sure why but i my opinion the six needed a much higher ratio gearbox in it.
    I dont think Land Rover ever used 6 cylinder engines in the Defender, they were mostly 4 or 5 cylinder engines or GM/Rover derived V8.

    Were 6 cyl. LR's specially produced in Australia?
    Correct. Defenders never got an inline 6.

    Series II-A and Series III did though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    let me explain simply 100MB != 1GB RAM

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    Series II-A and Series III did though.
    not according to this, unless you meant the spanish santana 6cyl engines.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_R...11H_and_13H.29

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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    Series II-A and Series III did though.
    not according to this, unless you meant the spanish santana 6cyl engines.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_R...11H_and_13H.29
    According to this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Rover_Series

    Also travelled Australia (for 2 years) with my parents many many moons ago, In a series II-A Land Rover 6cyl.

  15. #15
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    1967 a 2.6-litre in-line six cylinder petrol engine was introduced for the long-wheelbase models
    thanks for that, strange that the other wiki page relating specifically to engines doesnt have that info.

    more here.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOE_engine

    The Rover IOE engine family encompassed straight-4 (1.6- and 2.0-litres) and straight-6 (2.1-, 2.2-, 2.3-, 2.4-, 2.6- and 3.0-litres) engines and powered much of the company's post-war range in the form of the P3, P4 and P5 models. Adapted versions of the 1.6 and 2.0 IOE engines were used in early version of the Land Rover as well. Power outputs ranged from 50bhp (Land Rover 1.6) to 134bhp (P5 3 litre MkII & III). The 2.6 6-cylinder IOE engine had a particularly long career. After being used in Rover P4 saloon cars it was added to long-wheelbase Land Rover models from 1963 in the 2A Forward Control models, then in 1967 in the bonneted 109",[8] and remained an optional fitment until 1980 when it was replaced by the Rover V8.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles
    LRD ceased sales of the Defender in the USA in 1997.
    And the ones left fetch a pretty penny.

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    So TATA, an Indian company, has an alternative to an outdated original car. Newer design, cheaper to build, engineered to be fit for purpose.

    Did the British believe that things wouldn't change?

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    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    I drove them in the 70's and found them to suffer bad front wheel wobbling once you exceeded about 40mph. Not my kinda mo-ta.

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    The numbers bought on annual MOD contract would have made the production worthwhile, even without their popularity with the country/farming set.
    Once the Japs started producing efficient and reliable 4x4 vehicles the end was nigh.
    As the British Army alone shrank from over 360,000 troops in 1975, to less than 100,000 only 20 years later, the LR numbers went south too.
    Once the military realised their vulnerability to IEDs, and started buying purpose built patrol vehicles, the LR demise was complete.

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    We have a saying here in the sandpit. If you want a job fucked up, give it to an Indian.




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    india had nothing to do with the Defender so in this instance your saying holds zero water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
    india had nothing to do with the Defender so in this instance your saying holds zero water.
    You're an idiot, do you know that?
    The four-wheel drive vehicle has been produced since 1948 in Solihull by various owners including British Leyland, BMW, Ford and, now, the Indian conglomerate Tata through Jaguar Land Rover.

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    what sort of a stupid fuck would think change of hands of parent company ownership has anything to do with the demise of this dinosaur.

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    ^ aah we see now, India buys English dinosaur.
    Engrit very cunning.

  25. #25
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Mann
    various members of the royal family, for whom it is a fixture.
    Yes, the royal family likes to rough it . . . clearly . . . to show the common touch

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