When land rover defender 1970 it was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Toyota Land Cruiser, which had begun to offer more SUV styling and more upmarket features. While the Defender was a huge hit, it suffered from a number of quality issues and was eventually discontinued.
The Defender was updated in 1990 with a new 200Tdi engine that replaced the original diesel turbo. The engine was also mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. This new engine allowed the Defender to be able to run at high speeds, which was something that the previous two diesel engines could not do.
Following the success of the Defender 90, Land Rover produced a second model that would be marketed as the “Defender 130”. It was a stretch-over Defender that spanned 127 inches in wheelbase, with the rear section built to the specification of the High Capacity Pick Up for the earlier series Land Rovers.
These models were produced in both left and right hand drive versions for the European market, but left-hand-drive cars from mild climates like Spain or Portugal command the most value. Right-hand-drive versions from wetter areas such as England tend to sell for less, since chassis rot is a common problem.
Defender 50th Anniversary Special Editions
In 1998 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Land Rover Defender two special edition vehicles were built. These were based on the North American spec Defender 90 but were available with right hand drive and a 4.0 litre V8 petrol engine producing 190 hp. These were available to both the UK and European markets, and had Atlantis blue paint, air conditioning and safety devices roll-over protection cage for front seat occupants.