There has been a bit of a fuss recently over a mysterious black Defender 90 that was spotted in central London with a taxi hire sign on its roof, but all may not be as it seems.
A most unusual sight, and it was the Daily Mail Online who published pictures of the 4x4 spotted on Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, the driver (recognise him?!) chatting innocently to a member of the public. Transport for London confirmed with the Mail that this was definitely NOT permitted for taxi use.
So we did some digging to try and ascertain what was going on and it transpired that there had been a few mentions of sightings of said Defender 90 taxi on Twitter that began last week:
There is a black Land Rover with taxi hire sign in W2. Is it kosher?
— Legal Eagles (@tdaoprotection) November 16, 2015
Land Rover defender taxi spotted in London. pic.twitter.com/0bv5tRoUNT
— Baz Mattaz (@Baz_Mattaz) November 16, 2015
A closer look at the pictures and what the Daily Mail failed to recognise was that in the drivers seat appears to be Mr Land Rover himself, Roger Crathorne, Land Rover’s longest serving employee with a career spanning fifty years (don’t miss his foreword in our Series and Defender celebration issue, which is available to buy today!).
One of the world’s oldest fine art auctioneers, Bonhams, had also tweeted that the black Defender taxi had visited their saleroom on New Bond Street and it’s at Bonhams that they will auction off the 2,000,000th Defender on December 16 for charity.
— BONHAMS (@bonhams1793) November 17, 2015
The plot thickened when after yet more digging we found that Eliott Farr (@TheBoyEL), who works with FP Creative the self-proclaimed producers of ‘world-class content’, tweeted that he had an idea that was being put into practice by some ‘clever people’, teasing that we’d be seeing it soon.
With his tweet he supplied interesting snaps of a host of Land Rovers that included British design icon Sir Paul Smith’s bespoke Defender and a film crew in different locations around Sloane Square.
I had an idea for Land Rover and today some clever people are making it. You'll see it soon. pic.twitter.com/1HhVOqZvtI
— Eliott Farr (@TheBoyEL) November 16, 2015
— Eliott Farr (@TheBoyEL) November 17, 2015
Which had also been spotted doing the rounds in the capital…
— MerchantCantos (@MerchantCantos) November 19, 2015
So what’s it all about then? We asked Land Rover to give us a clue as to just what the heck is going on, which they replied only to tantalisingly tease that ‘all will be revealed’. December 8 is believed to be the date to look out for.
A spokesperson from Land Rover told the Daily Mail that the mystery Defender was part of a shoot celebrating the 67 years of the Defender and in fact wasn’t illegally picking up passengers.
What a shame! We couldn’t think of many better ways to be chauffeured around London than in a Defender 90 by Mr Land Rover.
But for now, although we don’t know too much about all the activity, we do gather there is something exciting in the works that could potentially coincide with the auction of the 2,000,000th Defender taking place in December.
We wait with bated breath.
To see the pictures click here