Some cars arrive and disappear quietly, always remaining under the radar of global popularity. Some cars assert themselves as emblems of a glorious past, retro-times now passed, when everything was built to last and the world was young. Others develop a cult following through appearances in film, media or music. Yet, some start life as a bare-knuckle necessity, before going on to steal the hearts of millions and prove indispensable to continuing life the world over. The Land Rover Series, and later the Defender is one of those proud families of vehicles that passes on its genetic code to subsequent generations, becoming an integral part of billions of lives.
The reasons why ‘proper' Land Rovers remain popular with the masses - and those of exquisite taste - forms a debate that rages on, but we propose one of the main motives. It can be made to do just about anything.
Besides all the usual tasks expected of any car - going to the shops, taking the kids to school, carting you to work and back safely, ram-raiding a bank, or towing you home when your 'shopping trolley' breaks down - the Land Rover went above and beyond duty to become the base vehicle for mountain rescue teams, ambulance services and agriculture the world over. While this would be expected of any gruff, dependable 4x4 - the Land Rover held an ace up its oil-stained sleeve.
The March Issue of LRO - Proving Our Theory
Thanks to its chassis frame capable of taking any form of customisation, the Series Land Rovers, and later, the Defender would often be the first port of call for adventurers, innovators and customizers of all shapes and sizes. Sir Ranulph Fiennes chose the Defender 110 to create his extreme world beater, fire brigades adapted early Series 1s to fight the flames while others used Land Rovers as a welder, a tractor and even tailored them to float - as Mark Saville and Calum Brown discover in the March 2016 issue of LRO.
A floating Land Rover is no new concept, with a Series IIA riding the waves over 52 years ago as a military project - you can get a good look at that beauty alongside an Irish 110 that recently crossed the Irish Channel in the current issue.
Besides tackling mother nature, the Land Rover was oh-so-easy to customise to your bespoke requirements - as Jerry Thurston proves with a Defender brought back from the dead.
Even fire couldn’t claim a Defender, thanks to its basic design and fundamental repairability. Neil Watterson discovers a WMIK Defender that survived involuntary cremation and won - emphasising the indestructability of our favourite off-roader. Neil also proves how no greenlane stands in the way of a well-prepped Land Rover 90, by tackling no less than 19 Northumberland tracks.
Require more proof? The new March issue of LRO is out now.