End o’ the Defender

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An early Land Rover in Singapore

Jaguar Land Rover have announced that production of the Defender, first produced in 1948, will be ceasing next year. This is not surprising and makes perfect sense. What Car? magazine are quoted in this Guardian article:

“Off-road, very little can touch it. On-road, there’s very little to recommend it.”

Still, after nearly 60 years, it’s hard not to think of it as the sad demise of a classic British icon.

I have a soft spot for them, even though I’ve very seldom been in one in the last few decades, and I’ve never owned one, despite trying to think of a good excuse! At the time I was born, though, my parents were working in northern Kenya, and I apparently spent much of my time, both before and after my birth, riding around in one, so perhaps I have early imprinted memories. They certainly tend to feature in lots of family photographs.

Land Rover estimate that about two-thirds of all the Land Rover Defenders ever built are still in operation.

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© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser