LEADING EDGE | Westcon
Salute to a Legend Land Rover Defender
We are all acquainted with the Land Rover Defender and as in my case it was the first ever off roader that I was aware of as it served in different formats in our family. My uncle decided to fit a Studebaker V8 into it for towing his boat. My brother used a Defender for his construction Company.
I had the privilege to be in control of two Series 2 Land Rover Defenders during my years in the Air Force. We also used the Defenders for towing missile units and these were fitted with tented canopies. We would take the front part down, select the speed on the lever control then sit on the back part of the roof steering the Land Rovers with our feet at 30kph while catching a tan.
The Defender has become many things to many people over the years and as with Toyota a Land Rover owner will swear by their Land Rovers. When I was young vehicles were there to get me where I wanted to be and then also to attract girls. The Defender never played a part in that thus I never got into the habit of getting to know a vehicle and to discuss its good or bad points. Except of course for being either a Ford or a Chevrolet fan in the seventies.
When I started to test vehicles for doing articles the Defender always eluded me so I only had my early childhood and young adult references and ideas. When the chance came now to test the legendary Defender I jumped at it. A number of my colleagues also wanted in and I did allow some of them and again the outcome of what they said differs like the East from the West. What they did agree upon was that the Defender is a magnificent off-roader that can go anywhere. My son loved the Defender and could not believe that they have stopped to manufacture the Defender. My son in law could not believe the lack of space.
Me, well everybody know that I love Land Rovers but I did not enjoy the Defender as I thought I would. I came to the conclusion it must be a love at first sight relationship that sold so many of these legends.
We joked that we know why this Land Rover is called the “Defender.” It is because the owner that does not use it for off road purposes will have to defend the reason why he or she has bought it.
Why am I saying that? Well to sit behind the steering you have to turn your legs to the side. The seat does not move back far enough for a tall person to fit himself behind the steering. There is no leg space behind the back seats. The ride is harsh but the view is excellent.
If it was not for legislation I do believe the Defender would still have been with us for many years as it just grabs hold of your heart and you will be true to the Defender till you die.
Whether you are in a love or hate relationship with the Land Rover Defender, one thing is for sure you do respect the Defender. I for one will miss that boxy look.
I salute the Land Rover Defender, a Legend indeed.