Land Rover Defender: One of the most recognized and rugged nameplate in the automotive world has finally ended production. The icon has seen continuous production since the past 68 years, with a new model being produced every four minutes at its plant in Solihull, UK.
The last example built was a Defender 90 Heritage Soft Top. This off-roader is not for sale and will take a place of pride in the company’s collection. To mark the occasion, the automaker invited more than 700 current and former employees who were involved in the production process. The celebrations included a procession of 24 unique vehicles from Land Rover’s history that were present to see the Defender make its final run. The lineup also consisted of the very first pre-production ‘Huey’ Series I.
It is a well-known fact that the original outline of the Land Rover Defender was drawn not on paper, but on sand. Full scale production of the 4×4 commenced at the Solihull manufacturing facility in 1948. Aluminium was used for construction of the bodyshell and this was not out of consideration for saving weight, but due to shortage of steel in post-war Britain. The rest as they say is history. The Defender went on to become one of the most rugged and versatile off-roaders of all time with a go anywhere capability. In 2015, Land Rover produced a ‘2 millionth’ milestone model that sold at an auction for a hefty price tag of £400,000.
It is not all over for the Defender though and diehard fans need not be disappointed as the next generation of the icon is already in the works and expected to make an appearance by 2018. There is a lot riding on the shoulders of the would-be successor and it won’t be easy for Land Rover to come up with a car that has to convey so much heritage while still being relevant to the fast-changing times.