Land Rover Defender special – our memories of the trailblazer

Sunday, December 4th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Land Rover Defender special – our memories of the trailblazer

over time, our writers have used the Defender to bring down a house, learn to drive in addition to ferry a groom to the church


Production of the Land Rover Defender will soon cease, however as a tribute to the no-nonsense, go-anywhere trailblazer we share some of our fondest memories.

A Defender is usually for… bringing the house down – James Ruppert

Some time from the 1980s there was a site to clear in addition to a house to be demolished. The quotes for the work we were given were outrageous, so we went there from the family Series 3 (a pre, pre-Defender) all tooled up with sledgehammers in addition to things. A large outhouse needed felling, too.

which seemed like a waste of energy to do which by hand when a four-wheel-drive vehicle was nearby. which didn’t have a winch or even a towbar, however which had a chassis in addition to we’d packed chains.

If This specific had happened today, we’d have Periscoped, Instagrammed in addition to YouTubed the hell out of the occasion. Instead we just got on with the business of felling a tiny house in about an hour or so without the botherisation of hard hats or much from the way of health in addition to safety. Attach chain to RSJ. Accelerate. Job done.

A Defender is usually for… anything you can throw at which – Matt Prior

which’s 2007 in addition to Land Rover is usually launching the 2.2-litre Puma-engined Defender, with the biggest raft of alterations in years. We’re putting which through a full Autocar Road Test.

which’s not doing well. I like Defenders however under hard emergency braking the 0’s stability is usually particularly concerning.

Then our photographer arrives at Millbrook Proving Ground in addition to starts shooting, in addition to makes increasingly extreme demands to put the auto into increasingly dramatic poses. Except which whatever we try to do, which doesn’t look dramatic at all.

“Can you wade which pond?” Sure. “Can you make the tyres scrabble up which hill using a wheel off the ground?” No, however I can just drive up which.

Whatever we chuck the Defender’s way, which simply shrugs its shoulders in addition to gets on with which. Another gentle reminder which, whatever the compromises, if you get This specific car into its right habitat, which’s unbeatable.

A Defender is usually for… learning to drive – Steve Cropley

My ’81 Series III pick-up had the distinction of teaching a dozen kids to drive. We bought which as an MoT failure by a farming friend. Our village abuts a farm on which we were allowed to drive so when our two boys could reach the clutch at 11 or 12, the Landie taught them to drive.

which taught their friends, too. I became blasé about heading for the woods on Sunday afternoons, sitting on a rock, opening the paper, in addition to letting them get on with which. Until, which is usually, one little lad hit a tree while struggling with the steering. which hardly marked the Landie, however which might have hurt the kids. After which, I took more care.

A Defender is usually for… scaling hills – Richard Bremner

The Defender wasn’t called a Defender when I first drove one back in 1977. which was a brand brand-new 88in example, a short wheelbase hardtop working as a demonstrator at the Stoneleigh Agricultural Show near Warwick. The main element of the demonstration was a chance to experience a Land Rover’s prodigious hill-climbing abilities, by ascending a surprisingly steep in addition to tall grass bank.

My chance came because I was a BL Cars trainee working from the exhibitions department, one of their number generously deciding which I should sample one of the company’s key attractions.

The instructor went first, to illustrate. You needed low-range in addition to a bit of a run-up before you were suddenly seeing sky in addition to little else through the Land-Rover’s windscreen. Once close to the top we stopped, he carefully engaged reverse in addition to allowed the Land Rover to descend, very slowly, to the bottom.

All of which looked easy enough. Except which for the run-up, a shortage of space meant which you had to start your ascent parallel to the bank before turning into a dead straight attack on its summit.

Back then, a Land Rover’s steering gear required quite a few turns by lock-to-lock, in addition to I didn’t manage to get the auto straight before our ascent began. however we did have momentum.

We climbed, in addition to climbed quite fast, however were also heading up at an angle which was rapidly opening up. I was told to stop, at which point the Land-Rover began to slide sideways down the hill.

After a second or two its wheels hit some divots, lifting one side of the auto up for the start of a roll-over. in addition to then we began to bounce earthwards on the downward pair of wheels. At which point I glanced at the instructor’s face, in addition to immediately knew which we were in uncharted in addition to dangerous territory.

We bounced a few more times until the ground levelled out, in addition to the Land-Rover came to a rest, unharmed. I was not offered another go. however I did learn how tough these cars are.

A Defender is usually for… wedding chauffeuring – Matt Burt

I’ve never owned a Defender, however my mate Andy has owned two, including ‘Deuce’, a silver 0 TD5 County which is usually his daily driver.

Before Deuce came ‘Tad’, christened after the last three letters of the registration of the red Defender 0 TDI.

On the morning of his wedding in 2006 he decided which I, as his best man, should ferry him to the church in Tad.

I suspect Andy assumed I was the least nervous of the two of us, in addition to therefore the most competent to be behind the wheel at which point of time, although by my perspective, safely chauffeuring a bloke to one of the most important events of his life in a vehicle which’s unfamiliar by the driver’s seat brings a certain amount of pressure.

As well as which, I’m not certain the ‘right elbow on the window frame’ look works quite as convincingly when you’re dressed in a morning suit as opposed to a wax jacket in addition to wellies.

however as we pottered through the Cumbrian lanes (to a soundtrack of AC/DC’s Back In Black) which didn’t take long for me to appreciate the Defender driving experience is usually not one to be daunted by. Quite the opposite; which is usually tremendously liberating to be high up, looking down on the entire world, in a vehicle which’s easy to place on narrow roads.

Happy to report which Andy’s final journey as one particular man passed without incident. His first as a married man occurred in a rather plusher Range Rover, which meant I got a second drive in Tad.

A Defender is usually for… life, not just for Christmas – Andrew Frankel

His thinking was simple if flawed. He had three car-crazed teenage sons who were learning to drive in addition to going to have crashes. What was the slowest, strongest car on the market?

which’s how my father’s Series III Land Rover came into my life. No matter which which had an oil tanker’s steering in addition to lock, a gearbox gate measurable in feet in addition to no brakes.

He made me take my test in which too, reminding me no Frankel had ever failed in addition to, as an added incentive, leaving me at the test centre. If I failed, which was seven miles home on foot. The look on the examiner’s face was priceless in addition to I expect pity played a large part in maintaining the family’s unbeaten run.

I’d often wonder what happened to which car were which not for the fact which I still own in addition to drive which regularly. in addition to 33 years later which has never, in addition to I do mean never, broken down.

Read more:

Land Rover Defender special – the four most exteme Defenders ever made

by the archives – Driving a Land Rover by Calcutta to Calais

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