Last Landy De­fender built…

… but the leg­end lives on as Land Rover in­vites mem­o­ries of the best trips ever

The Witness - Wheels - - OFFROAD -

LAND Rover has pro­duced the last of the cur­rent De­fender mod­els at the fa­mous Soli­hull fac­tory in Eng­land, but it is not the end of the leg­end.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony that saw the last model roll off the as­sem­bly line with more than 700 cur­rent and for­mer Soli­hull em­ploy­ees on hand, Land Rover also an­nounced a new Her­itage Restora­tion Pro­gramme, which will be based on the site of the ex­ist­ing Soli­hull pro­duc­tion line.

A team of ex­perts, in­clud­ing some long- serv­ing De­fender em­ploy­ees, will over­see the restora­tion of a num­ber of Se­ries Land Rovers sourced from across the globe.

The first re­stored ve­hi­cles will go on sale in July 2016.

“To­day we cel­e­brate what gen­er­a­tions of men and women have done since the out­line for the Land Rover was orig­i­nally drawn in the sand,” said Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.

“The Se­ries Land Rover, now De­fender, is the ori­gin of our leg­endary ca­pa­bil­ity, a ve­hi­cle that makes the world a bet­ter place, of­ten in some of the most ex­treme cir­cum­stances. There will al­ways be a spe­cial place in our hearts for De­fender, among all our em­ploy­ees, but this is not the end. We have a glo­ri­ous past to cham­pion, and a won­der­ful fu­ture to look for­ward to.”

“This is a spe­cial day of fond cel­e­bra­tion for Jaguar Land Rover. We all have per­sonal mem­o­ries of De­fender. It’s a true mo­tor­ing icon and is much loved around the world,” said Nick Rogers, group en­gi­neer­ing di- rec­tor at Jaguar Land Rover. “The world has changed dra­mat­i­cally in the last 68 years, but this ve­hi­cle has re­mained a con­stant – some­thing no other ve­hi­cle can claim.

Up­load your best trips

Land Rover fans are in­vited to up­load their most mem­o­rable jour­neys ever un­der­taken in Se­ries Land Rover or De­fender ve­hi­cles via the on­line “De­fender Jour­neys” plat­form. Ef­fec­tively a dig­i­tal scrap­book, Land Rover aims to col­late as many ex­cit­ing ad­ven­tures as pos­si­ble into this on­line map, which users can view and share.

Land Rover has also an­nounced the up­com­ing launch of its on­line De­fender Jour­neys’ plat­form, which will al­low the leg­endary model to live on in a dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ment.

The in­no­va­tive on­line hub will al­low own­ers to up­load de­tails of their most mem­o­rable jour­neys in a Se­ries Land Rover or De­fender from to­day.

The aim is to crowd source jour­neys from Land Rover driv­ers and plot them on a sin­gle on­line map, preserving the mem­o­ries of amaz­ing ad­ven­tures that have taken place in the iconic 4x4 for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

The clo­sure of the Soli­hull pro­duc­tion line will also bring an end to Land Rover’s Cel­e­bra­tion Line ex­hibit, al­though this too will live on.

En­thu­si­asts will now be able to un­der­take the full De­fender pro­duc­tion line tour via a new on­line 360 de­gree vir­tual tool on the de­fend­er­tour. lan­drover. com

PHOTO: AL­WYN VILJOEN

Ron­nie Drew’s much pop- riv­eted De­fender shows not the past, but the fu­ture of many of th­ese easy- to- work on mod­els.

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