The last Defender has rolled off the pro­duc­tion line at Soli­hull, but the fu­ture is brighter than you think

Land Rover Monthly - - Welcome - EDI­TOR DAVE PHILLIPS

This month’s LRM fea­tures a spe­cial trib­ute to mark the end of Defender pro­duc­tion at Land Rover’s Soli­hull fac­tory. The Defender and its distin­guished pre­de­ces­sors – the Se­ries I, SII, SIIA, SIII, Ninety and One Ten – had been rolling off the Lode Lane pro­duc­tion line since 1948. No won­der the oc­ca­sion was marked by the world’s me­dia. It was a sad mo­ment for all of us that love the Defender. But its pass­ing was in­evitable – not from any in­her­ent fault of the ve­hi­cle, but be­cause it didn’t meet mod­ern safety and emis­sions cri­te­ria.

To po­lit­i­cally-in­cor­rect old souls like me, most of this leg­is­la­tion is a load of bu­reau­cratic non­sense de­vised by politi­cians who re­ally ought to spend their time tack­ling the real prob­lems fac­ing the world. But, sadly, that’s the way of mod­ern so­ci­ety.

It was a very dif­fer­ent world when the first Land Rover made its ap­pear­ance in 1948. And its abil­ity to get to places other ve­hi­cles couldn’t meant it would do more than any other car to change that world. For­get so-called peo­ples’ cars like Hitler’s VW Bee­tle or even our own Mini. They were just a means of trans­port; the Land Rover changed the way peo­ple lived and worked.

But while we all mourn the pass­ing of a genuine au­to­mo­tive legend, re­mem­ber that Defender will live on for­ever. Be­cause of the longevity of the beast and spares avail­abil­ity, ex­ist­ing mod­els will live on for decades. And then there is the lit­tle mat­ter of the Defender re­place­ment that Land Rover has promised to launch in 2018. Will it be a wor­thy suc­ces­sor? We will have to wait and see.

Happy Land Rover­ing.

“While we all mourn the pass­ing of a legend, re­mem­ber that Defender will live on for­ever”

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