IS IT REALLY THE END?
The last Defender has rolled off the production line at Solihull, but the future is brighter than you think
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”