Once upon a time there were only two models bearing the green oval: the Land Rover and the Range Rover. That simple state of affairs lasted until late 1989, when the Discovery was launched. To avoid confusion, the Ninety and One Ten models were badged Defender. The coil-sprung One Ten had been launched in 1983, the Ninety a year later. At first there was a choice between naturally-aspirated diesel (slow) or V8 petrol (thirsty). A turbo was bolted onto the diesel from 1986 onwards, supplying a bit more oomph.
These vehicles have stood the test of time and rust isn’t a massive issue. Outriggers and rear crossmembers are easily replaced, but corroded bulkheads can prove costlier to repair. These sturdy workhorses are Defenders in all but name and are remarkably good value. Well-sorted examples can be picked up for £5000.
TIP: If you aren’t bothered about absolute authenticity, seek out ones that have been retrofitted with exDiscovery Tdi engines, making them economical (30 mpg) and suitable for today’s roads.
A typical Tdi workhorse will go on for ever