An end to an era for the past and present workforce at Land Rover's Solihull factory
700 current and former employees of Land Rover were invited to the Solihull plant, on January 29th 2016, to witness the last of the current Defenders to roll off the production line, signifying an end to 68 years of constant production.
The Defender started out in 1948 when Spencer and Maurice made-do with aluminium bodyshells as post-war Britain was experiencing a shortage of Steel. The original Defender ‘series 1’ was intended for use on farmland and agriculture, only to become the most decorated off road vehicle across the globe.
Changes came in 1958 with the Series II, this had a more advanced diesel engine and a refreshed design. The same diesel engine would continue its service for 30 years until the mid 80s.
It wasn’t until 1990 when the car was actually given the name ‘Defender’, previously it had just been referred to by the length of wheelbase and ‘Series’. Land Rover were appreciated for the vast number of specialised vehicles which were built off the same platform. Examples include service vehicles like Fire Engines, Cherry pickers and Ambulances.
Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Restoration
The Defender will still live on, through a program which offers the restoration of old Defenders by a team of 12 experts who share 172 years of experience working on Defenders and Land Rover products.
Tim Hannig Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Director said: “Land Rover Heritage will be offering cars, services, parts and experiences for all owners and fans around the world. Our new restoration service and the sale of expertly restored Series I vehicles is just the start of making sure that classic Land Rovers are not only part of our past but part of our future.”
Land Rover will also be launching a new online platform for enthusiasts all over the world to login and document their adventures in their Defenders.
“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.”