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Land Rover to make 25 Classic Defenders

Though production of the classic Defender came to an end this past January after nearly 40 years, Land Rover announced it will produce another 25 examples of the original Series I version. As part of the company’s Land Rover Classics "Reborn" initiative, the vehicles will be a refurbished to original 1948 factory specifications using Land Rover Classic Parts.

The 1948 Series I versions were inspired by the U.S.-built Willys Jeep, which blanketed Europe after D-Day.

The 1948 Series I versions were inspired by the U.S.-built Willys Jeep, which blanketed Europe after D-Day.

The company doesn’t plan to restore just any truck, however. An expert team searched worldwide for the best, most original examples. The restoration teams will meld customer specifications to each of the 25 hand-picked trucks. Buyers can specify one of five period finishes, including light green, bronze green, RAF blue, dove grey, and poppy red. They will cost between £60,000 ($85,612) and £80,000 ($114,150) depending on whether it’s an 80-inch or 86-inch chassis model.

1948 Series I testing

Early Rover advertising touted the truck’s agility

Customers will be able to select their preferred base vehicle in conjunction with Land Rover Classic’s restoration team, and they will be able to follow the car’s restoration from start to finish at Land Rover’s new Classic workshop at the original Defender factory in Solihull. Many experienced workers from the old Defender production line are contributing to the restoration of the 25 Series 1 cars. All work will be carried out with original, or, where necessary, recreated parts. The process will take between six to nine months per individual vehicle. Land Rover is guaranteeing each vehicle with a factory warranty, spanning 12 months and 12,000 miles.

According to Tony O’Keeffe of Jaguar Land Rover Classic (a division of JLR’s Special Operations), once the 25 “new” Defenders are completed, the workshop would take in customers’ own cars for restoration.

Churchill and Rover

Winston Churchill stands proudly next to his custom-built Series I Land Rover in 1954.

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