News : 2,000,000th ‘utility’ Land Rover marks production milestone

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

The two-millionth ‘utility’ Land Rover will make its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, after Land Rover reached the manufacturing milestone in the model’s final year of production.

The one-off 90 commemorates 2,000,000 Land Rover Defender and Series models, produced at Lode Lane, Solihull, since 1948.

Defender 2mil1

Unique touches include a map of Red Wharf Bay – where the design for the original Land Rover was first drawn in the sand – engraved into the front wing, plus a ‘2,000,000’ badge on both the back of the vehicle and the centre console.

Inside, the leather seats also feature the ‘Red Wharf Bay’ graphic, with ‘2,000,000’ logos stitched into the headrests. A bespoke aluminium plaque, signed by everyone who helped to assemble the vehicle, is fitted to the driver’s seat plinth.

A team of life-long Defender fans were invited to join the Solihull production line in May to help build this one-of-a-kind vehicle, including adventurer Bear Grylls.

Grylls said: “The Land Rover Defender has been there for me more times than I care to remember. They are so often the unsung heroes of our TV shows, working hard in the toughest conditions to get crew in and out of exceptionally challenging terrains. Known and respected by me and many other adventurers for their rugged reliability – it was an honour to be asked to take part in the build of this very special car.”

Representatives from the IFRC and Born Free also made the journey to Solihull to fit their part to the vehicle, including actress and founder of the Born Free Foundation, Virginia McKenna OBE.

defender2mil2

Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Over 67 years, the Series Land Rover and in turn Defender has been the transport of choice for explorers, charity organisations, farmers and even royalty. Throughout history it has helped pioneers to reach the unreachable. What started life as an agricultural workhorse has transcended the automotive world to become a worldwide design icon.”

Defender 2,000,000 will be auctioned off in a special Bonham’s sale in London on 16 December 2015.

 

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

14 Comments

  1. I read this press release several days ago and found that Land Rover’s press office had made a glaringly obvious error when reporting which Land Rover models had contributed to this figure of 2,000,000 vehicles. Mention was made of the Series I, II and III and Defender, but not the 90 and 110 models introduced from 1983/4 with coil sprung suspension.

    The “Defender” name was introduced in September 1990 for the mildly revised 90 and 110 models now featuring the new 200Tdi engine, and also to avoid potential ‘Land Rover’ naming confusion with the second ‘Land Rover’ branded model unveiled a year earlier, namely the Discovery.

    Aside from this, this is another interesting Defender project in the ‘Year of Celebration’.

  2. Sorry Ken, but in my bid for “Pedant of the Week” award, I think you’ll find that the Moggie Million was actually a special violet colour…
    (I do get you point though!)

  3. A true “Defender of the faith”.
    The Land Rover really is a British icon to make you feel proud of.

    There was also a “Paul Smith” edition available.

  4. Wonderful stuff JLR, and all for charidee which is nice. Now get back to work on bringing the Defender replacement to market!

    • Agreed!

      Even as a Land Rover enthusiast, I wish that they’d done that 20 years ago, while people were still buying Defenders in any numbers. Each time I see another farmer drive by in a Japanese pick up, it makes me feel a little sad about the sale and the customer lost.

  5. One absolute bruiser of a vehicle that has seen service from the farms of North Wales to the Amazonian rain forest, and the backbone of the armed forces for decades. It’s amazing how many still exist from decades ago due to the aluminium bodywork and the rugged mechanicals.

  6. Maurice Wilks the man behind the Land Rover concieved the Land Rover on his farm Nr Newborough on Anglesea I doubt he would have gone to Red Wharf Bay to doodle in the sand when the SW corner of Anglesea has sand galore. Newborogh Warren was mostly sand dunes. Spent many holidays there. Probably someone marketing type didn’t do much checking on the history of Land Rover – probably don’t even know who Maurice Wilks was !!

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