Beaufort & Blake: 5 Reasons Why We’ll Miss The Defender

After a long and dutiful career, this week we doth our caps to the end of the Land Rover Defender as we know it. A stoic servant of our nation for the last 67 years, we bid farewell to an icon.

 You may argue that it is difficult to do justice to the Defender in just five points, and we would agree, but we have every faith that the love we all share for this British symbol will be reflected in one of the below.

1. Versatility

From families to farmers and officers to off-roaders, no other vehicle in British automotive history has been so widely loved. The Land Rover Defender has been rolling off the manufacturing line for the last 67 years in a variety of colours, shapes and wheelbase lengths. We struggle to think of another 4x4 that has the ability to tackle the moors of Yorkshire, the green lanes of Wales and the streets of Chelsea with equal aplomb.

2. Off-Road Capabilities

Originally conceived as a no-frills, off-road vehicle, the Land Rover Defender was marketed as the go anywhere option for the farmer, the countryman and for general industrial use. Its rugged design has ensured that an estimated two-thirds of Defenders and their predecessors are still on the road. When sat behind the wheel of a Defender there is no hill too steep, no ford-crossing too deep and no surface too slippery. We keep our fingers crossed that the new Defender will pay homage to its younger sibling’s off-road pedigree.

3. Its Looks

Similarly to the Mini or Citroen’s 2CV, the Defender is a vehicle that has defied fashion whilst somehow epitomising it. Just like Mary Berry, the Defender has aged well - testament to the design team that first conceived such a simple but beautiful piece of automotive engineering. 

4. Its Royal Appeal

The Defender has transported the likes of James Bond, Winston Churchill, Sir Paul McCartney but - most importantly – a large swathe of the Royal Family. HM the Queen’s link with Land Rover dates to 1951 when she stood in an open-top iteration of the vehicle to present the King’s Colours to the Royal Air Force at a parade in Hyde Park. Since then, the Queen has been pictured driving Land Rovers on the Sandringham Estate many times. We have a sneaky suspicion as to who bought all of the recent limited edition Defenders…

5. Its quintessential British-ness

Nothing is more British than the Land Rover Defender. Not warm beer, not even an understanding of cricket’s LBW law nor the baffling urge to have a hot cup of tea on an equally hot day. The official retirement of the much-loved automotive legend has rightly triggered a period of national mourning. For years this workhorse has not only transported us around the British countryside but also further afield on the Namibian plains and across the deserts of the Middle East.

Land Rover Defender – we salute you.

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