Own the car that signalled the end for the Defender in America

When the US authorities decided the Land Rover Defender was simply too antiquated to sell on its own soil, the classic 4x4’s maker announced a run-out special edition 90 called the North American Specification, of which just 300 were built. The very last of those 300 cars built is now for sale…

How do you fancy owning the last Land Rover Defender to be officially imported to the United States? Well, number 300 of the 300 North American Specification (NAS) 90s built is heading to auction with Gooding & Company in Scottsdale, Arizona later this week. Before the American government outlawed the cult-classic 4x4 in the late-1990s because of its lack of US-required passive restraint systems, the Defender was a rare and highly sought-after alternative to the ubiquitous Jeep. As you can imagine, afterwards it became a veritable collector’s item. 

All 300 of the Defender 90 NASs were painted Willow Green with a white roof and grey interior. Where the final car differs is that it’s fitted with a heavy-duty winch, four Hella spotlights and a factory-fitted automatic gearbox and air-conditioning system. Perhaps more importantly, it’s only covered 36,000 miles and presents as such. We don’t tend to wholeheartedly agree with auction house descriptions, but when Gooding & Company describes this car as ‘a truly singular opportunity’, who are we to argue? 

Photos: Gooding & Company

This 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 NAS Limited Edition will be sold by Gooding & Company at its Scottsdale Auctions on 17–18 January 2020. You can find the entire catalogue for the sale listed in the Classic Driver Market