Following the successful reception of the all-new Land Rover Discovery model in 1989, it was decided to give the traditional Land Rover its own name: Defender. Making this more than merely a re-branding exercise was the introduction on the Defender of a new turbo diesel engine that brought with it useful increases in maximum power, torque, and fuel economy when compared with the old normally aspirated diesel it was based on. Now boasting bold 'Defender' logos, the Land Rover continued its seemingly inexorable process of development, gaining disc brakes and power assisted steering as standard during the 1990s together with a host of other improvements.
Despite, or perhaps because of, being recognisable related to the very first Land Rover of 1948, the Defender retained a steadfastly loyal customer base; indeed, in the UK in 2013 it even managed to out-sell the Range Rover. The incremental improvements mentioned above would continue to be made regularly until production of the traditional Land Rover Defender ceased in January 2016. Its successor is keenly awaited.
Over the years there have been countless Special Editions, one of the last being the 90 Heritage Hardtop, of which only 400 were produced. The Heritage Hardtop had been introduced to celebrate almost 68 years of production and the ending of Defender manufacture in January 2016. The Heritage boasted many special features including Grasmere Green paintwork used for the original, or so the story goes, because there were abundant supplies of this military-specification paint available. The Heritage also featured a black square on the wing with 'HUE 166' picked out in white lettering, referencing the registration of the first pre-production Land Rover. Other special features included the classic 'lightning bolt' Land Rover badge, the Heritage-style front grille, mud flaps, colour-matched wheels, and a white roof. Of the two versions produced - Station Wagon and Hardtop - the latter, as seen here, is the rarer.
One of the very last Defenders off the production line, this collectible 90 Heritage Hardtop has covered fewer than 30 miles in total and is presented in effectively 'as new' condition. Door hinge bolts changed to stainless steel and the provision of seat covers are the only notified deviations from factory specification. Offered with a V5C Registration Certificate, 'LH16 HUE' represents a wonderful opportunity to own a pristine example of the model that brought the curtain down on 68 years of Defender production.