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OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the arts From houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Marking 2 million

2 millionth Land Rover to be auctioned for charity on 16th December by Bonhams in London

 

Though its future has been killed off by the EU’s emissions legislation, the Land Rover Defender will forever remain one of the most iconic vehicles ever made. Now, one of the vehicles produced to mark its demise – the 2 millionth Series Land Rover and Defender model produced at Solihull since 1948 – is to be auctioned for charity on 16th December.

 

Land Rover - 2 million - Defender - Bonhams - 16th December 2015
The 2 millionth Land Rover on offer

 

Offered by Bonhams at a single lot sale at their New Bond Street auction house, the car – registration S90 HUE in reference to the first pre-production Land Rover, HUE 166, its home in Solihull and this car’s 90-inch wheelbase – is unique in that it was constructed by 33 notable figures from Land Rover’s past and present. Amongst those to participate were the adventurer Bear Grylls, who fitted the wheels, whilst the Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis fitted the rear seats and lights and the actress Virginia McKenna fitted the registration plates.

 

Unique features include no. 2 million badges on the rear of the vehicle, on the interior console and stitched into the headrests and an engraved map of Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey on the car’s front fender in homage to the birthplace of the Land Rover. It is finished in Indus Silver satin paint with Santorini Black wheel and wheel arches, roof, door hinges, grille and mirror caps.

 

Land Rover - 2 million - Defender - Bonhams - 16th December 2015
The interior of the car
Land Rover - 2 million - Defender - Bonhams - 16th December 2015
A plaque features the signatures of those who participated in the vehicle’s construction

 

Proceeds from the sale will be donated in their entirety to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Born Free Foundation. The car is offered with no reserve and no buyer’s premium will be charged on the hammer price.

 

 

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Comments

6 comments on “Marking 2 million”

  1. It may be the 2 millionth but it is not made the way it was in the past. All my farmer friends with Defenders under 5 years old have terrible rust problems in the latest generation chassis which are half the thickness they used to be and made from the lowest quality steel Land Rover could find, whereas a 20 year old one will still be solid.Plus the latest engines are total junk as well and break down all the time due to their particle filters and complex electronics. I am sorry but strip away the emotion and the nostalgia and all you have is an unreliable, fragile piece of ridiculously overpriced junk. Every countryman I know who actually has experience of them in the field rather than on the streets of Chelsea (incidentally my family have owned 4 of them back in the day when there was no choice) is saying thank God they are finally going at long last and bloody good riddance!

  2. It is very rare to hear negative comments about the Defender like the one above from Charles Mitford.

    I love the Defender! Everyone I know who owns one, love the Defender. From Africa to Scotland and from Ireland to Denmark. Whether it is for army or farming use. In the English country side everyone who drives one is smiling. The defender works and is reliable and has that nostalgic charm on top of it.

    I think it is worth celebrating that the British made one of the most iconic and world wide loved cars of all time

    1. Soren, with respect you did not read my comment correctly. The old Defender up until 5 years ago was just OK ish, the newer ones however are a disaster. That said you clearly have no practical experience of any of them if you regard them as reliable! The Defender model was never remotely reIiable if actually USED for it’s intended purpose as a work horse rather than a posing machine.! people put up with them only because there were no 4WD alternatives with a 3.5 tonne tow rating. Thank God there are now several alternatives. Things were so dire that the MOD refused to order anymore Defenders unless Land Rover leased them to them with a full maintenance package and took responsibility for their endless faults. Land Rover responded by creating the military Wolf version which they had to fit with a totally different chassis made of real steel, a different engine, gearbox and axles because now they would actually have to fix the bloody things themselves! They called it the Wolf because the senior engineer said “OMG this MOD order is going to bite us in the arse!”. Sorry Soren but your view is nostalgic nonsense, no one in the real countryside goes around driving Defenders with a smile, a few weekend Londoners playing at being the country gent in Gloucestershire may, but real working people who have to use them everyday as serious vehicles are too busy cursing them and wishing they had something that didn’t keep breaking down. I have out of necessity, owned 2 new Defenders, both of which were total rubbish, and have driven scores of them all over the world. My family has had every Land Rover model since 1948 so I do know what I am talking about. Rose tinted spectacles do not make a good vehicle. I hope this 2 millionth one goes to a museum because that is where it belongs, and even there it will find a way to self destruct.

    2. I think Mr Cust was discussing the latter day versions of the model. I suspect he is correct and models built in the last decade or two are badly made with poor quality materials.
      Nothing beats a Landcruiser

      1. Precisely Peter, the Landcruiser is a reliable machine. Once it was launched in Australia, many years ago, 90 per cent of the population who had to rely on a 4WD swapped their Land Rovers for them.When I rode a motorbike around Australia I found a well weathered but official road sign in the outback on a stretch of particularly treacherous desert which quite seriously stated ” Road closed to all vehicles except Landcruisers”. Says it all!

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