Expedition Portal Classifieds: V8 Defender 130

If finding a clean Defender 130 for under $100,000 in the United States is difficult, finding one with a professionally installed V8 and matching drivetrain is nearly impossible. Yet they do show up every now and then, and we recently stumbled upon this great example in the for sale section of our forums. It’s a 1985 high-capacity pickup imported from the Netherlands in 2013, and owned by a few Land Rover enthusiasts since. Over the course of the last 4 years it has been overhauled and updated in a variety of ways, including an LS motor, new wiring, upgraded seats, a new gauge cluster, and so much more. Although motor swaps usually give me pause, the photos of this engine bay indicate that this might be one of the better examples we’ve seen; it utilizes organized wiring and a very logical layout. While the owner is sure to point out that it isn’t cosmetically perfect, this Defender seems ready to take you on your next adventure, and is currently available for an asking price of $67,000 USD. For more information and photos, follow the link at the bottom of the article.

1985 HCPU 130 Defender, 5.3L 6-speed automatic Conversion, RHD

Price $67,000


Conversion completed in 2016
Gen IV LS 5.3L (LC9), completely rebuilt, DOD delete with GM 6L80E transmission. Complete drivetrain from a 2012 pickup with @27,000 miles, ecm, wire harness, trans controller and gas pedal.
Custom speartech shifter with tap ship capability.
Nicholas Markiw conversion radiator, T-Case adaptor plate, motor mounts, etc.
High-pressure fuel pump, custom braided fuel lines, etc.
New power steering box
Custom professional wiring harness
Painless fuse box and wiring assembly
Aluminum radiation with twin electric fans
Transmission cooler
Ceramic coated Hooker headers and 2.5-inch stainless Magnaflow “off-road,” Stainless vband clamps, and welds
Dyno tuned and engine management by Dr. Detroit (have dyno sheets)

Front seats are trimmed with black leather, Exmoor trim kits, and new foam.
Waterproof seat covers
Factory rear fold/tumble bench seat
Tuffy center console with sub controller and Bluetooth stereo/amp
Pioneer powered sub, driver side seat box
New seat belts
Floor matting
Wireless backup camera
Dakota VXH-1018 analog/digital gauge cluster system with BIM-01-2
Interior safety device cage (included but not installed, bolt in, with frame mounts)

Body, frame, outriggers, seatbox, cross member are all in good shape.
Bulkhead floors had small holes so they were cut out and new galvanized pieces were welded in and painted to match the truck.
Door frame bottoms had surface rust and small imperfections. The door bottoms were repaired and a new door channel welded in.
Truck has new felt window channels on the doors, new hinges, and hardware as well as all new door seals.
The rear cross member was replaced by the previous owner and very well done.
Steel wolf wheels w/brand-new BFG KM2′s. Full-size matching spare
Galvanized rear hoop set and grey PVC soft top over bed.
ARB bull bar winch bumper
9,500-pound winch with synthetic line, new
LED driving/off-road lights
LED high and low beam headlight conversion
LED running, turn, reverse, and brake lights
Genuine Land Rover HD front coil springs
New shock absorbers
HD steering linkage and ball joints
Differential skid guards, galvanized
2-inch hitch/receiver
HD hood and wing top protectors, black powdercoat


The truck is not perfect and has minor dings and dents but is in very good shape. Body is honest with original paintwork and patina.

Truck is mechanically sound and impressive. Work was completed by LSX competent shop specializing in LS conversion/racing applications. Approximately 2,400 flawless miles on vehicle since completion. Have a good bit of paperwork.

Truck was legally imported from Netherlands in 2013 by reputable importer, owned by a few Defender enthusiasts, and currently has a clean/clear Virginia title in my name, fully insured through Hagerty.

For more information, please see the original for sale ad here!

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.