It would be an understatement to say that the launch of the new Defender has caused a bit of a commotion amongst the overland community. Many people have expressed concerns over the complexity of the redesigned platform, and many people are not fans of the new look. (Just in case you have missed it, we have a 200+ pages thread on this topic here.)
So for those of you who are longing for the good old days of Land Rover and truly want to drive a Defender in its purest form, we think it’s time to put your money where your mouth is because we have found the holy grail, and it does not get more “pure” than this.
What we are excited to present here today as part of our Overland :: Classifieds “series” a 1983 Land Rover Series III with a 2.25 diesel N/A that has spent most of its adventurous existence in its original form.
Let’s run through why we think many of you will appreciate this fine example of Land Rover heydays.
Let’s start with the engine. Many people have expressed disdain at the new Defender V8 512HP being only a “Chelsey tractor.” That won’t be a problem here. The one we are presenting today has about 70 horsepower, so you may be crawling on the freeway, but you will certainly not be perceived as a mall crawler.
Then there are the electronics. The new Defender has apparently 85 different ECU and computers.
This one has none.
Afraid of electrical components breaking down? This Series III has no A/C, no radio, no heated seat, no camera, no lane assist, no airbag, nothing. It barely has windshield wipers. Power window? How about sliding windows instead. Power door locks? You’re lucky to even have a door. Wading depth sensor? As long as the water stays below the dash, you’re good to go.
Everyone in the 4×4 community wants solid axles, and this one checks that box too. It even has front and back suspension leaf springs. You may be bouncing up and down the road, but you’ll do it with class and respect.
Not sure if you can fit mud-terrain tires on the 21-inch wheels of the new Defender? You won’t have to worry about this with this vehicle; it comes with old-school Firestone 7.50-16 all terrains. Now that will impress the service department at Big O Tires.
Manual transmission? Check. Low/High range? Check. Selectable 2WD/4WD? Check. Manual overdrive? Check. All independently controlled? Check again.
If you want to prove to your friends on this forum how things were so much better before and everything is ruined now that you can simply select a terrain mode with a dial, you won’t find a better platform.
Not that it could ever happen, but here is a great reference for when you are confused between the red, yellow, and black levers (all image credits to the author through LegionLandRover.com). Who needs a headrest monitor with video games when you have this to entertain your kids?
Not sure about paying a premium for the new Defender “Gondwana Stone Metallic” color? This one comes in brown and beige, which happens to match the surrounding savanna in Botswana. No fancy name. No extra fee. How authentic is that?
Do you think the front three-seater arrangement of the new Defender is a cool option but are not sure if it’s good value? You won’t have to pay anything to seat three across and four in the back in this 1984 Series III. It does come standard with a few lap belts in front, but as far as safety goes, you are the one in charge of your destiny.
Look at this seating arrangement! Take your six best friends with you, and your Friday happy hour trips to the pub will never be the same.
It even comes with the Safari (or Tropical) roof and the front spare tire on the hood.
I mean, is there anything else we need to say?
Just looking at it makes us feel like we are driving Kim Basinger around on the set of “I Dreamed of Africa.”
This Series III is located in Belgium, but the seller has experience shipping vehicles to the USA, so don’t let that stop you. He is asking 12,750 euros and will consider a local trade for a newer SUV for his family.
Even perhaps a new Defender.
Head over to this posting on our forum to contact Matt.