Today, after nearly 70 years, the legendary Defender will finally end production. There are few moments within the automotive timeline to weigh so heavy as this one. Perhaps the only other day to rivaled its significance was in 1948 when the first Land Rover Series I rolled off the line and into the annals of history.
It would be an epic undertaking to chronicle all that has been achieved by the iconic 4×4 from Solihull. It has served as a farm tool, work truck, ambulance, and everyday carriage. It has conquered the jungles of Asia, the sands of the Sahara, and virtually every other remote place on Earth. Militaries have relied on the Defender to deliver them down range, and more importantly, home again. The boxy outlines of the Land Rover Series in all of its iterations has portaged explorers, dignitaries, and royalty. From the Queen of England to Mic Jagger, it has been a loyal conveyance. It has been steadfast, faithful, and uniquely, unmistakably, proudly––British.
Because the first Land Rovers were so formidable and trusted by dauntless adventurers the world over, many people in the distant corners of the globe had never seen a vehicle until a Series from Solihull rambled into their villages. Few machines, vehicle or otherwise, have contributed so much to our sense of adventure as the vehicle many simply refer to as––a Land Rover.
It was a good run, and although it seems like this is the end, the sun will never set on the Land Rover. The millions of trucks to wear the green oval will continue to trundle along undeterred for decades to come.
Kingsley Holgate has traveled all of Africa in his Defender, doing humanitarian works along the way.
Kingsley Holgate is synonymous with Land Rover and rugged exploration.
The Queen of England has long been associated with Land Rovers.
The Royal Jordanian Military on parade.
As legendary as the Land Rover brand, Winston Churchill poses next to a Series I.
Mic Jagger knows how to travel in style.