A limited run of up to 150 re-engineered V8-powered versions of the Land Rover Defender has been announced, celebrating the marque’s 70th anniversary.
The very last Land Rover Defender has rolled off the production line in Solihull.
To mark the occasion Land Rover invited more than 700 current and former Solihull employees involved in the production of Series Land Rover and Defender vehicles to celebrate the end of a remarkable run for the Defender.
Reg number H166 HUE, a nod to first Series 1 Defender from 1948 which featured the registration plate HUE 166, was celebrated as it came to the end of the line. Sixty-eight years young, the Defender was launched at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show, and was still going strong, however tighter regulations on vehicle emissions has finally caught up with the automotive icon.
Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, said: "Today we celebrate what generations of men and women have done since the outline for the Land Rover was originally drawn in the sand. The Series Land Rover, now Defender, is the origin of our legendary capability, a vehicle that makes the world a better place, often in some of the most extreme circumstances. There will always be a special place in our hearts for Defender, among all our employees, but this is not the end. We have a glorious past to champion, and a wonderful future to look forward to."
Exported all over the world, owners range from the Queen to James Bond, however the last model (H166 HUE) is destined for JLR’s Heritage Collection. The last of the current Defender vehicles includes an original part that has been used on Soft Top specifications since 1948 - the hood cleat. The vehicle will be housed in the Jaguar Land Rover Collection.
At the same time, Land Rover announced a new Heritage Restoration Programme, which will be based on the site of the existing Solihull production line. A team of experts, including some long serving Defender employees, will oversee the restoration of a number of Series Land Rovers sourced from across the globe. The first vehicles will go on sale in July 2016.