The Land Rover Defender was launched in 1948 and, incredibly,
production only finished in January 2016 after a continuous run of
67 years. Outwardly, there is little to distinguish the post-1983
vehicles from the Series III Land Rover. A full-length bonnet,
revised grille, plus the fitting of wheel arch extensions to cover
wider-track axles are the most noticeable changes.
Internally, coil springs offered a more comfortable ride and a
permanent four-wheel drive system derived from the Range Rover
featuring a two-speed transfer gearbox with a lockable centre
differential. A modernised interior and a new series of
progressively more powerful and modern engine characterised things
under the skin. The County 4x4s were sold as multi-purpose family
vehicles featuring improved interior trim and more comfortable
seats. The Tdi engine finally allowed the Defender to cruise
comfortably at high speeds, as well as tow heavy loads speedily on
hills while still being economical. In 1998, the Defender was
fitted with an all-new 2.5-litre, five-cylinder in-line
turbo/diesel engine, badged the Td5.
This striking example was once the property of the Land Rover
Special Vehicles department as all vehicles from there carried
'TOA' on their number plate and was is thought, though not
confirmed, to be the Tomb Raider developmental vehicle. It has
every conceivable option fitted including full external roll-cage,
roo-bars and full length roof rack. Spot lights, side steps,
all-terrain tyres and four fold-down, side-facing rear seats. Owned
by the vendor for the last five years and part of a private
collection, this completely usable example with particularly low
mileage, presents in good order throughout and comes complete with
a full 12 month MoT test certificate, UK V5C and owners pack.
Interested parties should note that this registration
number is to be retained and (probably) the original 'TOA'
numberplate issued instead.