Random image from my nature photos collection (cropped).
 
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Defender tribute page



Just a page in tribute to my (late) Land Rover Defender:

This is just a page that I've created to celebrate the best vehicle I have ever owned - the venerable Land Rover Defender. A truly peerless vehicle, and so much more than just "a car". In fact, it's practically unique in the motoring world, for its combination of utility and practicality. I'm not going to talk about the Defender in detail here, if you want more general information about Land Rovers, I suggest you look here.

I bought my Defender brand-new from a local dealership with a few minor modifications back in 2000. It was an enormous cost for me at the time, but I didn't care, as I'd wanted one ever since I was a small child. The day I took X758 DBU home was a very proud and emotional day for me!

My machine was a fairly stock Defender 90 TD5 Hardtop (i.e. short wheel-base, no seats in the back). Finished in classic Coniston Green with a white roof, it was the archetypal "farmer's Land Rover" and indeed (to my delight) I often got mistaken for a farmer whilst driving it around. Also (as in the photos below), I exchanged the white steel wheels for black ones. Inside was the normal "bare bones" ultra-basic hard-plastic interior (no stereo or carpets) which I used to laughingly refer to as "a totally hose-downable interior" (meaning it could be washed internally via a hosepipe without causing any damage).

And I used to really love driving it. It was a borderline nightmare to drive on the roads - poor visibility, meagre acceleration (and limited to 85mph max) and an enormous amount of body roll due to the extraordinary off-road abilities. Terrible fuel economy (about 25mpg) due to the lack of a proper overdrive ("5th gear") and scarily high CO2 emissions. But then take it off-road ... and there is nothing else that can beat it. A true legend. And British!

I wasn't a heavy "off-roader" ... certainly not someone who blasted around the countryside, tearing deep holes in the mud. I hate that! But what I hate even more, is people whom buy 4x4s and then only ever use them for "the school run" or the weekly shopping. I admit, most of my travel was commuting to work (and yes, there was a certain pleasure to be had parking a muddy Land Rover in the company car-park) but my Defender certainly did get its wheels dirty - and quite a bit too.

But really, the vehicle was bought as a means to an end - I found having a 4x4 with spacious cargo-carrying ability really useful for my various outdoors activities. But it was always a pleasure to climb into the cockpit - I could get a buzz just from sitting inside there and knowing it belonged to me. And the versatility of the Defender constantly came in very useful. I even used the rear cargo-area to "kip down in" once and get some sleep. A truly marvellous vehicle!

"And what happened?" you may be wondering. Well, that's where the story gets rather sad. Tragically, my Defender was stolen after just 6 months of ownership. It was taken during the night whilst parked outside my house, and never recovered. I was both stunned and heartbroken. Sadly, one of the Defender's greatest strengths, is also it's greatest weakness. Due to it's unique modular design (i.e. it's very easily modified) it can be easily disassembled and thus broken-into. Security has never been a strong-point, but even if it were, modern car thieves are extremely adept at obtaining even the most robust of motors, so I really had no chance. I guess I could have bought another ... but I never felt able to, and still feel reluctant even now after many years. We shared great times together, but I'm not sure I could bring myself to replace it. Times have moved on, and so (reluctantly) have I.

Anyway, I would just like to share a few photos of my late Defender. Please note that these are scanned images of paper photographs, so may not appear very good quality.


Photo taken on George's Lane, Horwich (near Bolton) during late summer.


Photo taken in Senecar Lane, Haigh (near Wigan) during late summer.


Photo taken on Landgate Lane, Ashton-in-Makerfield (near Wigan) during winter.


Well, whatever happened to my poor Defender (I suspect shipped overseas, or disassembled for parts) I can only hope whomever the new owner was, it brought them as much pleasure and joy as it brought me.


R.I.P. Delta-Bravo-Uniform.



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