Cool, cult and classic

Cool, cult and classic

There are cult movies, like American Graffiti and Back to the Future, and there are cult cars, like the classic Land Rover Defender.

Can a car have a personality? Absolutely. And the same can be said for Land Rovers, right from the first generation.

The Land Rover Defender became a legend during its lifetime and after production ceased in 2016, it immediately gained the status of a cult car.

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The boxy, brick shaped off-roader has stood for freedom and independence for decades, epitomizing the appeal of the outdoors even when trapped in the densest urban confines. Its rarity in the United States has pushed it even further into the realm of exclusivity.

In terms of exclusivity the long list of people who owned this British legend include Sean Connery, Robin Williams and also member of the Royal family including Queen Elizabeth II.

The 100th machine off the Solihull line was given to King George VI, and the Queen was delivered her first Land Rover Series I shortly before her coronation 70 years ago in 1952, becoming an early adopter in a long list of often fanatical drivers, which included most of the royal family. And later Marilyn Monroe posed in her white version, and Steve McQueen was photographed by Life loading his up for a California camping trip.

Although they did not drive the bespoke V8 high-end version, which is highly sought after in the market nowadays, they added to the cult status of the car.

What makes it especially cool is that the Land Rover looks equally at home on the farm and in the city. Defenders have been used for all kinds of jobs, from remote farms to the airport as fire engines, to tow boats for the coastguard and even in battle.

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So the Defender really is the Swiss Army knife of utilitarian transportation and the longevity combined with incredible off-road capabilities made it very useful in the widest sense of the word. Not to mention the reliability, simplicity of service and cheap spare parts available worldwide. 

The simplicity of the Defender is one of its plus points, but at the same time you can spec it up at an aftermarket conversion company.

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Or you can choose a special set. For example here is this modified Land Rover Defender 110 and a Fantic Caballero Scrambler in the same color. The ten years old Defender came from the factory in the same Keswick Green it’s currently wearing. When not in use the Italian motorcycle rides in a rear-mounted rack on the back of the 110.

The project started with a standard 2012 Land Rover Defender 110, it was then given a slew of suspension upgrades including a 3 inch lift in the front, a 2 inch lift in the rear. The original wheels were removed and replaced with a set of genuine 1970s Range Rover 16 inch white steel wheels wrapped with chunky tires.

The Fantic Caballero Scrambler motorcycle has a 125cc four-valve, four-stroke engine. The dry weight of the bike is just 130 kilograms, or 286 lbs, it was likely chosen for its low weight which makes it ideal for off-road use, as well as making it easier to load onto the carrier mounted to the tow bar hitch of the Defender.

Peter Faidt

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