A unique Land Rover Defender has been produced to mark the two millionth vehicle to roll off the production line at the car-maker’s Solihull plant.
Defender 2,000,000 celebrates 67 years of continuous production at the Lode Lane factory for the vehicle that changed the face of motoring forever.
Originally launched in 1948 as the Series I, the vehicle has seen a number of incarnations while essentially remaining faithful to the original design blueprint and is now badged as the Defender.
This year marks the final year of production for the go-anywhere 4x4, as well as passing the two million production milestone.
The two millionth vehicle features a bespoke design and was in part actually put together by an all-star cast of special guests, who helped to complete the momentous build.
In May a team of life-long Defender fans were invited to join the Solihull production line to help build the vehicle, including adventurer Bear Grylls.
He said: “The Land Rover Defender has been there for me more times than I care to remember. They are so often the unsung heroes of our TV shows, working hard in the toughest conditions to get crew in and out of exceptionally challenging terrains.
“Known and respected by me and many other adventurers for their rugged reliability – it was an honour to be asked to take part in the build of this very special car.”
Representatives from the IFRC and Born Free also made the journey to Solihull to fit their part to the vehicle, including actress and founder of the Born Free Foundation Virginia McKenna.
Collectors and Defender fans will be given the opportunity to own this special piece of Land Rover’s history when it is auctioned by auction house, Bonhams.
Reflecting Defender’s heritage, all proceeds will be donated to Land Rover’s humanitarian and conservation partners – the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation.
The vehicle is being unveiled by Bonhams at Goodwood Festival of Speed, which runs from June 25-28June.
After a schedule of public appearances throughout the rest of the year, Defender 2,000,000 will be auctioned at the Bonhams auction house in New Bond Street, London on December 16.
Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Over 67 years, the Series Land Rover and in turn Defender has been the transport of choice for explorers, charity organisations, farmers and even royalty.
“Throughout history it has helped pioneers to reach the unreachable. What started life as an agricultural workhorse has transcended the automotive world to become a worldwide design icon.
“I was honoured to join the production line team in Solihull to help build this unique vehicle. It was a special experience which will no doubt become a fond memory.
“The auction of this milestone vehicle is an opportunity to own a piece of Land Rover’s history, as Defender enters its final phase of manufacturing in Solihull.
“Giving people the chance to buy this truly distinctive Defender to raise funds for the IFRC and Born Free Foundation is a suitable way to celebrate the role that Defender has played in supporting our humanitarian aid and conservation partners over the decades.”
Robert Brooks, Bonhams’ chairman, said: “Bonhams and Land Rover are quintessentially British brands, and so we are delighted to be auctioning the two-millionth Series Land Rover and Defender. It’s an honour to offer this landmark vehicle and I’ve no doubt there will be some spirited bidding.”
The Defender 2,000,000 vehicle features a plethora of distinctive finishing touches. A map of Red Wharf Bay – where the design for the original Land Rover was first drawn in the sand – is engraved into the aluminium fender. A ‘no 2,000,000’ badge sits on the rear of the vehicle, which is mirrored on the interior console.
Inside, the leather seats also feature the Red Wharf Bay graphic and no 2,000,000 logos have been stitched on the headrests.
A bespoke aluminium plaque, signed by everyone who helped to assemble the vehicle is fitted to the driver’s seat plinth.
On the front and rear, the vehicle features S90 HUE registration plates – a reference to the first ever pre-production Land Rover, registration ‘HUE 166’.