Land Rover has created a truly unique vehicle to commemorate the UK production of the two-millionth Series Land Rover and Defender, after 67 years of production.
The ‘Defender 2,000,000’ has been created as a tribute to almost seven decades of Land Rover production in the Solihull plant and an all-star cast of special guests were on hand to help create the bespoke, one-off design.
Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover, Dr Ralph Speth, said: “Over 67 years, the Series Land Rover and in turn Defender has been the transport 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.”
In May 2015, several life-long Defender fans were invited to join Dr Ralph Speth on the production line at Solihull to help build the one-of-a-kind Defender, including world famous adventurerBear Grylls.
Grylls 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.”
Joining Bear Grylls on the production line was representatives from Land Rover’s humanitarian and conservation partners, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation. Born Free was represented by actress and founder, Virginia McKenna OBE.
Other star guests included TV entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, TV Presenter and Land Rover UK Ambassador Adam Henson, and Captain of the HMS Defender, Commander Stephen Higham.
The ‘Defender 2,000,000’ vehicle includes a wide array of distinctive finishing touches. A map of the Red Wharf Bay – the location where the original Land Rover design was first drawn in the sand – has been engraved into the aluminium fender, contrasting well with the exterior Indus Silver satin paint. A ‘no 2,000,000’ badge features on the rear of the vehicle and interior console and the design is completed with the addition of Santorini Black wheels, wheel arches, roof, door hinges, grille and mirror caps.
The interior features leather seats with the ‘no 2,000,000’ logo and the ‘Red Wharf Bay’ graphic embroided onto the headrests. An aluminium plaque, signed by everyone who played a part in the creation of the vehicle, has been fitted to the driver’s seat plinth. S90 HUE registration plates on the front and rear provide a reference to the first ever pre-production Land Rover, registration ‘HUE 166’.
Defender fans and Collectors will have the opportunity to own this unique slice of Land Rover history when it is auctioned by globally renowned auction house, Bonhams, in December 2015. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the IFRC and the Born Free Foundation.
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 on 16 th December at our global headquarters in New Bond Street. It’s an honour to offer this landmark vehicle and I’ve no doubt there will be some spirited bidding.”