The Land Rover Defender 90 Heritage was a special edition series based on the iconic 4×4 platform that started in 1998. Land Rover occasionally created special Defenders to mark special occasions or as a hat tip to their history, and the Heritage edition was bookended by the Defender 50th, and the Tomb Raider Defender of 2000.
The Heritage Defender featured body-coloured alloy wheels and wing mirrors, a unique front grill, and silver-painted door and windscreen hinges. The styling was designed to be closer to the original Land Rovers from 1948, and they’ve since been very popular with collectors and enthusiasts.
Land Rover launched the original line of Defenders in 1983 as the Ninety and the One Ten, from 1991 onwards the badges were updated to include the Defender name, to avoid confusion as the number of models being built by Land Rover continued to increase.
The Defenders were a direct descendant of the original Land Rovers from the post-WWII period, with significant updates to chassis, suspension, engines, gearboxes and interiors. Many consider the tough-as-nails model to be the greatest 4×4 ever built by anyone, anywhere – but most can agree that it’s a genuine British icon with serious off-roading ability.
The restored Defender 90 Heritage you see here is a 2003 model fitted with the bullet-proof turbo diesel 200Tdi and manual 5-speed gearbox. The attention to detail during the restoration was exceptional, in fact I’d suggest that it’s in better condition now that it would have been new – thanks to the newly trimmed interior, new mohair soft top, and hefty Goodyear Wrangler tires.
Land Rover stopped building the Defender this year, and the DNA-link to the original Land Rovers will now be forever severed – as the replacement Defender that’s currently in development will be a blank-slate redesign. This has meant that original Defenders are now in demand, especially stunningly presented examples like this one. If you’d like to read more about it or buy it yourself, you can click here to visit Cool n’ Vintage.