The two-millionth Land Rover Defender was recently sold for £400,000 at a Bonhams auction in London. The buyer, who lives in Qatar, has paid the highest-ever price for a production-spec Defender and all the proceeds will go to Land Rover’s humanitarian and conservation partners, Born Free Foundation and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Robert Brooks, Bonhams Chairman, said: “It’s a great privilege for Bonhams to have been selected by Land Rover to offer this historically significant, one-of-a-kind Defender at auction. Following spirited bidding, the gavel finally fell to a delighted bidder on the telephone, achieving an excellent six-figure sum for two wonderful charitable causes.”
Apart from its historical production number, there are several aspects about the Defender that make it special. It was commissioned by Land Rover to celebrate 67 years of production and gets a completely bespoke design executed by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations team. Furthermore, an all-star cast of 33 notable figures from Land Rover’s past and present came together to hand-build the car at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull facility in the United Kingdom.
Adventurer Bear Grylls fitted the wheels, entrepreneur and Defender owner Theo Paphitis fitted the rear seats and lights, actress Virginia McKenna fitted the registration plates and the VIN plate was fitted by JLR CEO Ralf Speth. Since most milestone Land Rovers like the millionth unit, were never offered for sale, this is one of the few going to a member of the public.
A map of Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey is found on the car’s front fender and an unique ‘no. 2,000,000’ badge is placed at the rear of the vehicle. The Ebony Windsor leather seats also feature the Red Wharf Bay graphic and so do the door grabs and the fascia grab. In case you are wondering, it was on the beach at Red Wharf Bay that Maurice Wilks first drew the outline of a Land Rover in the sand.
Finally, an aluminium plaque, signed by everyone who helped to assemble the vehicle, is fitted to the driver’s seat plinth. High quality material is used inside the cabin with leather and machined aluminium finishes to the fascia, steering wheel, gear knob, handbrake and door casings.
The production of the Defender ends in Q1 2016 and will be followed by a new model in 2018.