OWNERS of the iconic Land Rover Series and Defender are driving a vehicle that could well become one of the best investments in the motoring world as residual values have soared since production recently stopped.
For the Yorkshire based automotive valuation specialists CAP say that good examples of the Land Rover are already demanding a huge premium which is really good news for owners of Defenders and the earlier Series and 90 versions. Canny admirers of the Defender and the Series 1, 2 and 3 models which preceded the Defender name change in 1990 after starting production in 1948 have also been snapping them up and I know of one who has recently bought three old timers.
They need plenty of TLC but this will not be a massive problem for real Land Rover enthusiasts because their golden oldies could eventually prove to be a nice nest egg for them and better than a financial investment or playing the stock market. John Watts, senior editor at CAP, said: "We have already started to see an upward movement in trade values for Defender due to the anticipated demand and potential shortage following the cessation of production. "Over the longer term we expect retail buyers to keep their vehicles longer because they know that finding a replacement will be nigh on impossible. "Defender 90 versions are expected to be the highlight of the range since this model is closest to the original first production versions and Defenders with a 'premium' conversion will do exceptionally well." CAP say a three-year-old Defender 90 Hard Top with 30,000 miles on the clock which was valued at £11,600 average trade price last June is now worth around £12,300.
A Land Rover Defender 90 2.2d three door with 1000 miles on the clock which cost £17,000 plus VAT new is now listed at £30,000 which is a good indication of how this market sector is going. More than two million Series Land Rovers and Defenders were built at Solihull since 1948 and what began as simply a line drawing in the sand has gone on to become one of the world's most iconic 4x4s earning the accolade of being the most versatile vehicle on the planet. I drove one of the last Defenders to be built late last year and while it had been improved tremendously over the years it was still basically very much the same old Defender and it provided an enjoyable drive The Series Land Rover/Defender is the best off road 4x4 vehicle I have ever driven over extremely difficult terrain but while it was rather noisy and provided a very hard ride which was very noticeable especially on long road trips it still retained a charm all of its own which is why they are now legendary and values are appreciating.
Fact File Model: Land Rover Series and Defender.
First produced: 1948. Original cost: £450. Total production: Over two million.
Previous owners: The Queen and Sir Winston Churchill. Current values: The sky's the limit!