This Defender is pretty damn special...but still!
The Land Rover Defender is one of the most iconic 4x4s ever made. Full stop. Speaking of full stops, production at the automaker’s Solihull plant in England is ending after 67 years. To celebrate, Defender No. 2,000,000—if you count the Series models made from 1948 to 1985 at the plant—was auctioned off by Bonhams at an event in London. The proceeds went to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation.
The winning bid came from a Qatari and checked in at £400,000 ($595,944.00). This Defender was designed with the help of Land Rover brand ambassadors Bear Grylls (celebrity survivalist) and Virginia McKenna OBE (a British actress and conservationist). Stephen and Nick Wilks, sons of Maurice Wilks who designed the first Land Rover, also helped out. The boxy off-roader features an engraved map of Red Wharf Bay, the location where the original 4x4 was said to be sketched in sand. There is also “no. 2,000,000” badging. Both the engraving and badging can be found on the leather seats inside. There’s also an aluminum plaque on the driver’s seat signed by everyone who assembled the Defender.
The license plates read “S90 HUE,” a throwback to the plates of the original pre-production Land Rover that read “HUE 166.” Spending over half a million to buy what ostensibly seems to be a regular defender with cool badging and plaques sounds silly but remember this is a piece of history and the funds go towards good causes. The IFRC plans to use the money to help people in southeast Nepal become more prepared for natural disasters, and the Born Free Foundation plans to help fund a lion and wildlife protection program for Meru National Park in Kenya.