The last Land Rover Defender, icon of sturdy, utilitarian, resilient British design, will roll off the production line tomorrow (29 January) of its Solihull factory in England’s West Midlands. The beloved rugged 4×4 was scheduled to cease production last December, but the news sent a surge in demand and so the axe was suspended for a little while longer. But European Union fuel emission regulations demanded its demise after 68 years and over 2 million sales, making it one of Britain’s most popular home-grown vehicles.
Such is the popularity of the Land Rover that the 2,000,000th edition sold for a terrain-busting £400,000. The Landie’s box-section chassis and tough design features were originally intended to appeal to the agricultural market and it was indeed a hit amongst farmers far and wide – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has often been seen driving various Land Rovers on her rural estates in Scotland and Norfolk, as well as in formal settings such as reviewing her troops.