Sunday, 25 January 2015

Why I won't be investing in one of the last Land Rover Defenders

MY DAD reckons he’s had a brilliant idea for a bit of automotive investment. Buy one of the very last Land Rover Defenders, stick it in a shed somewhere and make a small fortune after unearthing it in about 20 years’ time. It’s a no-brainer, surely?

Anyone with even the vaguest interest in cars will know Land Rover’s workhorse is a British motoring institution. Despite being treated to new engine once every so often and being given the Defender name in 1990, it’s pretty much unaltered from when it was introduced more than 30 years ago. Whenit finally goes out of production this December it’ll be the end of an era.

There are however a couple of problems with my dad’s cunning scheme, the main one being that Defenders aren’t the cheap, rustic farming runarounds they used to be. Land Rover is seeing out is longest-serving modelwith a trio of special editions, the cheapest of which costs £28,000. The range-topping Autobiograhy version is an eye-watering £62,000, which is a lot of money for a car he’d like to stash away in a shed somewhere.

The other problem, of course, is there’s no guarantee it’d work. Everyone had pretty much the same idea when the Mini went out of production 14 years ago, and the result now is you don’t actually have to look very hard to find X-registered and W-registered Coopers with fewer than 1,000 miles on the clock. As a result, they’re worth barely any more than they were back in 2000.

Then there’s the vexing problem of what you’d actually do with a very old but – showroom fresh – car, because even popping to the shops will ruin the minimal mileage that makes it special. After 20 years of having a Land Rover not moving an inch, all anybody will want to do it is keep it in another shed or put in a museum, which defeats the point of it being a car.

If I were lucky enough to be able to afford one of the very last of the old-school Land Rovers, I’d take it down muddy tracks and use it to pull stranded motorists out of snowdrifts – in other words, using it for what it’s meant for.

Even if there was the remotest prospect of making a couple of quid in the distant future, I’d much rather be out there enjoying this fantastic British institution than hiding it away.


  1. RIGHT ON! These functional designes must be used and not put away.

  2. RIGHT ON! These functional designes must be used and not put away.

  3. I feel a lot more people need to read this, very good info!......
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