Final Land Rover Defender Rolls Off English Assembly Line

It’s the end of an era for this classic off-roader.


Photo: Bonhams

The last Land Rover Defender—that fetishized 4X4 owned by actors, rock stars and royalty alike—rolled off an English assembly line Friday. 

Over its storied 68-year history, the boxy British off-roader sold two million vehicles and counted Paul McCartney, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery, Bill Murray, Ralph Lauren, Queen Elizabeth II and Fidel Castro among its famous fans. 

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A crowd of workers at the Jaguar Land Rover plant near Birmingham, England cheered as the last one rolled off the line with its lights flashing and horn blaring.

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Jaguar Land Rover did not say why the Defender—which hasn’t been available in the U.S. since 1997— is being discontinued, but it has been speculated that the model could no longer keep up with rigorous emission and safety regulations. 

It also took nearly 56 hours to produce the mostly hand-built Defender, making it far more time-consuming than other vehicles. 

While you reach for that Kleenex to shed a few final tears, enjoy this video of last year’s Defender Heritage Edition in action.