SOLIHULL, England - A unique vehicle has been built to commemorate UK assembly of the two-millionth Series Land Rover and Defender to celebrate 67 years of production.
The special model will be known as the ‘Defender 2 000 000’ and has a bespoke design and an all-star cast of special guests who helped to complete the momentous build.
The occasion? It serves as a tribute to almost 70 years of production at the Land Rover Solihull plant in the English Midlands.
SOLIHULL PLANT HONOURED
In December 2015 the ‘Defender 2 000 000’ will be auctioned to give collectors and Defender fans an opportunity to own this unique piece of Land Rover’s history.
All proceeds will be donated to Land Rover’s humanitarian and conservation partners – the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation.
Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: "Over 67 years the Series Land Rover and in turn Defender has been the transport of choice for explorers, charity organisations, farmers and even royalty. Throughout history it has helped pioneers to reach the unreachable.
"What started life as an agricultural workhorse has transcended the automotive world to become a worldwide design icon. I was honoured to join the production line team in Solihull to help build this unique vehicle. It was a special experience which will no doubt become a fond memory.
"The auction of this milestone vehicle is an opportunity to own a piece of Land Rover’s history, as Defender enters its final phase of manufacturing in Solihull. Giving people the chance to buy this truly distinctive Defender to raise funds for the IFRC and Born Free Foundation is a suitable way to celebrate the role that Defender has played in supporting our humanitarian aid and conservation partners over the decades."
During May 2015 a number of life-long Defender fans were invited to join the build team at Solihull to help build this one-off off-roader, among them adventurer Bear Grylls.
Commenting while on the production line, Grylls said: "The Land Rover Defender has been there for me more times than I care to remember. They are so often the unsung heroes of our TV shows, working hard in the toughest conditions to get crew in and out of exceptionally challenging terrain.
"They are known and respected by me and many other adventurers for their rugged reliability – it was an honour to be asked to take part in the build of this very special car."
Representatives from the IFRC and Born Free also made the journey to Solihull to fit their part to the vehicle, among them actress and founder of the Born Free Foundation Virginia McKenna OBE.
The 'Defender 2 000 000' has a plethora of distinctive finishing touches: including a map of Red Wharf Bay – where the design for the original Land Rover was first drawn in the sand – is engraved into the aluminium fender, which contrasts with the exterior Indus Silver satin paint. A unique 'No. 2 000 000' badge features on the rear of the vehicle.
The design is finished with Santorini Black wheels and wheel arches, roof, door hinges, grille and mirror caps.
Inside are leather seats that continue the 'Red Wharf Bay' motif and '2 000 000' logoshave been stitched into the head restraints. A bespoke aluminium plaque, signed by everybody who helped to assemble the vehicle, is fitted to the driver’s seat plinth. On the front and rear, S90 HUE registration plates – a reference to the first pre-production Land Rover, registration 'HUE 166' – complete this one-of-a-kind Land Rover Defender.
The 'Defender 2 000 000' will be publicly unveiled by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed over June 25-28 2015. After completing a schedule of public appearances throughout the rest of the year the unique off-roader will be auctioned at a prestige charity event held at Bonhams in New Bond Street, London, on December 16.
DEFENDER 2 000 000: This very special Land Rover Defender, the two-millionth model to role out of the Solihull plant, will be auctioned in December 2015 to raise money for the British brand's conservation partners. Image: Land Rover UK