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Thread: Can we talk about 25 year old Defenders?

  1. #1

    Default Can we talk about 25 year old Defenders?

    I have noticed plenty of 25 year old Defenders on ebay and LRX.com Many near where I live

    Anyone have any comments on this?

    I have a place to stay and friends in the UK

    Is it realistic to hit the Island and maybe swap out some part on a 25 year old Defender and ship it over?

    Finding a 1984 or 1985 Defender in England isn't that hard or expensive despite our exchange rate

    by the way converting an engine to a tdi over there only costs about 5K$ US and most already come with diesels


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Anchorage, AK
    My main issue is you're limited right now to a single year of Defender 110. If you go over there, your choices are severly limited. We're talking about a 25 year old vehicle on an island known for rain, so corrosion is certainly an issue (frame and bulhead primarily). There's also the problem of mileage on the various moving parts, so maintenance will be another issue. Obviously MOT inspections will keep them to a certain standard, but that might not be the standard you're looking for when all is said and done.

    I think the questions you need to ask for yourself are how much you are willing to spend on the whole project, how long can you afford to stay in-country working on the vehicle pre-shipment, and what resources will you have at your disposal when you're there (garage space, tools...).

    You could check with an importer like ECR to see if they will be bringing over vehicles in the near future.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Mike

    You could check with an importer like ECR to see if they will be bringing over vehicles in the near future.
    Mike at ECR will answer questions on importation but is not in the business of importing trucks for resale. He won't talk grey or black market either. He posted a similar quip on D-90 not too long ago. I think it's the Early 110 thread

    Mike also relayed that the docks know D110s as more have entered and are becoming stricter with them. So make sure it is the correct year.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    For people who are mechanically inclined, importing a container full of parts to use as a project here in the states is a feasible and legal thing that can be done. Rebuilding a wrecked 90, rebuilding a 109 or assembling parts and making it a kit car are all ways of doing it. One can buy a galvy 110/130 frame and build a beautiful truck. ECR is probably not the best source of information as they are in the business of doing exactly that and probably don't have the time or feel the need to instruct people on how they do business.

    Last edited by Blair G; 04-21-2008 at 07:50 PM.

  5. #5
    I thought it was a subject worth discussing.

    Any related suggestions ideas I'm sure would be appreciated

    I live in Vermont so Rover support here with euro connections is BIG!

    on another note it might be less costly to just upgrade a 2003/2004 Discovery to a TDI since they are now selling for 7K$

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Park City, Utah
    Correct, ECR will not (and should not).

    Anyway, correct about the Land Rover frames rotting out. It would be quite a find even in England to find a decent one. I have long explored this myself, and then it will still be RHD. Engine conversions even in England can be done shotty and used engines can have issues as well, even if it is a TDi. I would wait a year or two. Much like the Australian Land Cruiser troopies, there will be some neat ones coming shortly and it will open up some options. I would also check and/or drive one local first and really give it a thorough check to see if you can handle and you will expect what you are getting with a 25 year old truck even if it is a "Defender." Just my $.02...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    1. Go to Spain.
    2. Find a rust-free truck.
    3. Import.
    Michael Slade

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Anchorage, AK
    You know, that is a valid point. As a kit car it would be easier to import, although registration and insurance may be more difficult if you go that route.

    Are there Defenders in Canada of the right vintage? Perhaps a MOD import?

  9. #9
    While I agree it is not easy you can still find early 110s in good condition. My brother has one in the UK but before you ask it is not for sale. It can be very time consuming to hunt down a good truck yourself so, with that in mind, I would look at some of the more reputable companies to do the leg work for you with the understanding that there is a cost penalty.

    This company has had a lot of good feedback as they tend to hunt down the cream of the crop. They can also do everything from a general service to a rebuild to better than new condition. In the long run it will certainly save you hassle and, as they have experience of the export market, it may save you money too.


    These people seem to specialize more in the coilers.


    My advice would be to wait for 2-3 years after which the potential market available to choose from is much bigger.

    You can import any truck over 25 years old. The most important thing is to have a complete paper trail for proof of year of build from Land Rover, proof of legal ownership, proof of payment of import taxes etc. etc. On my 101 I have had to prove its legal status 3 times in 8 years. This is mostly because government employees seem to confuse 101 and 110.

    It behooves you to do your research before import as the truck will have to meet emissions standards for your area for the year of build. For states running a rolling year exemption this may not be an issue but some, like Arizona, have a cut off date (1967 in this case). The EPA can also get mighty funky about what is acceptable with diesels.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Upstate NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Slade
    1. Go to Spain.
    2. Find a rust-free truck.
    3. Import.

    ditto for Italy. LHD is a bonus with continental trucks. Italy was/is a huge export market for Land Rovers. England isn't the only source for these things.

    1944 Willys MB
    1965 SIIa 88"
    1970 SIIa 88" RIP
    1971 FJ-40
    1973 SIII 88" RIP
    1975 Ex MOD 109" Ambulance/GS project
    1989 Range Rover (Xs 2)
    Blah, blah, blah...

    Originally Posted by R_Lefebvre
    Being stranded with near zero warning is just not cool, especially if you're going off-pavement.

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