1989 Land rover DEFENDER 90

 

AT A GLANCE

ENGINE:  2.5L four cylinder turbodiesel
TRANSMISSION:  5-speed manual with 2-speed 4WD transfer case
MILEAGE:  130.698 km (81,032 miles)
EXTERIOR:  Chamonix White with Black NATO style wheels
INTERIOR:  Black with "Manhattan" stripe cloth
PRICE:  $24,500
 

 

what does it look like?

With low original mileage, no rust, and a recent cosmetic refurbishment, this Defender is beautiful, tastefully updated and has outstanding curb appeal.  The Chamonix White paint is recent and done to an excellent standard and the aluminum bodywork is original, straight and undamaged.  All doors open and close as they should, latches and locks work correctly with the original keys and panel gaps are perfect.  Matte black diamond plate features on the tops of the front fenders and in the rear cargo area, and although the 5th NATO wheel is currently mounted on the rear hatch, the hood incorporates wheel bumpers is ready to accept a spare wheel with only the need for the vertical posts.

Black NATO-style wheels are new and have been fitted with new oversize tubeless off road tires.  Rear short bumpers have been added, and the nose features a "final edition" grille with all new lighting.

The chassis and frame rails are entirely rust free and always have been.  There is no rust in the longitudinals, crossmembers, bulkheads, floors or doors, and all frame components are free from dents or other damage that would indicate heavy off road use.

Inside, the original all-black interior has been replaced with new seats foams covered in factory-style black on the sides and backs of the seats, and "Manhattan" stripe cloth in the seat centers and door panels.  The dashboard is original and undamaged and all gauges and lights work as original.

Inside and out it is a handsome and rugged looking 90 with elegant and modern touches that allow it to stand out in a crowd.

 

what's it like to drive?

There is a reason why the Land Rover Defender is a legend, and you get a feel for it after just a few moments behind the wheel.  Rugged and feeling immensely tough at all times, the Defender also offers modern touches that allow it to be perfectly useable in a modern context and perfectly capable of everyday use.

The 2.5L "Diesel turbo" engine in this 1989 example fires instantly with only slight warming of the glow plugs needed, and idles beautifully with no undue smoke or noise.  The clutch is light and takes up progressively, and the gearchange is extremely slick and direct - possibly the best gearchange of any Defender we have driven.  Underway the lusty torque of the engine makes keeping up with traffic a breeze on any roadways, and the cabin maintains high levels of isolation and comfort.  The long travel coil spring suspension and AWD system are as adept at handling potholes and train crossings as they are Saharan dunes and Amazonian mud, and progress is easy in all conditions.  In everyday driving there is the perpetual feeling that you are in a vehicle which is dipping into less than a tiny fraction of its capabilities, but it is far more free from rattles, bumps and squeaks than its Series III forebears, and with very useable power and gearing it is fully highway capable.

The brakes are strong with no noise or pulling, and the power steering is light and precise.  It's a heck of a nice driver, and can be used every day for any type of use you want to put it to.  Commute to work in it, take it to the beach, or lark off around the world.  This D90 needs nothing and with just 90,000 original miles, is ready for as many years of adventure as you want to enjoy.

 

walkaround video: