1989 Land rover defender 90 turbodiesel
at a glance
ENGINE: 2.5L Land Rover “Diesel Turbo.”
TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual with 2-speed transfer case and full-time AWD
MILEAGE: 99.684 km (61,804 miles)
EXTERIOR: Arizona Tan
INTERIOR: Original Defender Tweed
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Unrestored and remarkably original, it looks like what you would expect of a 61,000 mile vehicle which has been carefully owned and properly maintained. One owner from new, original paint and graphics, original interior, no rust, and mechanically excellent, it is rare to find such unmolested original examples.
Having spent its entire life in sunny France, about 50 kilometers north of Montpelier, it is entirely free of structural rust the chassis is spotlessly clean in correct chassis black paint. The upper bodywork is similarly clean, with no rust perforation in the floors, bulkheads, or bottoms of the doors. It can be considered an entirely rust free example.
The original bodywork shows some scars commensurate with its age, including the seemingly universal dings on the front corners and a crease just behind the drivers door. The paint is gently aged in the lower sections, but more so on the roof, which has faded quite a bit. Overall, the bodywork presents as you would expect of an unrestored vehicle that has been gently used in the manner for which it was intended, but never abused.
The interior is similar, with the original tweed three-abreast seating holding up well, but showing some sags in the upholstery and foam but no overt damage or tears. The floors and the rest of the interior is clean, front and rear, and two new folding rear bench jump seats have been fitted.
Everything is original, and everything is aged, but everything is correct and well-kept.
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
It drives like new.
At this mileage, you would expect the truck to fire from the first touch of the key, and it does just that, hot or cold, with no smoke or clatter. Gearbox, transfer case, brakes, suspension, steering, electrics, everything works exactly as it should.
Fully highway-capable, the 2.5L “diesel turbo” engine makes plenty of grunt for around town running and will reach a legitimate highway cruising speed on modern roads. The 5-speed changes gears with slick, precise throws of the lever, and all the locks, windows and latches operate correctly.
It’s a lovely truck to drive, this one. Easy, comfortable, and understated, in a rather unusual original color combination and with no molestation. You can drive it as it is, and enjoy it thoroughly in stock form, or treat it as a blank canvas and do whatever you want to make it suit your own personal style, either way confident that the guts of the truck are healthy, rust free and correct.