1987 LAND ROVER DEFENDER 90 w/200Tdi
AT A GLANCE
ENGINE: 2.5L 200Tdi intercooled, direct-injection turbodiesel
TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual with 2-speed transfer case
MILEAGE: 148.258 km (91,919 miles)
EXTERIOR: Davos White
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
The culmination of our latest efforts, this 1987 Defender 90 is a brawny, bold and fantastically capable truck that looks the way we like Defenders to look and has the muscle to back up its aggressive appearance.
Rust free and straight when we bought it, we completely disassembled and stripped the truck before respraying it in Davos White (a creamy white also called “Chamonix White” and “Ivory” by Land Rover in different years) with a Beluga Black roof and full exoskeleton roll cage. A 2” lift by Ironman and massive 255/85-16 Toyo Open Country MT tires fill out larger fender flares, and a bespoke aluminum grille frames the heavy-duty winch by Dragon. LED lights front and rear have been installed, and a quartet of driving lights sit atop the windscreen.
Inside, the interior has been redone in a perforated black with white quilted stitching and white piping, and hand-cut black carpeting has been fitted throughout the front compartment. A center console incorporates twin cupholders and the cubby box lid has been upholstered to match the seats. In the rear, twin bench jump seats have been recovered to match, and a carpeted mat covers the floor.
Underneath, the chassis is straight and entirely free of structural rust, with longitudinals, crossmembers, bulkheads, floors and doors all clean and damage free.
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
In short, it’s a monster.
With low original miles on the chassis and even fewer on the engine, it fires easily, idles smoothly and quietly with no smoke, and makes great power throughout the rev range. With a known service history from new, this is a very correct D90, and the transplanted 200Tdi engine was fitted at an official Land Rover dealership in 1992. A variable geometry turbocharger was added, producing excellent throttle response and a big hit of midrange torque, allowing it to run with modern traffic on tarmac and power through or over anything you might encounter off road.
The gearchange is light and direct, the brakes are powerful and stop the truck from any speed without drama, and the power steering is quiet and positive. The new suspension components, surprisingly composed and comfortable on roadways, also give it astonishing clearance and capability in the rough stuff, allowing this D90 to be used for legitimate exploration and overland use in uniquely harsh environments.
Everything works, the truck has been fully serviced, and it needs nothing for daily use except a new owner who will appreciate it and use it in the manner in which we intended it to be used.