1989 land rover SANTANA 2500DL CANVAS ROOF PICKUP
AT A GLANCE
ENGINE: 2.5L Rover diesel
TRANSMISSION: Five-speed manual with 2-speed 4WD transfer case
MILEAGE: 128.713 km (79,802 miles)
EXTERIOR: Gulf Blue
what does it look like?
In the interests of creating a truly unique and spirited Land Rover, we built this 1989 Santana into a one-of-a-kind off roader. A pleasing mix of old and new detailing that allows open-topped or weather-protected adventures on tarmac or off.
Originally a straight, low-mileage 2-door hard top, we stripped the shell and refinished the bodywork in Gulf Blue - a type 1 Volkswagen color from the 1950's. A removable black canvas pickup-truck top was fitted, which required rather extensive modifications to the bulkhead behind the seats - a change that came with the added benefits of more passenger legroom and a handy relocated battery compartment. A Defender grille with integrated LED lighting and "halo" running light rings in the front are combined with a military style front bumper and shorty rear bumperettes, flanking rear Defender LED tail lamps. Lightweight Bola alloy wheels (originally spec'd for a BMW) have been adapted to the Land Rover bolt pattern and wear 245/70-16 Kumho off road tires, which give the truck a unique, modern look and additional ground clearance.
Inside, retro sport bucket seats are fitted to hand-fabricated frames and feature vintage woven upholstery with chrome ventilation eyelets, and they flank a reupholstered center console with custom alcantara covering. New interior carpeting has been hand cut and fitted, and the result is a stylish mix of vintage and modern details that provide remarkable comfort and support in all conditions.
Underneath, the rust-free chassis has been resprayed in original "chassis black" and is as straight and free from damage as it has always been.
It's a unique experience, driving this truck. Operate it as a closed-roof pickup and it's as quiet and composed as you like, or remove the roof in less than a minute and drive it fully open. Either way, it's beautiful inside and out, with fantastic curb appeal and a wonderfully pleasing cockpit, and it needs nothing except an owner who will use it the way they see fit.
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Extremely low mileage and always correct and well-kept, the Defender "12J' diesel fires right up and idles smoothly and steadily with no undue smoke or clatter. The clutch engages correctly with a firm pedal, and the 5-speed gearchange (benefitting from a fresh linkage rebuild) snicks from gear to gear effortlessly.
With a lusty torque delivery and well-spaced gearing, this 2500 pulls well and keeps up with modern traffic on all types of roadways, including highways. Get it off road, and the legendary Land Rover capabilities come to the fore, with the 2-speed transfer case, parabolic springs and chunky off road rubber allowing you to muscle through or over pretty much any obstacle you are likely to encounter.
The brakes are sure and potent, and the power steering is quiet and quite light, so it goes where you point it and stops when you want it to, from any speed in any conditions. Everything works. Every light, every gauge, every switch.
Fully serviced and ready for daily use without worry, it's a marvelous rig and one we are quite proud of.