Land Rover Defender: Making a splash at 65

A disclaimer: If you have just abandoned your four-month-old smartphone because the newer one lets you scroll the screen by moving your eye, this car is not for you. If you read auto magazines only for machines that are coming to your local market, then stop reading right now. The Defender is not coming to India. If you have heard tales of glory from British magazines and television shows about how a Land Rover Defender is the best thing man has invented since the wheel, you might not want to read this through to the end and be disappointed with your hero car.

If you are still with me, then you are not exactly normal. Read on anyway.

First things first. Land Rover has turned 65. So they called us to Packington Estate in Birmingham, England. It’s a 1,000-acre property, which in the past was also used as testing grounds for early Land Rovers. Since it turned 65 and all, Land Rover obviously wanted to celebrate with tea, cake and some speeches. Then they lined up some special-edition Defenders and all of the old Landies from the 1940s. But I wanted to sample a bog-standard Defender without all the glory. Without all the hoopla. So I feigned nature’s call and went off deep to drive what’s clearly been less of a car and more of an institution.