With a mix of superior design, epic quality, and a distinctive unique European charm, it seems only all too inevitable that the Land Rover Defender would be highly sought after by the rich and the famous. This has certainly not always been the case, as Defenders grew from modest seeds of necessity in the darkness of World War II as helpful trucks to have around rural British farms. But maybe this exotic history added to the mystique that fueled it into a vehicle for movie stars and icons.
Of course, a touch of royalty certainly doesn’t hurt. Queen Elizabeth, who was the princess at the time, stood out of a Series I all the way back in 1951 to deliver the King’s Colours to the Royal Air Force. Some 67 years later, she still uses Land Rover Defenders as her primary means of transportation, with obviously much more refined series powering her nowadays. In fact, most of the royal family uses variations of Land Rovers and Defenders (specially designed for the security aspects involved with transporting such figures) as a main car when driving to both private and public functions. Generally, the first noted associations between the crown and Land Rover date back to around 1948 or 1949 and carry over to this day: Prince William drove their baby home from the hospital in one.
Other heads of state followed suit: Fidel Castro drove in Land Rovers from the 1950s to his recent death, and even has a museum devoted to them on the island nation. Various other nations, some associated with the commonwealth, also use Land Rover vehicles for their various dignitaries.
But it’s not just the political world where Land Rover Defenders show up. With the exclusivity of the truck as well as the luxury that rolls in tandem, Hollywood has been one of the biggest supporters over the years. Oprah Winfrey has a very rare 1993 Defender 110 NAS, Robin Williams for years upgraded from series to series, and Bill Murray has a black series that, it is said, he uses every year on Groundhog’s Day. In 2014, Ellen DeGeneres danced her way to a purchase of a modified Defender for her wife, Portia de Rossi, for Christmas. The trucks had caught Rossi’s eye for years, and Ellen explained on her show the legwork she had to put into finding the perfect one.
The list goes on a long way beyond that. Somehow, we have yet to even mention James Bond himself, Sean Connery, and the collection of 110s he keeps on an estate in Spain. Additionally, leaders in business are beginning to demonstrate their affinity for Defenders. ECD recently built and delivered a one-of-a-kind Defender, Project XII, to the founder of Under Armour, Kevin Plank. Maybe all of this reveals something about the magic of Land Rover Defenders, and if you are interested in seeing behind the curtain, contact East Coast Defender today at 407-483-4825.