Conceived by the British Rover Company immediately following World War II as a handy light duty and farming vehicle spawned from the wartime success of the Willys Jeep concept. Over the years, it has grown into a highly respected, very capable and well-designed 4×4 for both off-road and daily urban use.
In 1994 Land-Rover was able to import a limited number of Defender 90s. The majority of these were the soft-top version, in either a “fastback” half soft-top configuration or a full soft-top, as on this example. These Defenders 90s were quite different from their UK cousins, including the engine, four-wheel disc brakes, and a “safari cage.” The Defender 90 won “Four-Wheeler of the Year” in 1994 and with this ringing endorsement, the early Defender 90s sold out quite quickly.
This fabulous yellow D90 hails from a new car dealer/classic collector in New York. Owned for several years and meticulously maintained, but sparingly used, the car currently shows only 33,300 miles from new. Mechanically, the car is in excellent condition, starting easily with great, responsive power from the 3.9-liter V-8 engine, rated at 182 bhp with a stump-pulling 233 ft/lbs of torque. It is transferred to the road via a 5-speed manual with 2-speed manual locking transfer gearbox with an excellent clutch. Discs all ‘round work perfectly, and the suspension is pliable and does its job impeccably with no erroneous squeaks or clunks. It rides on scuff-free factory 16-inch alloy wheels with excellent BF Goodrich rubber. All electrical systems work as they should, including 1990s British AC and stereo system.
Cosmetically, the truck presents exceptionally well. Paint is excellent throughout and perfectly original with very minor blemishes conducive with the age and mileage of a well-cared for car. The folding canvas top is in excellent condition, but the truck generally sports the optional hardtop, also in very good condition. Side step-rails to assist ingress/egress, an integral tubular steel “safari cage”, and a rear-mounted spare completed to robust look.
The interior is also in excellent condition. Sheepskin covers protect seats that are in as-new condition (photographed). Rubber mats show a little wear, as does the center console, but all other surfaces are excellent. The car comes with a removable bench seat.
This D90, number 1162 according to the rear heritage plaque, is a rare opportunity to acquire a low-mileage example, meticulously cared for with some nice options.