Rare Off-Roader: 1987 Land Rover Defender Wagon

The owner of this 1987 Land Rover Defender says that it is a vehicle that will take you anywhere, but it just won’t be fast getting there. That’s a fair call because a diesel Land Rover simply isn’t a performance vehicle. This British-built classic has come to the US via Italy and is basically ready to tackle the toughest terrain. It is located in Hanover, Maryland, and is listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding currently sitting at $23,000 and the reserve now met, this Defender is ready to head to a new home.

The Defender isn’t perfect, but I really wouldn’t expect that from a 32-year-old off-roader. The body is quite straight, and the Marine Blue paint also looks to be good. The vehicle underwent a repaint at some point in the past, but it isn’t clear when this occurred. The glass all looks pretty decent, while the windshield is new. The frame of the Land rover appears to be solid, with no signs of any rust issues. There are a few small areas of minor rust visible in a couple of locations around the Defender, but all up, this looks like a great vehicle that will handle the abuse that even the roughest of tracks can throw at it.

If you are looking for a vehicle that will take you into the wilds in supreme comfort, well I’m afraid that you’ve come to the wrong place. The Land Rover is a utilitarian vehicle that owes very little to either luxury or creature comforts. Cloth upholstery on the seats is about as luxurious as it gets in this one. You also get a heater and some air vents, but that’s your lot for luxury. For all that, the interior is in great condition for a Land Rover of this age. There are a few minor rips and tears in the vinyl, most notably in the back of the rear seat, but the cloth itself looks quite good. In all honesty, unless you are a person who is seeking perfection in a vehicle, I would just be inclined to fit aftermarket slip-covers on the seats. These are a whole lot easier to clean if the going gets messy.

Powering the Defender is the 2,495cc 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, which is backed by a 5-speed manual transmission. While this combination can acquit itself reasonably well on sealed roads, it is when the going gets rough that a diesel Defender will come into its own. With maximum engine torque being delivered at less than 2,000rpm, the Defender is designed to crawl its way over some pretty inhospitable territory. The owner says that the Defender runs and drives really well, it just doesn’t get anywhere in a hurry. It is worth noting that the official top speed for a diesel Defender is only around 71mph, and when you consider the fact that they accelerate from 0-60mph in 24 seconds, they really aren’t a vehicle designed for freeway cruising. Of course, the option is also available to update the engine, and plenty of people have done that in the past. The trade-off on this though is that you might end up compromising the vehicles impressive off-road capabilities.

If you fancy the idea of getting out into the great outdoors, and to access locations that most people would consider to be inaccessible, then a Land Rover Defender can be a pretty good weapon of choice. The lack of creature comforts can be a huge bonus during these types of exploits, as there is precious little in the vehicle that can be ruined by mud or water. This is why so many British farmers, and the Royal Family, still use them today. It’s because they were designed to do a single job, and they still do that job exceptionally well.


  1. Sam61

    Very cool unlike some newer Land Rover products that will take you anywhere and leave you stranded.

    Like 8
    • Mark

      A lot of the new ones will even take you everywhere and of course most of the owners don’t want to go everywhere. They just want to look cool going down the street. I’m betting only about 1% of the new ones are ever off of pavement.

      This is what a Land Rover should be and what it should look like.

      Like 10
  2. ElectricPics

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a farmer here in Britain using a Defender. They tend to prefer Japanese 4×4 pickups. This example is a cracker though.

    Like 3
  3. h5mind

    In Spain, the Santana company assembled versions of these vehicles for years. Unlike Rover, the Spaniards made incremental improvements over that time. If I wanted a rust-free version for a great price, I’d check out Spain.

    Like 3
  4. Karl

    Nice Defender these are very utilitarian in their appearance but to that end are very capable for off-road use especially with the diesel engine. This one looks pretty darned nice and when compared to the new version built by Ta ta well there is no comparison it’s like comparing a Barbie car to a truck!

    Like 1
  5. TimM

    Great looking truck with a turbo diesel in it!! Lots of torque plenty of power with some good fuel economy!! Really can’t beat that!! I would love to own this gem and with the reserve met it’s heading to a new home!! I would have to talk to all the local restaurant owners to see if I could get there old deep frier grease from them and start making my own fuel!!!

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.