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Beach Cruiser: 1995 Land Rover Defender 90 NAS

One of the greatest joys I’ve experienced as an automotive enthusiast is driving a 4×4 on a beach. Specifically, a beach that doesn’t lend itself to easy access by throngs of beach-goers, meaning you can drive out as far as you want and have the whole place to yourself. The Land Rover Defender 90 is a rig that lends itself well to such exploits, and this truck listed here on Barn Find Classifieds bears the permit stickers that afforded its previous owner over-sand access, a tradition I hope the next caretakers plan to continue.

The Defender 90 has been one of the most sought-after 4x4s for years now, having the same sort of appeal as a 993-chassis Porsche 911: the last of its kind before the automaker behind the vehicle evolved to a much different style of vehicle production. The Defender 90, like the last air-cooled 911, reflected an era of manufacturing where slightly crude vehicles could still find their way into production, provided some of the rough edges were smoothed out. The Defender 90 drew a clear line back to the first mass-produced Land Rovers, and customers loved it for that reason alone.

Of course, it helped that it was a massively capable SUV out of the box and delightfully simple in execution. This is not to say it is a cheap vehicle to own – hardly, as any die-hard Land Rover enthusiast can attest – but it is light-years less complex than anything the company has sold in the last 20 years. This was a brute farm implement that, like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, was warmly embraced by the yacht club crowd and subsequently updated just enough to make it palatable to your average housewife from Westchester.

The 993-chassis 911 is one of those vehicles that never dipped after it became a used car; in fact, values just seemed to keep accelerating after the last air-cooled 911 was made. The Defender 90 was much the same, as the enthusiast community knew Land Rover would never again make a truck as utilitarian as this and sell it new in their showrooms. This one is clad in classic green paint with a black interior and its 3.9L V8 engine has been rebuilt under current ownership. It has the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox and really, is exactly how you’d want to spec a NAS Defender 90.


  1. Piros1

    This may sound like a stupid question but I have seen the letters NAS used a lot pertaining to the Defender. Typically I would think “not as sold” but doesn’t make sense but then maybe it does. So what are the “NAS” part of the name?

    Like 3
    • Mark Member

      North American Specification. Left hand drive.

      Like 13
      • Piros1

        Thanks, that definitely makes sense. I just couldn’t put it together.

        Like 5
  2. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

    Hi everyone,
    I’m the seller of this Coniston Green 95 Land Rover D90. I’ll be keeping up with comments, so any questions, or a ton more photos and video, feel free to ask.

    Like 6
  3. Todd Zuercher

    The beach driving analogy is a bit ironic considering the propensity for these rigs to rust. Keep it away from the salt and water and drive it!

    Like 4
    • Piros1

      I agree I personally don’t want any of my vehicles anywhere near salt water or salt even if it is dry.

      Like 2
  4. Porkchop

    I don’t even understand the price on this one. I’ve been following every Defender 90 auction on BaT for months because I am looking to buy. There appears to be a $20k premium on this one.. and a rebuilt motor at 100k is a red flag, not a benefit… I’m genuinely trying to understand.

    Like 1
    • Piros1

      I’m not so sure why these are so pricey? Even one in rough condition demands big money. The 110 is equally expensive if not more. I think it is more of a supply and demand situation. Kind of like an old Dodge Power Wagon. In running and driving condition they also bring serious coin. They don’t make either any longer so I guess it is what you want pay for them and what the market will bare.

      Like 3
      • Porkchop

        You missed my point entirely. Several sell a week on BaT in the $40k-$60k range.. I don’t understand the $75,000 price on this one.

        Like 0
    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

      Hi Porkchop, I’m on BaT every day, I too see D90’s sell from high 40’s up to the low 100,000’s – one sold today, in Coniston Green, just a little less rust than this one, for $120,000 – The key may be the NAS designation. 2.5TDI RoW D90 is going to sell for $45K-$70K, a 3.5 a little more.
      Put 3.9L V8 petrol, 5 speed, NAS and now your minimum is pretty much 60K unless there is significant rust/wear.
      I’ve already had an offer for $65K on this one and another a bit higher and hopefully be able to come to a deal.
      The 3.9 is a reiteration of the Buick nailhead design that Buick sold to British Leyland back in the day. As they punched the block out more and more to obtain larger CID, they weakened several areas and these engines now tend to be a little fragile. I have a Disco II with the 4.6L version of the same engine and 145,000 miles, I have to say that I’m not confident she’ll last to 180, while my Toyota XRS is at similar mileage, I’m totally confident she’ll make it to 250K and more.
      Rebuilt at 100K miles means confidence to drive this great rig for another 100K.

      Like 2
    • Piros1

      Porkchop I did get your point I was just commenting what I have seen as well. I don’t watch these as closely as some of you do but I do dial into one every now and then. I’m not saying you are wrong just what I have observed.

      Like 0
  5. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking Rover. This was my favourite version of the Land Rover Defender.

    Like 1

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