Bespoke 1966 Land Rover Defender Turbo Diesel

According to Oxford, “Bespoke” means “made for a particular customer or user.” It is often used in the clothing industry, a tailored suit for example. However, the seller of this 1966 Land Rover Defender uses the term to describe their vintage Landy. It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $6,600 and the reserve hasn’t been met yet. The ad says they are looking for around $25,000. Located in Eugene, Oregon, the body has been fit on a more modern Land Rover Discovery chassis. Check out this Bespoke off-roader!

As you can see, this is a right-hand drive 4×4. The seller describes the interior as “very primitive.” Land Rovers of this vintage were designed to move people and cargo with utilitarian functionality. You won’t find many modern conveniences, but the cool factor and simplicity can be nice sometimes.

Behind the driver’s seat lies two jump seats. This is definitely a short wheelbase vehicle, so plan on bringing a tent to sleep in during overlanding adventures. The chassis is from a 1997 Land Rover Discovery which has been professionally shortened.

As mentioned before, the chassis was donated by a Discovery which also donated the 300 TDI turbo diesel engine and ‘Stumpy’ R380 5-speed transmission. The seller says it runs and drives well but needs a few things to dial it in. It sounds like the list is only minor items that shouldn’t be too hard to address.

Overall, this is a really cool Land Rover. The suspension and tire/wheel combination are a perfect fit for the body. If it was mine, I’d spend a little time fixing it up, then drive it! Maybe a roof-top tent and some storage cabinets in the back and hit the back country? What do you think?


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  1. Howard A Member

    Normally I think “Landy’s” are just the coolest, mostly because of my love of British vehicles. John Cage( Randolph Mantooth) drove one in the hoaky, yet entertaining show, “Emergency”. This one, 2 glaring red flags, that “oil motor”, and the steering wheel is on the wrong side,,,and don’t say, “Oh, you’ll get used to it, Mate”, because there’s no bloody way. Of all the 4×4 contraptions I’ve seen out here, almost never a “Landie”. I read, “Landy” is the official term, but “Landie” is okay too. Very cool, a CJ on steroids,,,kind of.

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      What’s nice about this group, I can make reference to old tv shows, make a mistake, and nobody catches it. It was John Gage, not Cage.
      Anyway, while the turbo will give respectable performance, you’ll have your foot in it the whole time, off setting any fuel economy benefits, and don’t forget, diesel is in some cases, .20 -.30 higher than gas. I say, to cash in on the diesel campers. I talked with a local station worker, he said, in the summer, diesel outsells gas almost 2 to 1.
      And another thing, those unsafe “Ralph Nader” bumper jacks, seem to be all the rage with offroaders here, usually mounted in plain sight, like it’s some kind of ritual trophy. What’s the deal with that?

      • Gregg

        I’m with you! that old diesel lump is a gutless wonder at a huge premium over a gasser… Right hand drive ONLY makes sense in England… Also, I’m sure I’ve never seen quite so much daylight showing through an engine compartment… and you don’t see too many “high quality builds” where bolting the roll cage to the dash panel is considered acceptable… PASS!

  2. Arden Eby

    That’s not a Defender. It’s a Land Rover Series II. The Defender was introduced in 1983.

    Like 5
  3. steve

    Actually a Series 2A. I have a 65 Version with the original non-turbo diesel.
    “Defender” is like calling a 1955 VW bus a “Vanagon”. I kinda cringe or roll my eyes when I see and hear these things..

    Like 4

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