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19 Oct 2015

Land Rover Defender

Twisted and Bonkers

Text and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis

When designing the Defender Land Rover most likely didn’t expect the car to become an icon in the automotive industry, rather a simple vehicle designed to cross rivers, tackle mountains and transport sheep; in short - just be one touch son-of-a b*tch car; yet here we are at the end of the era of this glorious beast and it is more popular than ever. It is a cult car with a huge following across the globe, and it has sadly come to an end.

Having owned some lovely cars in the past including a rapid Mini Cooper S and most recently a Golf R32, Kyle decided it was time to get something more practical that suited his busy and adventurous lifestyle. He desired something that looked smart enough yet would turn heads and be capable of off-roading, since Kyle enjoys a bit of hunting and dog walking in the mountains. After taking all this into consideration a Land Rover Defender seemed to be the right choice.
Whilst the first Land Rovers were produced as early as 1948, the first proper Land Rover Defender, known as the Land Rover One Ten or Series 1, was launched in 1983, followed by the Land Rover Ninety in 1984. With the launch of the other models the name was changed to a Defender in the later years. The production of the iconic Defender will be stopped later this year with rumours of a new model being introduced in 2018. 
All Defender models are hand built: the body panels and gaps between them can be uneven and “rough” and it is as loud and comfortable as a tank, but all these imperfections make the Defender a raw beast and the reason why people love them.
Kyle purchased his first Defender two years ago. Despite going for a high spec, as one could imagine, it was not the most refined vehicle from factory, so after doing some research a British Land Rover tuning company “Twisted” had to be involved, offering to add that extra oomph. Kyle made a call to the tuning company and after providing a “to-do list”, the car was left with them. It took the company less than a week to fulfil the requirements before his dream car was ready for collection.
There are hundreds of aftermarket parts available to customize a Defender to suit one’s needs and style, and Kyle admits it is a curse since he never stops working on it, changing every part possible. Every screw and bolt has been replaced to a stainless steel; also the whole interior got an overhaul.
Kyle’s Defender is running a 2.4 TDCI engine that combined with the lack of sound proofing can make your ears bleed, so the interior of the car was fully sound proofed with the help of Dynamat. Kyle opted for the Recaro CS bucket seats re-trimmed in Napa leather. The dashboard along with other interior panels were treated to a leather finish. To complete off the modern sporty look a Momo steering wheel replaced the bus-like OEM wheel. 
Outside it’s a bit more subtle with a set of Twisted 18” alloys wrapped in BF Goodrich’s finest and it sits an inch lower on Bilstein shocks and Twisted springs. Other than that there is a “Twisted” roof rack, a KBX grill and LED lights including the headlights. 
Defenders reputation comes from its reliability, they literally are bomb proof and Kyle decided to put this up for a test when he and his other half decided to do a road trip across the Europe. Multiple countries 30+h solid driving, off-roading and the car never failed. God bless the British engineering.
It is sad to see another iconic car being destroyed due to the modern emission and safety regulations and standards; however, let’s hope the car returns in near future, retaining the classic values.

Bonus Images: 

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