Land Rover Enthusiast Wants to Save 2 millionth Defender for the Nation
The two millionth Land Rover 4×4 to be made is being auctioned for charity this week and a British-based enthusiast has launched a crowd-funding project so that it can be saved for the nation.
The Defender 2,000,000 will be on display at an exhibition on December 15 and 16 for prospective bidders and the public to see it ahead of the auction. It was assembled earlier this year by 33 Land Rover brand ambassadors and enthusiasts including adventurer Bear Grylls and founder of the Born Free Foundation Virginia McKenna OBE, as well as Telegraph Cars’ very own Alex Robbins.
Proceeds of the sale will be donated to Land Rover’s humanitarian and conservation partners, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation.
Brian Reynolds set up this crowdfunding project because he has a deep connection with Land Rover and he wants to see this special vehicle be saved for the nation, as an iconic piece of our design and engineering heritage. Reynolds has owned and driven Land Rovers for all of his adult life. As a patriotic enthusiast he feels that this vehicle should stay in this country and be available for current and future generations to experience.
The crowdfunding project proposes that the 2,000,000th Defender (actually the 2,000,000th example of the Series I, II, IIa, III and subsequent Defender) is placed in a UK-based “working” heritage museum (to be confirmed, but the likes of Dunsfold, Beaulieu or Gaydon). It also proposes to record the names of the crowdfunding supporters in a lasting way to be displayed with the vehicle. Based on the cost of an equivalent Defender Autobiography of more than £60,000, Reynolds estimates a target price of about £100,000 to secure the 2,000,000th vehicle.
He argues that the more there is in the crowdfund, the better its chances of securing the vehicle while supporting the charities. If successful, the project proposes that any surplus amount left after securing the vehicle be donated to the IFRC and Born Free Foundation.
Read more about this project and pledge a donation towards the £100,000 target at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ 2000000-defender-s90hue
No money will be taken from people unless the project reaches the £100,000 target and the crowdfunding bid wins the auction.
Visitors to the exhibition will be encouraged to share their Defender stories and journeys with a wall dedicated to capturing the moment that Land Rover made an impact on their lives.
Roger Crathorne, known simply as “Mr Land Rover”, will be on hand to talk to visitors during the exhibition. With more than 50 years of service with the company, his vast knowledge of and passion for Land Rover, not to mention his experience of driving the 4x4s in the world’s most inhospitable regions, is invaluable.
Crathorne said: “The Series Land Rover and Defender have played a huge role in the lives of people all over the world for almost 70 years and to be able to offer it a fitting send-off as it nears the end of production is an honour. Through the exhibition we have really got under the skin of just what has made Defender such a loved vehicle. We hope that it brings to life the richness of the vehicle’s heritage and why it has had such longevity.”
The car can be viewed at Bonhams’ showroom in Bond Street, London on December 15 and 16, with the auction starting at 6pm on the second day. Full details at www.bonhams.com