Land Rovers are known as the first car that reached most of the developing parts of the world.
It’s a well-earned reputation where these go-anywhere vehicles have rarely met an obstacle they couldn’t overcome. And this 1997 Defender 90 showcases this fearless attitude the best. More than just its rugged history, this V8 4×4 has been given nice upgrades to climb every mountain and blaze new trails.
The Defender 90 follows the grand tradition of tough-as-nails Land Rovers, and you recognize it from the moment this one comes into view. It looks ready to take on the toughest terrain with the full roll cage, steel plated fender tops, and full-size spare tire on the rear. Even in the deepest wilderness, lighting will never be a problem thanks to an upgraded LED kit. The front bumper is an upgraded unit with a winch nicely integrated so you can get friends out of trouble. And the upgraded rear bumper has a trailer hitch so you can bring the fun with you. But even with all of this tough 4×4 prowess, Land Rover gives you a reminder of its premium side, too. The green paint has a hint of metallic element, and the full set of 16-inch alloys are the same you could get on the Range Rover of the time.
The Defender has mountable side windows and a full soft top. But the included bikini top or no top at all will likely be your preference, because after all, this 4×4 was meant to be one with nature. You’ll love how being in the driver’s high-back bucket seat can make downtown traffic feel like being on a safari. There’s even plenty of cargo room and storage for all your gear. And in true modern Land Rover style, rugged does not necessarily mean a bare bones operation. You have an upgraded AM/FM/CD stereo with a USB input and Bluetooth. Plus, this also has R134a air conditioning (it will need servicing to blow ideally cold again.)
1997 was the final year for the U.S-spec Defender 90, and they saved the best for last. It was outfitted with the 4.0-liter V8 motor. This fuel-injected powerplant is a strong runner that was born in the USA and honed for generations at Land Rover. And because it has been around for decades, parts accessibility is as globally available as this 4×4. This motor looks like it has been well maintained, so it’s ready for its next adventure. Plus, the high ground clearance, the two-speed transfer case, and BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/As make sure that you can keep going even when the trail ends.
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