The first Land Rover Series I was built in 1947 ahead of the Amsterdam Motor Show in April 1948. A whole lot has changed since then, but one constant has been that Land Rover has continued to manufacture the rugged Defender for off-roaders worldwide. To commemorate building the two-millionth example of the Land Rover Defender, a special-edition model dubbed “Defender 2,000,000” will be auctioned off for charity.
Based on the lavish Land Rover Defender Autobiography, the one-off 2,000,000 model boasts a litany of special details. As a nod to the location where the Defender’s design was first “drawn in the sand,” a map of Red Wharf Bay features prominently engraved into the front fender as well as stitched into the interior headrests. “No. 2,000,000” badges feature on the rear hatch of this one-of-a-kind Defender as well as throughout the interior. As a final touch, the front and rear S90 HUE license plates nod to the first-ever pre-production Land Rover, which was registered “HUE 1966” and nicknamed “Huey.”
Perhaps even more notable than the modifications to the Land Rover Defender 2,000,000 itself is the list of special Defender fans who helped build the vehicle. Contributors include an actress, a sea captain, a racing driver, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth, descendants of Land Rover’s founders, and the Chief Executive of the British Red Cross, to name a few. The biggest headliner is adventurer and TV personality Bear Grylls, who helped fit all of the wheels to the final product.
“The Land Rover Defender has been there for me more times than I care to remember,” said Grylls. “They are so often the unsung heroes of our TV shows, working hard in the toughest conditions to get crew in and out of exceptionally challenging terrains.”
Land Rover will unveil the Defender 2,000,000 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June. After it makes the rounds at special events all over the U.K., it will be auctioned off by Bonhams in December. All proceeds will go to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as the Born Free Foundation.