Classics for sale: The tuned Land Rover Defender you really want

Tuning any Land Rover Defender can strip the 4x4 icon of all merit if undertaken badly. This is the perfect example of how to do it right

There was once a time when buying a showroom-fresh Land Rover told the world nothing about your aspirations, your social circle or your abilities in the bedroom. As utilitarian as a barn and just as useful, the slab-sided workhorse from deepest Solihull remained the automotive counterpart to a personal press officer.

Whether rocking up outside the Savoy or plugging through the countryside, the iconic 4x4 gave nothing away. You could either work the land, or own the land. You could have flowed with Royal blood or proud working class plasma. Social climbers would foam at the mouth trying to determine where you had come from, where you were employed and where you lived. The boxy stablemate said nothing. Until now.

More Land Rover goodness!

In the last few years, the world has witnessed an influx of tuned Defenders prowling across London’s cobbled streets and bullying German saloons upon the top lane of the M25. What was once ‘tuned’ for off-road performance now appears to be injected with steroids and set loose upon society. The result finds well-heeled rivals diving for the nearest hedgerow and share prices in Texaco doubling their value.

Sadly, the Defender’s anonymity has been lost to those who lower its road stance and add wheels capable of reducing most stylists to tears. Some slap on decals and trim to produce the road-going equivalent of Vin Diesel – and that tells the world everything they need to know. You clearly have too much money, not enough sense, no class and an ego large enough to command its own postcode.

However, if the job is undertaken properly, you’ve got a fine blend of basic charm and improved road handling. Chuck on the correct tyres and you’ll be able to tackle any green lane or off-road course. And that’s exactly what we have here.

This 2007 Land Rover Defender 90 TDCI boasts a professional gearbox conversion that apparently cost a total of £10,000. There’s also KBX Hi Force grills – and that’s about it. The functional aspects of this British mainstay are all present; from the colour coded arches, side steps and rear mounted spare wheel to the branded mud flaps and obligatory tow bar.

Proof then, that with minimal disparagement, it doesn’t take much to fine-tune a Defender for practical tarmac driving without losing the agility when piloting off the beaten track. Get a closer look with the AutoClassics classified advert.

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