From Tomb Raider to candid photographs in the heat of conflict with war correspondents or the Red Cross, to the far reaching corners of the world with National Geographic, the Land Rover Defender has been the iconic off road vehicle for much of the 20th century. Here's eleven things you might've not known about the storied vehicle.
1.) The Defender name wasn't technically used until 1990, when Land Rover had to differentiate it from the Discovery. It was known as the Land Rover Ninety or One Ten until that point.
2.) Much of the Defender's original design remains in today's model. As Richard Hammond put it, "it wasn't broken, so they never fixed it."
3.) Supplies and equipment used to build the predecessor to the Defender were left over from World War 2 supply stockpiles.
4.) The Defender was not meant to be luxurious in anyway. It was designed to get dirty and stay dirty, but keep marching on. In a way, the worn and muddied Defender only added to its masculine ruggedness.
5.) 70% of all Land Rovers built are still on the road today.
6.) More than 2 million Defenders have been manufactured.
7.) The Defender has been manufactured for 67 years, with production ending December 2015.
8.) The US Military utilized the Defender over the Humvee in the 1st Gulf War when they discovered Defenders were better suited for urban operations and airlift.
9.) The early Land Rover rides were only painted with military surplus aircraft paint, which is why all were that faded moss green color that's now become iconic.
10.) Land Rover holds several royal warrants in which they provide vehicles for the English Royal Family.
11.) Defenders come in 90 and 110 guise--which refers to the wheelbase length.