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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31: Land Rover - R.I.P.

 Land Rover - R.I.P. Now hold on just one minute here. What do you mean, rest in piece? Land Rover is doing quite well and is the darling of the "I've got $, you don't." (not that there is anything wrong with that) crowd. No, you are correct, the brand is doing very well, but an icon has come to the end of its very long road and will be laid to rest at the end of the 2015 model year.

Recognize this jeep type vehicle? Sure you do, it's the original Land Rover and as the ad says, it will......"Go anywhere...do anything." And they meant it. Originally, it was expected that these little 4x4's would see a lot of farm work, so their ads reflected that role. Something for the hard working farmer to use to aid him with his daily chores. Not like the later Range Rover and its offspring, which were pitched to the country gentleman and eventually, the city bound rich folks.

So, I say, R.I.P. to this old standby of the 4x4 scene. Originally for rural use, this model over its sixty eight year life span, saw an amazing amount of diverse roles. It was even fit for a queen......


.....whether in her official role or just lazing about her castle grounds, as the peasants undoubtedly toiled away in the background (and cleaned those tires when it returned).

Did you ever see news footage of the troubles in Northern Ireland, that didn't feature this iconic vehicle?


Or in some far off conflict..........

Yep, in each and every instance, this Land Rover would be there proving its mettle. And, of course, you just know that, this sort of 4x4 would sure as anything show up doing its duty on safari in darkest Africa........

,,,,,,ferrying these soon to be crushed tourists on the last trip of their lives, or as a food truck for the patient cheetah waiting for his/her lunch to step out of that extended Land Rover..........

A friend's dad bought one way back in the '50's and was thrilled with his toy. Rough? Man, was it rough. Simple and effective, but I think you needed a farm in order to appreciate its goodness.

Eventually, like many things, this model, now called the Defender (get it?), made its way up the price scale, so that only the wealthiest folks could enjoy its capabilities (much like the Mercedes G wagen). And so it is, that as this icon comes to the end of its road, the last model should appeal only to those with lots of $ and absolutely no use for what it was originally intended.

This end of the line limited edition, the 2015 Sixty8, looks much the same as the earliest models, except of course, when you see the price tag. Why discontinue this model? Well, everything has its day and while this has been updated over the years, its "bones" are still ancient. Time to move on and time to redesign this icon. Make a clean break? Good question. A concept has made the rounds, but I'm skeptical, that this will be the replacement, as it toured the auto shows to almost universal disgust. Two things will be certain, one, the price. It won't be low. And two, its toughness. Although very capable, it won't serve its original purpose.

So as we wait for the Defender's replacement (2018?), we can look back on the role it was intended for. A tough as nails vehicle to aid the farmer with his daily chores, whatever they may be........


Time for a break. Every car guy needs a holiday and mine starts on Sunday with an overnight flight to France. A few days in Paris, a week's river cruise and five days touring Provence. I'm not much of a drinker, but the cheeses and pastries should be worth the trip. And, of course, the cars. Always a highlight of our trips abroad.

Miss me? I doubt it, but in case you do, may I suggest rereading some of the old blogs (just an idea). So until next time, which in this case will be Friday, the 21st........


  1. First of all, have a good trip, Barry! The venerable Land Rover. I watched a film on the development of the Land Rover and I was impressed to say the least. Of all British vehicles (other than motorcycles) the Land Rover and the MG TF are my favorites. Of course there are completely different reasons why I like them. It saddens me to see something like the Land Rover getting replaced but every dog has its day. At least it can't be said that it was retired because it couldn't cut the mustard...

  2. George, I was surprised at how many newer Land Rover Defenders that I saw in France. Based on my sightings, you'd think that they could leave well enough alone.