∙Heritage-themed 90 in superb order ∙Genuine 55k from new ∙Imported from Northern Ireland in 2018
Ever since Land Rover stopped production of the Defender in 2016, there has been a series of retro-inspired special editions celebrating the iconic model’s heritage, starting with the company’s very own Heritage run-out models.
Today, there are Land Rover specialists all over the world turning out Heritage-themed models, many of which are extremely popular with collectors.
Unfortunately, we couldn't tell you who completed the upgrades on this lovely example, but either way, it sure is cool! What we do know, is that the vehicle was originally commissioned for an owner in Northern Ireland, and that the Coolnvintage stickers on the bodywork indicate the inspiration behind the modifications!
It’s a 90 pick-up – the iconic utility Land Rover – with a 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine and a genuine low mileage of just 55,000 since new, 7,000 of which have been covered by the current owner.
It has the rare added value of being widely exportable due to its age and the fact it still has its original engine, with an abundance of collectors worldwide for vehicles of this prestige.
The truck is deliberately themed to look much older than it is. The paint is an authentic 1960s Land Rover colour, and the matching painted wheels and colour-matched interior make it feel a lot older than a 1989 vehicle – at least in its presence rather than the way it drives.
It’s a fabulous looking thing and the result of a full and comprehensive restoration that saw it fully rebuilt in 2017-18, with limited use since.
The current owner bought the Land Rover last year as he’s a long-term Land Rover aficionado and fancied something a bit different.
He absolutely adores it and has used it pretty much daily, but an increasing need for more space has led him to reluctantly put it up for sale so that he can put the funds towards a Land Rover 110.
Registered in 1989, the 90 is a pre-Defender model sold simply as ‘Land Rover 90’ though the differences are minimal. That does mean, though, that it comes with the pre-TDI 2.5 TD engine that was only offered between 1987 and 1990.
He bought the truck from an importer and has maintained it ever since, but the early history of the vehicle is unfortunately not very well documented. .
There’s very little in the way of paperwork with the truck – which is normal for a Land Rover as most of them are multi-owner mongrels. What’s clear about this one, though, is that it isn’t. With just 4 previous owners it is obvious it has been cherished throughout its lifetime and is a credit to it’s former owners. What is known is that when it was restored the truck had lived for most of its life on a farm in Northern Ireland and hadn’t been used for several years, and was acquired from its first owner who confirmed the mileage (46k at the time) as genuine.
The current owner advises us that this very special Land Rover is also featured on the cover of February's 'The Landy' magazine - a copy of which they will provide with the vehicle to its new owner.
It has been fully serviced regularly – perhaps more than necessary - to ensure optimum performance and longevity, the most recent occurring in December 2020, and has just been given a fresh MOT this month which it flew through with no advisories.
As part of the bespoke build, the 90 has a number of improvements over the agricultural original – notably its vintage sprung Canadian Calf Tan Leather seats with Exmoor dark brown suede interior details. It’s a fabulous look and was a very expensive one to carry out.
The cabin is superb, with the added benefit of a modern stereo and integrated 12v power sockets and USB ports to support a more modern driving experience.
In December 2020 whilst being serviced it was given a full electrical rewire to support enhanced lighting giving crystal clear vision on the road whilst retaining its retro image.
The load bay, meanwhile, is fully galvanised and features a bolted-in vintage storage trunk – a neat feature that’s also an extremely practical one for keeping your luggage secure!
During its restoration, the 90 was professionally sprayed in Vintage Sand while the Ford Roman Bronze roof was a personal touch added by the owner.
It looks the part, with the colour scheme adding to its retro appeal. The steel wheels have been painted to match the body and feature nearly new Goodyear Wrangler tyres. You may notice some Coolnvintage stickers dotted around the exterior, this is believed to be a nod of inspiration to the famous Lisbon based workshop. We do know however, that this particular vehicle was not worked on by them.
Underneath, it’s as sound as they come with no rot to the outriggers or crossmembers, which are the main grot spots. It has been waxed and undersealed to protect it for the future.
The bulkhead is superb, too, with only a slight amount of rust starting to appear in the front door shut. There are also a couple of small areas of aluminium oxidation under the paint on the driver’s door – not ones that immediately draw your attention but something that will undoubtedly sound common to any Land Rover owner who has ever had the pleasure of owning one…
Land Rover’s 2,495cc TD engine was its first turbo diesel and was quite an effective one, even though it had a short production life. That’s no worry though as parts are plentiful still, and much of the engine is the same as the direct injection 200 TDI unit that replaced it.
This one has been serviced every year since the truck was restored and was rebuilt with a new cambelt in 2017. It’s slow to start in cold conditions – they always are – but once running is absolutely spot on, with a steady idle and a distinctive and charming soundtrack. The current owner also advises us that it was given a full service in December 2020.
The gearbox works fine in both high and low ratios and the diff lock also works as it should, while the steering and brakes feel absolutely fine in the vague way that Land Rover steering and brakes always do. It’s a hoot to drive – Land Rover 90s always are, but this is a particularly smashing one.
Values of Land Rover Defenders and their ilk have shot up since they stopped making them, and heritage specials have a cult following of their own, hence the number of specialists who are building them.
This one’s a stunner. It’s well-restored, extremely cool and absolutely oozes retro charm by virtue of not being overdone. It has just the right amount of subtle detailing to make it extremely desirable without being over the top.
If you’re in the market for a retro-styled 90 to cherish and adore, this one has a huge amount going for it and should also prove itself to be a sound future investment.
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