2003 Land Rover Defender 90

(Photos provided by seller)


• Comprehensive restoration
• Interior retrim
• Full running gear restoration

The Background

The Land Rover Defender (formally known as the 90/110 or 127 in LWB) was originally a British equivalent of the Second World War derived (Willys) Jeep. It soon gained a worldwide reputation for ruggedness and versatility. Using a steel ladder chassis and an aluminium alloy bodywork, the Land Rover originally used detuned versions of Rover engines.

So popular is it that the original Defender is still being produced in developing countries despite the arrival of the new Land Rover Defender.

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The History

Owned by current owner for the last 8 years or so, he decided to have it fully restored by Dowell Bros Ltd last year. The restoration was completed in November 2020 and the owner has now decided to sell to help push his new business forwards. The car has covered about 800 miles since the rebuild.

The Paperwork

The V5C is present but unfortunately no other old documents are held. but every aspect has been assessed/serviced/rebuilt 800 miles ago by Dowell Bros Ltd and the vehicle will come with a 12 month MOT.

The Interior

The interior panels have been painted to match the outside of the car. all panels were stripped right back to bare metal to paint to reach into all the joints. This is true both on the outside, e.g. around the wing joints, and the interior, e.g. on mating faces such as seatbox to tub. 

The rear floor has been replaced so is in great condition under the carpet. The carpets are made out the highest quality "super wool" 100 percent wool latex backed automotive carpet and fitted on press studs allowing quick and easy removal for cleaning and maintenance. All upholstery has been completed by Dowell Bros Ltd, from scratch. 

The seat frames have been stripped, blasted, primed and painted in raptor liner (a durable coating designed for lining the back of pickup beds so its really tough). 

The foams have been replaced and then the covers made by Dowell Bros Ltd from high quality leather and Alcantara featuring Bentley style double diamond stitching. Separate frames were made within the seats that allowed the fabric to be pulled around the bolsters which provides a greater level of depth to the seats. 

The rear bench seats are brand new and have also been trimmed in leather and Alcantara to match the front. A classic style door has allowed a really simple, yet really elegant door card that throws back to earlier Land Rover designs. The shape that the Alcantara insert is based on is that of the old county stripe found on earlier tdi models of defender. 

The centre cubby box has also been trimmed to match and upgraded with a stronger lid and a soft close set of hinges. The Cup holder has been made by Dowell Bros Ltd out of American black walnut finished with stainless steel centre dividers to match other wooden features in the cab such as the wooden steering wheel with burr walnut centre and the hand turned and finished gear knobs. 

The rear screen surrounds have been flocked to closely match the texture of the new headliner. Staying plain black on these provides a great contrast in the interior while providing a warm, soft touch to everything. Much better than the original grey plastic. The dash top has been trimmed in the same leather and a centre dash pod fitted with a sony double din radio and upgraded Sony speakers in the dash and in pods in the back of the car to match, giving great sound quality. 

The electric windows are not present as the doors have been replaced with Series doors and sliding windows.

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 The Exterior 

The car is fresh out of the paint booth. It is finished in single stage 2k paint in Ferrari Amaranto Rossa, which is a colour found on 1960's Ferraris. The roof and wheels have also been freshly painted in Land Rover limestone.

The whole car has then been cut and polished, an 8 stage process starting with 1200 grit sandpaper moving up to 6000 grit followed by compounding, buffing and swirl removing to achieve a perfectly flat, orange peel free finish. 

The doors have been replaced with series style doors so that the freshly galvanised cappings continue down the whole length of the body and give a more retro look. 

All galvanised parts have been stripped, blasted and re-galvanised to ensure longevity and to give a fresh look. They have also been insulated from adjoining body panels through the use of bitumen seals to prevent any dissimilar metal corrosion and to seal all joints in a non-permanent way. The grille has been made Dowell Bros Ltd to be reminiscent of the series stage one v8 grilles and the un-needed holes in the front of the wings have been welded up to allow a seamless fit of the series headlight surrounds which are of much higher quality than the flimsy plastic defender ones on offer. 

The spare wheel is fitted on a genuine Land Rover spare tyre carrier which makes opening the back door super easy. The wings have rugged chequer plate fitted, perfect for anyone wanting to fit a roof rack/tent. The chassis is freshly galvanised and the car shows this off in multiple places, the most obvious being the rear crossmember which has deliberately not been colour coded to allow it to tie in with the other galvanised features on the car including the bumper and bonnet hinges. 

The only glass that hasn’t been replaced with brand new are the rear quarter windows and alpine lights, no chips or scratches, all are perfect for clear vision with only 800 miles travelled since the new glass was fitted. The windscreen is also heated. All door seals and body seals have been replaced with brand new. The sliding windows are new units so no leaking or rattling.

The sunroof has been swapped for a more reliable fixed piece of glass to work around the leaky standard sunroofs that landrover offer. All nuts and bolts have also been replaced so no rusty bolt heads anywhere on the car. All body rivets have been removed to allow perfect body work to be achieved around them, and then replaced after paint with sealed aluminium rivets as per factory to prevent corrosion and provide a clean look.

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 The Mechanics 

About 800 miles ago the car had a mechanical overall. 

Any concerns on mechanical and structural aspects of the car have been addressed. The car was stripped back to a bare chassis which was then shot blasted. No rot was found so no repairs were required, then the chassis was hot dip galvanized to provide a protective layer of zinc to British Standard BS EN ISO 1461. This is a better standard of protection than Land Rover offer from factory.

The bulkhead was also given the same treatment and also required no repair work. All of the brackets and fittings have also been galvanised to protect them from corrosion, removable crossmembers and body mounts etc. A lot of the galvanised parts also got treated to epoxy primer and a coat of raptor liner to protect them further where they are exposed to the worst conditions such as in wheel arches. 

All suspension and brakes have been fully rebuilt with new calipers, swivels, disks, steering joints, bearings, and all new high quality poly bushes. All suspension components have also been painted in an anti-corrosive paint which gives a complimentary matte black finish to them. 

All suspension bolts and service items have been replaced with new items, all diffs have been checked and the engine and gearbox have been checked, cleaned and serviced. All new led lights have been fitted and brand new halogen headlights to maintain that classic look. 
Due to all of this work the car drives like it has just rolled out of the factory. Everything is tight, no nasty rattles and everything works as it should. 

All fluids have been replaced and everything is ready to go. The car will be provided with a fresh 12 month MOT.

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The Appeal

The Land Rover Defender is an icon and a legend in rough and rugged circles. A hard working, hard wearing work horse than is vital for anyone living in the rural countryside.

A descendant from the Series one the modern day defender is a little more complicated than its great grandfather but still the basic recipe is the same. 

They are loved the world over and are relied upon in nearly every country in the world to go where no other vehicle can go.

This particular example has been stripped back to its bare bones and reworked. A comprehensive restoration has then ensued and lots of new and refurbished parts fitted with some even being a nod to earlier generations especially in the styling department.

Its had the mechanicals worked and the paint is fresh out of the booth in a Ferrari colour no less. IF you're looking for a cool, well built, defender with lots of nice touches, this one is surely to up there with the best on the market right now.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 2003
  • Make Land Rover
  • Model Defender 90
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 148,000 Miles
  • Engine size 2500
  • Location Wales
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
15 bids from 10 bidders
  • park_wa•••• £21,250 29/11/21
  • JaM3s £21,000 28/11/21
  • Dominic•••• £20,250 25/11/21
  • david-g•••• £20,000 25/11/21
  • Viking1•••• £13,500 25/11/21
  • Viking1•••• £12,000 25/11/21
  • Viking1•••• £11,500 25/11/21
  • Viking1•••• £10,000 25/11/21
  • kelvin-•••• £8,500 24/11/21
  • david-g•••• £8,000 24/11/21

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