Every Land Rover Defender has a story to tell. They were built for exploration and adventure, after all, to make memories behind the wheel, write your own story, and live one life - that sort of thing. Even those stuffed away and left to do nothing but make people money. They’re just sadder and less interesting.
This must surely be one of the more compelling ones. It’s a 1997 300 TDI - or at least it is in Defender speak - but it’s also a Land Rover Wolf, the beefed up and kitted out Defender used by the Ministry of Defence from 1998. It was a serious overhaul befitting of the serious work the cars would have to do, including a reinforced chassis and stronger axles. The advert for this one doesn’t specify where the Defender has spent its working life, though by the time of its MOD retirement in 2020 it had covered almost 80,000 miles.
Wherever those miles were accumulated, what separates this Wolf from thousands of others is the part it played in the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. Which feels like quite the selling point now. For that deployment, the Wolf was recommissioned, earning its lustrous paint job and (one imagines) a pretty far-reaching tidy up. That, in addition to what the advert says is the highest possible standard of maintenance, means we have an ex-MOD Defender for sale that appears better than many a civilian car.
It’s never had an MOT advisory in the tests it’s done so far, it shines like freshly polished boots, the interior shows a remarkable lack of wear and even the trailer it comes with looks ready to be pressed into immediate service. It looks the part in other words. Plainly the restorers took their time.
The possibilities for this Land Rover now are numerous. As a Defender to use on the road the Wolf has an attention-grabbing look and the durability offered by the old diesel engine; whatever the next owner has planned presumably won’t be as gruelling as its former life. And if they are going off-road, there’s the reassurance of the sturdier bits underneath, plus a spare wheel and two spades on the nose to help you out of the mud. So your fellow explorer can help, too. Obviously, it’s never going to be a factory-fresh Land Rover, so it’d almost be rude not to add to the tally. It looks great for those that just want to pootle about in it, although it would be wrong to deny the car some mud under its tyres. And if neither of those options appeal, it’s eligible for US export now as well.
Is there any money to be made doing that? Hard to know, really, given the plethora of Defenders already out there for sale; some are less than this car’s £27,995 asking price, some are more, some are older, some are even other Wolf-spec Defenders that have lived a harder life or covered just a few thousand miles with the trailer already attached. The dealer selling this Wolf has another, so banking on the rarity for additional value in the US might be a long shot. Instead consider this a Defender better suited than any other for doing what Defenders have always done: conquering all terrain in any condition, while looking the absolute business doing it.
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