1989 Land Rover Defender - complete restoration!

Price: US $54,000.00 Item location: Edmond, Oklahoma, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Land Rover
  • Model: Defender
  • SubModel: County - V8 with A/C
  • Trim: County - V8 with A/C
  • Year: 1989
  • Mileage: 3,000
  • VIN: 00000000000000000
  • Color: Green
  • Engine size: V8
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: 4WD
  • Interior color: Black
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1989 Land Rover Defender County - V8 with A/C

At the risk of hyperbole, you are unlikely to find a vehicle of this quality and specification. I will do my best to describe it in intricate detail here, but I have many more photos (eBay only allows 24) that I can send you upon request:
  • 1989 Land Rover 90 - built in Solihull, England, for the Italian market, where it spent its life
  • "County" edition with all interior wall panels, headliner and sunroof
  • Natural left-hand drive
  • Originally 2.5L Turbo Diesel engine (completley replaced - see below)
  • LT77 transmission in perfect condition
  • Absolutely no rust on chassis, frame or body
  • As a twenty-five year-old vehicle, this specimen was legally imported and is currently tagged in my home state of Oklahoma, where I hold clean, "green" title, which will be provided at sale

  • Serpentine Land Rover V8, completely rebuilt, including all seals, gaskets, water pump, fuel pump, hoses, coils - absolutely everything related to the engine (all work performed by Austin RoverWorks in Austin, Texas)
  • The odometer - which, as a European, "Rest of the World" spec, is in kilometers - reads 232,000 km. There are less than 3,000 miles on the new engine, and I did not tamper with the odometer
  • Neither the new engine, nor any of its constituent parts, leaks, seeps or burns any fluid - at all
  • Ken, the Land Rover Master Technician (the first in Texas...) at Austin RoverWorks, did all of the mechanical work, and he has graciously agreed to answer any questions you might have

  • Complete Vintage Air heating and cooling system, including blower unit, compressor, condenser and trim-out (all work performed by Austin RoverWorks)

SUSPENSION REPLACEMENT (all at original height and pitch - no "lift")
  • All new front coil springs (BritPart)
  • All new rear coil springs (BritPart)
  • All new front shocks (BritPart)
  • All new rear shocks (BritPart)
  • New foam cell steering damper
  • New polyurethane bushing kit

  • Full high-spec FatMat sound attenuation/heat block under all surfaces, including carpet, interior panels and headliner.
  • Custom carpet over all floor surfaces (installed by Austin RoverWorks)
  • Full Exmoor interior - front seats, center console, rear jump seats (from Rovers North)
  • Land Rover OEM front floor mats (from Rovers North)
  • Land Rover wheels - professionally sand-blasted and painted
  • BFG All Terrain tires
  • Fitment with TerraFirma wheel spacers (installed by Austin RoverWorks)

  • Voyager roof rack with ladder (modified to fit standard garage)
  • NAS-style diamond-plate bumper with 2" hitch receiver (installed by Austin RoverWorks)
  • Extensive badging (from Rovers North)
  • JVC stereo/CD player
  • The ORIGINAL screw-type jack (which is held by two straps behind the front seats on the bulkhead)
  • Two books on the history of the Defender that I picked up while in the UK
  • A pretty cool, never-worn waxed cotton Barbour/Land Rover hat that I bought at the Barbour store in Edinburgh, Scotland
This vehicle is my daily driver, and it handles my commute of ten miles round-trip with ease, taking portions of the Interstate whenever I choose. The vehicle drives 70mph in stride and, with air conditioning, can handle even the stifling Oklahoma heat. It lives in a dedicated garage bay, as pictured.
I am not a professional vehicle-restorer, and I'm certainly not a car dealer. I am simply an enthusiastic individual who fell in love with high-capacity off-road vehicles through several trips to Africa and the Middle East over the last twenty-five years. Having tackled a number of Toyota Land Cruiser projects spanning several decades - and having owned a number of other Land Rover models - this was my initial foray into the Defender space. I carefully researched the story and lore of the Defender for two years before purchasing - as well as the practical matters of owning, driving and working on them - then spent another year-and-a-half refurbishing this one with exceptional care. Hopefully that care is evident.
I would urge you: if you have not driven a Land Rover Defender - and preferably a number of them in a range of contexts, including late-model versions - I urge you to do so before purchasing this or any other Defender. The iconic allure of these vehicles is powerful. However, they are not a "luxury" car on the order of the rest of the Land Rover lineup. In fact, the very best of them - including brand-new ones such as I have driven in Europe (and recount in the website build thread) - are noisy, quirky, utilitarian boxes that were meant for the jungle and the savanna. They are also the finest off-road vehicle ever devised. I took care to buy one that grew up in a warm, dry climate - and was thus free of rust and structurally sound - and I have mitigated as many of the "creature discomforts" as possible, going to significant hassle and expense to install A/C, undertake extreme sound attenuation and create as quite and smooth a ride as is achievable in a vehicle of this type. However, it retains the heart, soul and feel of a Defender... not a Lexus.
I am not in a position to need to sell this vehicle; however, like having summitted a particularly notable peak, I have finished it - and someone else should enjoy it. Neither am I inclined - by character or by need - to deceive in order to sell it; thus, here are the sum total of things I know to need attention on the vehicle: four specific things...
  • The power steering pump is going. When filled with power-steering fluid, it steers with one hand. However, it has a slow leak and eventually evacuates that fluid. (Even once it has stopped the leak, it still retains enough residual volume that it steers with minimal effort.)
  • The dashboard light bulb is out.
  • The fuel gauge, upon filling the tank, only goes to approximately 85%. It measures accurately thereafter.
  • One of the small switch covers to the left of the steering wheel is missing. It is probably $3.00 to replace.
I have touched literally every inch of this vehicle and know it inside and out. To the extent I have omitted any other trouble spots, it will be from having grown accustomed to the quirk and not from an attempt to deceive.
The vehicle is, of course, sold as-is. The winning bidder will receive receipts for all work performed on the Defender. I live in Oklahoma City and, if you would like to see the vehicle prior to purchasing it, I am happy for you to do so. I am also happy to help arrange for shipping, though the expense for the actual trucking will be your responsibility. I do not require or request help in purchasing, and I will only sell to an individual.
Procedurally, I will require a $1,000 deposit within twenty-four hours of the winning bid. I will then help arrange to ship the vehicle, receive the balance of the payment (once the vehicle has arrived) and then forward the clean title by overnight mail.
Thank you very much for looking... and "Never stop exploring."