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    Adventurer Bear Grylls was part of an all-star team who built the two millionth Defender in May. He explains his affection for the iconic model.

    • Posted: 14/02/17

      In May 2015, a team of life-long Defender fans were invited to join the Solihull production line to help assemble a one-of-a-kind vehicle.

      The bespoke two-millionth Defender was built to commemorate 67 years of the iconic model that started out life as the Series Land Rover, and features a number of distinctive finishing touches which pay tribute to its heritage.

      A map of Red Wharf Bay, where the sketch of the first Land Rover was made in the sand, is engraved into the aluminium fender, a unique ‘no 2,000,000’ badge sits on the vehicle’s rear, while the S90 HUE registration plates hark back to the original HUE 166 plates of the first pre-production Land Rover.

      Building the 2,000,000th Defender

      Among the all-star assembly team of Defender fans was adventurer Bear Grylls. He reflected on what it meant to him to be part of this slice of history:

      “You develop bonds with things that you depend on. The Defender is part of British automotive history. For me, it stands for no-nonsense practicality and rugged reliability. It’s been the unsung hero of many of my expeditions. I’ve used Defenders all over the world in jungles, deserts, mountains and swamps – you might see me rappelling out of a helicopter on TV, but what you don’t see is the four or five Defenders working hard to get crew, equipment and film gear to the location."

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      This vehicle celebrates 67 years of Series Land Rover and Defender production. It was fitted by a host of Defender fans, including Born Free’s Virginia McKenna OBE, First Overland expedition member Tim Sless

      "The Defender is part of British automotive history. It’s been the unsung hero of many of my expeditions."

      Bear Grylls, Adventurer and Defender fan

      “Defenders are so symbolic of great adventures and expeditions, but for me the fun times are often back home. I own a 1974 Land Rover and I’ll load it up with the family and find a little lane leading to fields where we’ll have a picnic. The Defender is as much about that as it is the world’s extremes. I have such a bond with this vehicle. And I feel a great bond with the Land Rover family that has supported me for years. It’s why I’m so proud to be a small part of the Defender story, doing my bit by putting wheels on the two millionth Defender right in the heart of Land Rover country in Solihull.”

      The bespoke Defender 2,000,000 will be sold in December at the renowned auction house, Bonhams. Proceeds from the sale will go to Land Rover’s humanitarian partners, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation.