Bonhams to auction Land Rover’s ‘Defender 2,000,000’ this December

Article by Andrew Christian, on June 24, 2015

The ‘Defender 2,000,000’ was built to celebrate nearly 70 years of Land Rover production as well as to commemorate the two-millionth Series Land Rover and Defender that had been built in the Solihull plant in the UK. This one-of-a-kind vehicle has a bespoke design and was built with the help of special guests. If you’re a collector and a fan of the Defender, get ready for its auction in December 2015 at Bonhams, the highly esteemed auction house.

The proceeds of this auction will be given to Land Rover’s humanitarian and conservation partners, which are the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation. To give you a history of what you may be betting on later this year, production of this special Defender was made possible with the help of a group of Defender fans who were invited to be at the assembly line in May 2015.

Famous adventurer Bear Grylls was there. Also present were representatives from the IFRC and Born Free who went to Solihull to install their part to the vehicle. They were joined by actress and founder of the Born Free Foundation Virginia McKenna OBE. Bonhams has scheduled an unveiling of this vehicle at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The ‘Defender 2,000,000’ will be seen over the rest of the year at different public events. Bonhams will auction this vehicle on December 16 at its New Bond Street, London address. Included in the activities surrounding the auction is a specially curated Series Land Rover and Defender exhibition to show off its history as it became a global automotive icon.

There are several distinctive finishing touches on the ‘Defender 2,000,000’ vehicle. Its aluminium fender has a map of Red Wharf Bay engraved on it. This is where the original Land Rover’s design was first drawn in the sand. It shows prominently on the exterior Indus Silver satin paint. At the back of the vehicle is a standout ‘no 2,000,000’ badge.

It also gets Santorini Black wheels and wheel arches, roof, door hinges, grille and mirror caps. In addition, the leather seats have the ‘Red Wharf Bay’ graphic and ‘no 2,000,000’ logos were stitched on the headrests. The driver’s seat plinth has a bespoke aluminium plaque, which was signed by everybody who helped to assemble the vehicle.

And on its front and rear are S90 HUE registration plates – which refer to the first ever pre-production Land Rover, registration ‘HUE 166’. It can be recalled that in 1947, the original Land Rover Series I began production at the famous Lode Lane facility. It was then launched on April 30, 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show. Solihull has built 2 million units of the Series I, II III and Defender since then.

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