Land Rover Classic has released its first heritage-themed Defender Works V8, inspired by a vehicle owned by one of the company’s founders.

    Just 30 examples of the Land Rover Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition will be remanufactured from existing 2012-16 Defender donor vehicles.

    17 examples will feature the 90 short-wheelbase body style and 13 will feature the 110 long-wheelbase design.

    Pricing for the heritage models starts at £230,000 (AU$431,883) for the 90, and £245,000 (AU$460,049) for the 110.

    Inspiration for the limited edition Defender is taken from a 1965 Land Rover Series IIa owned by Spencer Wilks – one of the founders of Land Rover – as well as the Isle of Islay in Scotland.

    The exterior colour palette draws from Wilks’ 1965 Defender with a Heritage Grey finish, Limestone-coloured roof and heavy-duty steel wheels.

    Traditional Land Rover badging and logos appear on the exterior of the vehicle including the bonnet, front grille and rear mudflaps.

    A badge has been stamped on the side of the vehicle with the original number plate of the 1965 Defender it’s so heavily inspired by. Designers also added a plague inside the vehicle detailing the story of the Land Rover name.

    Land Rover Classic brought over the classic-style grille, but it’s flanked by modern LED headlights.

    Mechanical enhancements include a Defender Suspension Upgrade Kit with revised coil springs and dampers, as well as a Handling Upgrade Kit which adds enhanced Works V8 brake discs, pads and callipers.

    Inside, the headrests and steering wheel receive a Land Rover embossed logo, while body-coloured trim can be found on the dash.

    The interior is swathed in Windsor Ebony leather upholstery, accompanied by Tweed trim from the Islay Woolen Mill.

    A removable wooden tray in the centre-console storage space is made of walnut and whisky cask barrel oak from Islay’s Kilchoman Distillery.

    The distillery will also produce a limited edition whisky, with each Defender buyer receiving a bottle.

    The heritage model is powered by a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 302kW of power and 515Nm of torque, mated with an eight speed ZF automatic transmission.

    Land Rover says its name comes from Spencer Wilks who, while driving a heavily modified 1947 Rover prototype across the rugged terrain of his Scottish property, remarked that it must be a “Land Rover” and hence the name was born.

    Wilks tested the original Land Rover prototypes on his Scottish Laggan Estate on the Isle of Islay, which the heritage special edition model takes its name.

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    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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