More than 2 million Defenders have been built and the last model, finished in traditional green, rolled off the production line at Solihull in the West Midlands of England on the morning of 29 January 2016. Mixed emotions for Jaguar Land Rover staff who had gathered for a party to mark the occasion.
The first design was famously sketched on the sands of a beach in Wales and made its debut in 1948.
It took its inspiration from wartime Jeeps – but with a hard top and permanent four-wheel-drive – proving so popular that Rover had to ramp up production after the first 8,000 sold out.
While designs evolved over the years, it never lost the identity established in its roots – to be rugged, shy of luxury and bold in spirit.
Its status and popularity has meant that models generally fail to depreciate in value at the same rate as most vehicles – with many sold on at a profit.
Many loved the rugged simplicity and versatility the Defender offered, and is known to many as the basic workhorse. Anyone from the local farmer to the Queen could own a Landy, and yet the Defender never felt out of place wherever it was.
The decision to end production is believed to have been taken because of continuing crash safety and emissions concerns.
While the company is thought to be working on a replacement it has remained tight-lipped but still has the Freelander, Discovery and Range Rover models in its stable after the death of the Defender.