Old Land Rover Defenders Live Again
While we here at Land Rover Hinsdale offer a slew of new and certified pre-owned Land Rovers, there is a wildly exciting niche market for older Land Rover SUVs. Matt Perlman made a business by importing old Land Rover Defenders and refurbishing them. It’s the rugged, go-anywhere SUV that withdrew from the US market long ago, but still has a dedicated and passionate following.
Perlman’s business, West Coast Defenders, has refurbished and sold more than 30 Defenders in the past year, priced around $100,000 a piece.
“Our main goal is to keep them as authentic as possible while bringing them into the 21st century,” Perlman said in an interview with USA Today.
He tracks down Defenders in Europe, Africa and Asia. Even Defenders that have seen better days peak his interest if the underpinnings are still in good condition. “The chassis is really all that matters,” he said.
The Defender was designed to be a no-nonsense workhorse SUV for the toughest of work in the most rugged places. Exposed bolts made the Defender a favorite of people wanting to wrench on their own vehicle replacing, or even sometimes jury-rigging, parts.
“With five tools, you could take the whole car apart,” Perlman said. “I love getting people into these cars. It’s an easy car to drive.”
Perlman was first attracted to the Defender when he was 15. He eventually tracked one down years later in Alabama—his first one. Soon, people were asking about them and he started finding Defenders for his friends.
“My favorite part of this is finding the vehicles,” he said.
Defenders come in a wide variety of styles. They offer the option of a short or long wheelbase, fixed or removable hard top, rear bench seats or truck bed, but all come with Land Rover’s world famous four wheel drive system. For more information on the Land Rovers we offer at Land Rover Hinsdale, contact us at (866) 857-7638 or stop by our showroom at 300 East Ogden Ave., Hinsdale, IL.