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Price: SOLD | Visit the Bring a Trailer Auction
Mileage: 79,615 Miles
Engine: Chevrolet LS3 V8 Turn Key Powertrain Crate Engine
Transmission: 6L80E 4WD Automatic Transmission
Exterior color: Alpine White Exterior (456)
Interior: Black Interior
NAS Defender Serial Number 1974
LRC Serial Number 0014
Nut and Bolt Frame-Up Restoration
Richards Chassis Galvanized Frame
RW Performance Transmission / Transfer Case Adaptor
Hooker Headers w/ Cerakote
Heat Wrapped Y-Pipe
49-State Catalytic Converters
Flow Master Exhaust w/ 3” Tail Pipe
Tom Woods Driveshafts
GBR Front and Rear Differentials w/ ARB Air Lockers
ARB HP Air Compressor
Fox 2.0 Long Travel Shocks
RTE 2-Inch Lift Coil Springs
Super Winch Winch
Exmoor Seat Covers
LED Tail Lights
Toyo Open Country M/T Off Road Tires
The Land Rover Defender traces its lineage to post-World War II Britain with the initial Land Rover Series I. In order to survive after the War, Rover shifted its focus from luxury cars to a simple utility vehicle and the iconic Land Rover was born. In the Series I, II, III, 90, 110, and Defenders that have followed, Land Rover has always set the benchmark for an unapologetically focused rugged off-road vehicle capable of handling anything the world can throw at it. From climbing dams in Great Britain, tackling sand dunes in the Sahara Desert, to roaming Glaciers (pronounced “glass-ier” in a proper British accent) in Iceland, the Land Rover Defender is at home in any environment. Ironically, the one mountain Land Rover could not climb were the regulations of the United States Department of Transportation, officially ending US sales in 1974. Land Rover climbed that mountain in 1993 with the North American Spec (NAS) Defender, an extensively modified Defender that complied with US regulations. Produced in small volume through the 1997 model year (skipping the 1996 model year), and featuring options like air conditioning and an automatic transmission for the final year, the NAS Defender was one of the best Defenders in the world. Scandals with grey-market imported Defenders have made the NAS Defender the most desirable Defender in North America. .
This 1997 NAS Land Rover Defender 90 soft top was purchased by the current owner in 2016, who I am selling it on consignment for. It was originally delivered in November of 1997 in Seattle, Washington; then it moved to Oregon in 2003 with the second owner. The third owner brought it to Maryland in 2007, where it remained for the next nine years. When the current owner purchased it, he sent it directly to Brian Kandefer, owner of LRC Customs in Raleigh, North Carolina, with whom he commissioned a no-expense-spared frame up restoration. It started with a galvanized Richards Chassis frame featuring 2.5mm side rails and V8 specific anti-roll bars. The body was stripped and restored with replacement floorboards, doors, and seat boxes. It was refinished in the original Alpine White with a Puma hood. Underneath every single nut, bolt, and rivet was replaced, along with the fuel lines, the fuel tank, brake lines, brake hardware, suspension hardware, suspension bushings, and front and rear axles—no stone was left un-turned. The interior was restored with replacement seat cushions covered with Exmoor seat trim kits and the steering wheel, door cards, and center console were replaced. The dashboard and air conditioning are original, but in excellent shape. Matting from Rovers North covers the floors. All body seals were replaced with fresh rubber, along with the windshield and molding. The exterior was finished with a fresh soft top with zip-in side and rear windows and front door glass window sliders.
Then one of the Defender’s shortcomings was addressed—the 182 horsepower Rover V8. This was remedied with another North American spec solution—a Chevy LS3 V8 tuned to 450 crank horsepower! The LS3 was a zero-mile crate engine sourced from Turn Key Powertrain, mated to a 6l80E automatic transmission designed for off-road use. Like the name says, it was a complete turn-key powerplant designed for heavy duty off road applications. The kit included the intake manifold, fuel rail, water pump, alternator, heavy-duty power steering pump, coil packs, ECU, starter, and an OBD II interface module. It made 367 wheel horsepower on the dyno. The air conditioning was retained with an adaptor bracket from Kwik Performance. The gauge cluster is a Dakota Digital VHX digital / analogue featuring traditional speedometer, odometer, coolant temp, oil pressure, volt meter, and fuel gauges, along with a digital computer, gear display, and check engine lights. A custom exhaust was installed with Cerakote coated Hooker headers, heat-wrapped Y-pipe with 49-state catalytic converters merged into a Flowmaster high-flow muffler and a three inch exhaust pipe. The 6180E transmission bolts up to the stock transfer case through an RW Performance adaptor. The drive train was completed with a rebuilt transfer case, Tom Woods drive shafts, GBR Front and Rear Differentials w/ ARB Air Lockers, and rebuilt axles. Fox 2.0 long-travel shocks and RTE 2-inch lift coil springs were installed with fresh suspension rubber. The brakes are rebuilt two-piston Lockheed Defender brakes with a stainless steel brake line kit. Rubber meets the road through the stock wheels and Toyo M/T Open Country tires.
The restoration was finished in August of 2018; it was shipped back to Colorado and has had roughly 400 miles put on it since then. The condition is nearly perfect. It presents almost exactly as if it just left the showroom back in 1997, except with a notably better build from the frame to the engine. The owner is regretfully selling it, but is choosing to do so to focus on another project. It is nearly flawless and looks factory correct as if it drove off the showroom floor this way.