Jump to content
01grander

Is there a lhd Land Rover Defender?

Recommended Posts

Is there such a thing as a true Land Rover Defender that is left hand drive? Or is all of the ones I’ve seen really a Santana? And if it’s a Santana, were any of them legitimately registered under the licensing as a Land Rover?

 

I really want a diesel Defender and I’ve never driven a rhd vehicle but I’d imagine it would take some getting use to but I’m not sure. I’d rather get a LHD but I’m a little bit of a purist and I don’t want to get something badged as a Land Rover Defender when it’s not actually what it says. 

Edited by 01grander

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were lhd 90,110,defenders built for non UK markets, should be plenty around Europe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, western said:

There were lhd 90,110,defenders built for non UK markets, should be plenty around Europe. 

Is there a way to tell? I’ve seen Santana’s with LR and Defender badging. Is the Vin different from the Sal(?) that the Land Rovers I’ve seen used? 

 

Im not extremely familiar with LR, my family worked for Chrysler and Jeep so I’m trying to learn before I spend a decent amount of money. Ideally I want a convertible but I want a diesel and getting a US gas version converted to a 300 would be really expensive. Not sure if there are any kits to convert a hard top to soft. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The easiest way to tell is the steering wheel is on the left...

As simple as that. I suspect they made far more LHD vehicles than RHD since only a handful of countries still drive on the correct side of the road. Santana doesn’t really come into it if you want a Defender as it’s a different vehicle, albeit on a similar base.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing to stop you converting a RHD to LHD, all the parts are pretty available, and bolt-in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Retroanaconda said:

The easiest way to tell is the steering wheel is on the left...

As simple as that. I suspect they made far more LHD vehicles than RHD since only a handful of countries still drive on the correct side of the road. Santana doesn’t really come into it if you want a Defender as it’s a different vehicle, albeit on a similar base.

I think he meant the difference between a Defender and a Santana! 

Did all Santanas have leaf springs? If so that's an easy way for anyone to know the difference as all Defenders are coil springs. I know there are loads of other ways of knowing but this may be the easiest? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC All the Santana vehicles of similar size to the defender are on leaf or parabolic leaf springs, with selectable 2/4wd. only a few Santana Anibal/PS10 were RHD & sold in Uk, the company ceased trading after a take over by Iveco, their Massif was never sold in UK,  

all Land Rover 90/110/& their Defender models are on coil springs & look different from any Santana vehicle.

 

Anibal/PS10 below

image.jpeg.0eb93e1505aee37bc7861a80b4c9cf35.jpeg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

South African Defenders would be a good place to look , some built with galvanised chassis and bulkhead I believe and LHD . The canvas top can be bought new or used depending on what type of hood you want . The big commitment is the base vehicle , with a Land Rover Defender / 90 /110 the body set up is more a personal choice .

Welcome to LR4x4 :)

 

cheers

Steve b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mo Murphy said:

South Africa is RHD 😉

Mo

It is indeed , my senior moment for today .  

Steve b 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just did a 1 minute Google search and found this example

 

Screenshot_20190920_070124_com.android.chrome.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Italians bought many Defenders for the Carabineri police.  They had the 2l petrol engine as petrol engines over 2l are not allowed there.  They were all LHD.  Here is a picture of one.

091.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input everyone! I’ll look around for some other European countries that had lhd or figure out how to convert one from RHD to LHD. 

 

Was the US the only country that LR made a true convertible? I don’t think I’ve seen a foreign defender that looks like one that was sold stateside. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of military 90 or 110 were soft tops with a full tilt that can be fully removed, the USA variant is just one, the UK 90SV was the fore runner of the USA version. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m sure Withams has a LHD Wolf at the LRO show in Peterborough last week. Exmoor Trim also had a prototype padded roll cage and soft top similar to the NAS 90 model. The padding was missing the textured finish of the NAS90 and SV90, but apparently they are working on that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For importing into the US, you'll need a ex factory LHD vehicle as converted vehicles risk being impounded & destroyed.

Many, many vehicles in LHD are for sale in Europe - have a look around on places like Mobile.de etc. to get an idea.

Once impted, you can decide to convert to soft top if you want.

We have both LHD and RHD LR's here and drive both and never find it a problem.

If you have never driven one, get in touch with the local LR club and talk to people and explain what you want.

Bon Courage !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2019 at 5:17 PM, Pappa Smurf said:

Look on the webs for ex-British Forces lhd vehicles. They were made for use in Germany and Canada mostly, many of the Canadian ones were winterised. 

I have to feel sorry for the poor lads that were in my Defender 110 whilst it was at BATUS in Alberta, Canada! It is nowhere close to being winterized. It is LHD. Manual LHD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most Defenders were LHD from the factory! All European countries ordered LHD. So don't be afraid of not finding an original LHD Defender.. But the problem with USA is that you can only import specific build years, do you know the details? I know we can only ship original "old' Defenders (+25 years), if they were fitted with a newer type engine, USA custom crushes them..

So find out what model you like, and can import, and we can help you look, so it doesn't end up like this one:

import1.jpg

I think this would be a good link to start: https://eastcoastrover.com/imports.html

Edited by Koen110

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2019 at 6:51 PM, 01grander said:

Is there such a thing as a true Land Rover Defender that is left hand drive? Or is all of the ones I’ve seen really a Santana? And if it’s a Santana, were any of them legitimately registered under the licensing as a Land Rover?

 

I really want a diesel Defender and I’ve never driven a rhd vehicle but I’d imagine it would take some getting use to but I’m not sure. I’d rather get a LHD but I’m a little bit of a purist and I don’t want to get something badged as a Land Rover Defender when it’s not actually what it says. 

I never understand why you guys in the USA want a diesel Land Rover. The only reason we run diesels over here is down to our very very expensive fuel costs and the fact the diesel is a fair bit more frugal. But that is pretty much the only reason to want to run a Land Rover diesel. They are slower, a lot less refined, a lot more noisy and less powerful than a good rover V8. And generally with a worse weight distribution too.

 

I'm not knocking the diesels, in their own right they are good engines (I run a diesel Land Rover and have had multiple examples). But a Rover V8 Defender is far superior at almost everything. The only real negative for the V8 is they tend to like water less than a diesel if you are doing a lot of wading.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2019 at 7:17 PM, 01grander said:

Is there a way to tell? I’ve seen Santana’s with LR and Defender badging. Is the Vin different from the Sal(?) that the Land Rovers I’ve seen used? 

 

Im not extremely familiar with LR, my family worked for Chrysler and Jeep so I’m trying to learn before I spend a decent amount of money. Ideally I want a convertible but I want a diesel and getting a US gas version converted to a 300 would be really expensive. Not sure if there are any kits to convert a hard top to soft. 

Santana have built CKD's (complete knock down kits), but their latter offerings were vehicles of their own creation, but based on a Land Rover platform. Such as the PS-10. These are not Defenders.

 

While I love to have something different, if you want a Defender like vehicle. Put a Defender style body onto a Discovery 1 or Range Rover classic. Will be a lot cheaper for you and achieve pretty much the same thing. Or stick with a Wrangler/Bronco/Harvester.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/21/2019 at 2:11 AM, 01grander said:

Thanks for all the input everyone! I’ll look around for some other European countries that had lhd or figure out how to convert one from RHD to LHD. 

 

Was the US the only country that LR made a true convertible? I don’t think I’ve seen a foreign defender that looks like one that was sold stateside. 

The body config of a Defender is very easy to change, all the panels bolt on/off. So you can turn a hard top into a pickup into a full tilt (convertible). All very easy to do. The only one being different is the 110 with the extra row of doors as it uses a different rear tub.

As for the NAS (North American Spec) Defenders. They all had external roll cages fitted to meet US roll over protection regulations and the chassis is slightly altered to accommodate this specific cage. These are pretty unique to the US market and were not sold elsewhere. The NAS spec also used a slightly different style of soft top, being more civilian and less military in it's design, such as having zips rather than straps. However many aftermarket suppliers will sell you a similar top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Chicken Drumstick said:

These are pretty unique to the US market and were not sold elsewhere.

They were also sold in Japan.

Back to the original question.  Buy from a dry part of mainland Europe.  There are a few trustworthy companies with a lot of exporting experience.

UK Defenders are mostly horribly rotten and it is nearly impossible to find a trustworthy person to purchase from.  Really there is nothing wrong with driving a RHD truck.  But the UK is a bad place to get one.  South Africa or Australia are a lot better. 

I would not suggest looking for a BATUS truck from Canada.  They are mostly in very bad condition.  I live close to the base and there are hundreds of them running around and have seen many at the auctions.  Maybe once they start to part with the Wolfs it will be a different story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Red90 said:

 South Africa or Australia are a lot better

I import lots from South Africa and wouldn't necessarily agree - coastal cars or boat launchers can be just as rotten,  and even in dry areas, doors suffer the same fate albeit at a slower rate.  There's also no manadatory MoT equivalent - it's rare if I don't have to replace every bush, ball joint, lamp, handle, switch, sender or seal on the car, and then move on to the delights of unravelling 20 years of diy electrical wiring horror - working on one at the moment, loom was so badly & pointlessly bodged it had to be binned.   Importing something like that to the US would be a very expensive exercise. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MOT means nothing.  I've seen many UK trucks arrive with current MOTs with chassis that you can put your arm in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy